When we got the Top Chef Cookbook press release yesterday, we were immediately consumed with curiosity. The tome purports to include "dishes from the Elimination Rounds and the Quick-Fire Challenges, daring fans to join the fun by recreating their favorite recipes at home," but beyond that there aren’t many details. Will C.J.s burnt broccolini, which Tom Colicchio considered the worst dish ever served on Top Chef, be in there? Or maybe his green tuna casserole, which Tony Bourdain compared to something found on the floor of an Irish bar on Saint Patrick’s Day? It’s safe to say that the show’s winning recipes, like Howie’s pork and beans seasoned with baldie sweat, will be there, in cleaned-up form. However until we get our copy, we can’t say. As for the book’s other touted features, such as “in-depth discussions with contestants, judges and crew,” there’s only one question that matters to us: Was Padma high the whole time or not?
Bravo Media Announces "Top Chef: The Cookbook" Published By Chronicle Books [Snack]
Related: Adam Platt Was Right About ‘Top Chef’ All Along
Chris Jacobsen, a.k.a. CJ, got the boot on Top Chef last night, much to Adam Platt’s dismay, as well as the dismay of many viewers. The 6'10" former volleyball player from Venice Beach was an audience favorite for his unpretentious, self-effacing style, but now he’s back in the real world. We had a chance to talk with him about Hung, Howie, and why he thinks he has a shot with Padma Lakshmi.
Top Chef viewers may have been impressed that Howie, the token Mr. Hyde of the show, magically morphed back into Dr. Jekyll when he finally got the boot, but we hear he was less than happy to leave. Our source, who works on the show, tells us that after walking off the set, Howie hurled his knives in a room full of crew members before storming out to a parking lot. (He was polite to the other cheftestants, though.) Outside, cameras tracked his every chain-smoking move, but the tantrum never aired.
Top Chef villain Howie Kleinberg, beloved in some corners but reviled in most, was finally eliminated last night. Despite his last minute conversion from self-serving aggressor to avowed team player, the judges unanimously agreed that his hors d'oeuvre lacked imagination and flavor. Today Howie talks to us about his sweaty head and why you don't want to be his enemy.
Top Chef lost its last hometown hero this week when Sara Nguyen, formerly an executive sous-chef at Boucarou, let the increasingly volatile Howie get under her skin. (Adam Platt called her a “sacrificial lamb,” but we question anyone who puts ice in a milk shake.) Today, Sara tells us about Howie’s greatest weakness and who might suffer him next.
When Howie Kleinberg, after twice coming to the brink of elimination, returned last week to win a Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef, he was rewarded with a one-week internship at Gotham Bar and Grill, courtesy of the guest judge, Alfred Portale. Kleinberg, whose unremitting hostility originally endeared him to us, has gotten on swimmingly with the chef, we hear. “He’s a very likable guy,” Portale tells us. “He’s a big guy, kinda cuts a pretty wide path through the kitchen, but he shows a lot of respect and poise.”