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December 17, 2014

top chef

Chef Mark McEwan on 'Top Chef Canada,' Egos and Backstabbing in the Kitchen

by Bryan Cairns, posted Apr 11th 2011 10:50AM


Viewers hungry for delectable dishes in the midst of kitchen chaos are in for a treat. Beginning April 11 at 9PM on the Food Network, 'Top Chef Canada' is taking a cue from Bravo's original Emmy award-winning 'Top Chef' series by thrusting a group of up-and-coming Canadian chefs into a string of quick-fire cooking and elimination challenges.

Up for grabs is $100,000, a state-of-the-art G.E. Monogram kitchen and, perhaps most importantly, bragging rights. Serving as head judge is acclaimed chef Mark McEwan, a culinary rock star who owns multiple restaurants, a gourmet grocery store, hosts the Food Network's 'The Heat' and recently added "author" to his impressive resume. On the way to a book signing, McEwan gave TV Squad some tasty tidbits about the upcoming season.

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Andy Cohen Hedges on His 'No New Housewives' Edict: 'Never Say Never'

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 7th 2011 11:00AM
Andy Cohen in the Bravo clubhouse

Because Andy Cohen is not only a "Bravo-lebrity" -- he's host of the loosey-goosey talk show 'Watch What Happens Live' -- but he's also the network's executive vice president of original programming, it's hard to pin him down on certain issues.

For instance, when asked about his assertion last month that 'The Real Housewives' series won't be expanding into new cities, he backtracks a little bit. "Um, I mean, you know, look, I mean, look, never say never, but I think we're really good right now," he told me earlier this week. He also won't mention the fate of 'The Real Housewives of DC:' "You know what, we have not made any announcements and we haven't really gotten into it." (Update: 'The Real Housewives of DC' was officially canceled on April 7.)

One thing is certain, though: if the show is pushing into Toronto, as was reported last week, it won't be produced by Bravo: "You know what, I don't know if that's a license deal. I don't know what that is. But that was the first I had heard of it too."

On Thursday, April 7 at 11PM ET, Cohen celebrated the 100th episode of 'WWHL,' and he's enjoying every minute of his side gig. "I love it that right now it's kind of somewhere between 'Wayne's World' and a Fellini movie," Cohen said.

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'Top Chef Masters' Season 3, Episode 1 (Season Premiere) Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 7th 2011 5:45AM
top_chef_masters_curtis_stone_2011_bravo['Top Chef Masters' - 'Restaurant Wars']

Never let it be said that Bravo is resting on their laurels when it comes to the 'Top Chef' franchise. Just a week after 'Top Chef All-Stars' wrapped, here comes 'Top Chef Masters.' This is the third season, and the producers have revamped the concept dramatically.

The new host is Aussie chef Curtis Stone, who's also on NBC's 'America's Next Great Restaurant,' so either he's totally determined to be a star, or somebody at NBC Universal is invested in his success.

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'Top Chef All-Stars' Winner Richard Blais and Runner-Up Mike Isabella Speak

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 1st 2011 11:30AM
top_chef_all-stars_bravo_2011_richard_blais_mike_isabellaIt was one of a the closest contests ever in 'Top Chef' history, as Wednesday's finale came down to two remarkable, four-course dinners composed by the remaining two 'Top Chef All-Stars' cheftestants.

It was like a prize fight, with both heavyweight chefs Richard Blais and Michael Isabella slugging it out course by course, dish by dish, morsel by morsel.

The judges, including guest chefs like Hubert Keller and Art Smith, were duly impressed by the food presented by these two finalists. Head judge Tom Colicchio declared that it had been the best cooking he'd ever eaten in a 'Top Chef' finale.

Ultimately, the choice of one over the other was a case of splitting hairs, with Blais emerging victorious. Read on for interviews with both Blais and Isabella.

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Carla Hall Beats Fabio Viviani As 'Top Chef All-Stars' Fan Favorite (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 31st 2011 1:45PM
Fabio Viviani and Carla Hall on 'Watch What Happens: LiveDespite a season full of so many familiar faces with their own fanbases, only one could be named 'Top Chef All Stars' Fan Favorite. Bravo revealed the winner on 'Watch What Happens: Live' (Wednesday, 11PM on Bravo).

