Tom Colicchio wants to take the food wars global. This season of Top Chef has been packed with New Yorkers—seven of its sixteen “cheftestants”—but head judge (and Craft restaurateur) Colicchio says it’s time to be less provincial. He hopes to throw out traditional rivalries on the show, “the New York versus L.A., the Chicago versus San Francisco,” and instead pit U.S. chefs against foreign rivals. “I’d love that,” he said at the opening of the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods on May 17. His TV fame, he realized at the casino, has some downsides. “Because I sit there and judge food,” he said, “people are more critical” of his restaurants. “A guy came up to me and said, ‘Too much salt, and the meat was too thick,’ ” after dining at Colicchio’s new Craftsteak there. “It turns out he was kidding— but I guess I set myself up for that.”
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