The two finalists were "The Italian Stallion" Fabio Viviani and Carla Hall. A few years ago, Viviani beat out Hall for the honor in season five, but Hall, who lasted longer in 'All Stars' than Viviani, won it this season.

While Viviani looked disappointed, Hall was thrilled and grateful. "I really appreciate you voting, for you Tweeting, all of that stuff," she said. "And I need the money, too."

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'Top Chef All-Stars' Season 8, Episode 16 (Season Finale) Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 31st 2011 5:00AM
top_chef_all-stars_2011_finalists_mike_isabella_richard_blais_bravo['Top Chef All-Stars' - 'Finale']

It came down to two -- Richard Blais and Michael Isabella. Who would take the title of Top Chef in the finale of 'Top Chef All-Stars'? That was the question.

As Tom Colicchio said during the show, this title wasn't just about cooking. The word "chef" means "boss." Who would be the best boss in the kitchen when there was $200,000 and the elusive title on the line?

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'Top Chef: All-Stars': Who Finally Earned the Title of Top Chef? (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2011 1:43AM
'Top Chef All Stars' finaleThis season of 'Top Chef: All-Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) was all about second chances. In a tough competition, it came down to Richard Blais, who had to settle for runner-up in Season 4, and Mike Isabella, who came in seventh in Season 6.

So, while Isabella had already surpassed his earlier performance, Blais went into this finale facing the possibility of being a runner-up for the second straight time.

For this epic finale, several of the former contestants came back to help the finalists prepare their final dishes to excite and impress the judges. The show even flew out their families to watch the winner being crowned. But who would take home the prize?

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Bravo Picks Up 11 New Shows, Renews 5 Others

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 30th 2011 4:00PM
Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos of 'Flipping Out' to star in new Bravo series 'Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis'One of the things that's always been striking about how Bravo has reinvented itself over the last decade is that when they find a franchise they like, they go all in and take it in as many different directions as they can.

It's made for a channel that has a very strong identity and fan base. And has led the NBC Universal–owned network to confidently announce at their upfront today that they're going to be picking up 11 new shows.

You read that number right. The 11 that are being picked up include new shows from some of the network's most recognizable stars, like Jeff Lewis and Tabitha Coffey, and will also include a New York spin-off of their popular real estate show 'Million Dollar Listing.'

Bravo announced the return of five shows: 'Top Chef Just Desserts,' 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' 'Bethenny Ever After' and 'Tabatha's Salon Takeover.'

More on this mega-announcement, plus a list of the new shows, after the jump.

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Seven Great 'Top Chef' Moments

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 30th 2011 2:00PM
Top Chef All Stars final two: Mike Isabella and Richard Blais
The All-Star season of 'Top Chef' is careening towards tonight's finale, with Mike Isabella and Richard Blais squaring off to see who wins what has turned out to be 'Top Chef''s best season ever.

But the upcoming finale, and all the memories of how the All-Stars fared in their original seasons, led us to think of the moments that have occurred during the eight seasons of 'Top Chef' that have amused us, surprised us, filled us with tension ... or just gave us a good glimpse into the ultra-stressful road the cheftestants have to go down in order to be called Top Chef.

After the jump are our six favorite 'Top Chef' moments, in no particular order. We'll start with one of the funniest moments of any of the seasons, with a line uttered by the show's most charming cheftestant.

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CBS Renews 'The Amazing Race' and 'Undercover Boss'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Mar 28th 2011 7:25AM
Phil KeoghanGreat news for fans of reality TV: CBS has announced that it has renewed its Sunday night duo of 'The Amazing Race' and 'Undercover Boss.'

Both shows held their own against NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' during the fall and according to TVGuide.com they will most likely remain where they are in the schedule.

'The Amazing Race' averaged 12 million viewers last fall, and its ratings in the coveted adults aged 18-49 demographic went up by 3 percent despite the competition from football. 'Undercover Boss' has also performed strongly, with an average of 12.3 million viewers and solid ratings.

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Stove Fire Breaks Out on 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen' Premiere (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 23rd 2011 10:30AM
Marcel Vigneron, 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen' series premiereA cooking show on Syfy? Sure, it may seem a bit of a weird fit but wrestling already hasa home here, so why not? 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen' (Tue., 10PM ET on Syfy) even promises to spotlight Marcel Vigneron, the 'Top Chef' runner-up's techniques with cool gadgets in the kitchen.

Well, it does that but for the most part it's like every other cooking-based show. In fact, all the fancy gadgets in the world won't help if you miss fundamentals like making sure you verify the oven is empty before you turn it on. That's Cooking 101, folks.

Even worse, Vigneron told his chef to check the oven when he turned it on. So not only did he miss a basic, he failed to listen, even though he said, "Okay."

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Marcel Vigneron on 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen' and Being on the 'Top Chef' Finale

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 21st 2011 4:30PM
'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen'Marcel Vigneron is a busy guy these days. When I spoke to him last week, the controversial 'Top Chef' contestant was in the middle of his promotional push for his new Syfy series 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen,' and he was in a limo from his New York hotel to another appearance. But even in his rush, he can appreciate some irony.

"It's kinda funny. I'm driving by two tanks of liquid nitrogen in the middle of midtown [Manhattan] right now," he interrupted one of his answers to tell me, "and they're actually billowing out smoke." The extraordinarily cold liquid is one of Vigneron's favorite cooking tools, as he specializes in a cuisine commonly known as molecular gastronomy, a method where chefs like Vigneron use science to transform foods into other forms. The goal is to give diners a unique sensory experience, where their taste buds belie what they're seeing with their eyes.

'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen', which premieres Tuesday at 10PM ET, shows Vigneron and his catering team creating customized menus for high-end parties, and all the challenges and conflicts that happen as the event draws closer.

Vigneron spoke to me about the show, who his influences have been, and why he can't handicap who's left on 'Top Chef All Stars.'

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'Top Chef All-Stars' Season 8, Episode 14 Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 17th 2011 4:00AM
top_chef_all-stars_padma_lakshmi_bikini_bravo['Top Chef All-Stars' - 'Island Fever']

Two female chefs, two male chefs. They made up the final four as the penultimate episode of 'Top Chef All-Stars' commenced. This would not be the time to serve up a bad dish or to make a technical mistake, like last week when Carla inexplicably deep fried a pork loin.

The four seemed to know that they had to be on their toes. The Quick Fire Challenge was a test of consistency and precision. The chefs split into two teams, and naturally the boys stuck together. Can they be more predictable?

The fellas just have this superiority complex that clearly is a food industry thing. Male chefs think they're the best, and Mike and Richard uphold that stereotype.

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Struggling to Shell Conches Slows Down the Challenge on 'Top Chef All Stars' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 17th 2011 2:17AM
'Top Chef All Stars' - 'Island Fever'The remaining contestants of 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) faced an unexpected new challenge this week as they had to cook their dish on the beach using conches. A sea snail, the conch proved particularly difficult to shell and get to the meat inside.

"You could really kind of hear this orchestra of conch-shell shucking that was going on," Richard said of the sound ringing across the beach as the four finalists worked feverishly to figure out how to get their conches open the most efficiently.

Mike figured out a way by thinking outside the shell, so to speak. He started dropping them in boiling water. "The hot water is going to kill it like it would kill a lobster," he explained. "It'll loosen them up in the shell and I can pull them out a little bit easier."

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Challenge Interrupted as a Deep Fryer Catches Fire on 'Top Chef All Star' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 10th 2011 2:00AM
'Top Chef All Stars'The remaining chefs of 'Top Chef All Stars' (Wed., 10PM ET on Bravo) learned that sometimes you have to try and create magic out of adverse situations. Of course, the adverse situation they dealt with was more than an under-equipped kitchen.

As they started working with the deep fryers, one of them started smoking suspiciously. The girls tried to manage the increasingly smoky fryer, but ultimately it erupted into flames. At this point, they were midway through the meals they were making. What to do?

"Everyone was more concerned about their food than their own personal safety."

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