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October 9, 2015


Three Cures for Padma Lakshmi Withdrawal

by David Hofstede, posted Dec 10th 2009 1:05PM
Padma LakshmiNow that this season of 'Top Chef' is over -- with Michael Voltaggio having been crowned the winner -- millions of viewers will once again face the debilitating syndrome known as PW: Padma Withdrawal. How will we survive another hiatus without a weekly helping of Padma Lakshmi, our exotic guide through the world of haute cuisine? She even made packing our knives and going sound appealing.

To help carry us over to the premiere of 'Top Chef' season 7, here are three more video delights to compensate for the upcoming lack of Lakshmi.

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'Top Chef' Winner Is Michael Voltaggio

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Dec 9th 2009 6:30PM
Top Chef Las VegasIn something of a 'Top Chef' upset, Michael Voltaggio won 'Top Chef: Las Vegas,' beating out his competitive brother, Bryan Voltaggio, and fan favorite Kevin Gillespie.

A few familial (and familiar) twists and turns greeted Bryan, Kevin and Michael on the finale of 'Top Chef: Las Vegas.' The competition kicked off without a Quickfire and instead jumped right into the elimination challenge. The finale brought back all the previous contestants for a random knife drawing, in which each finalist was assigned two chefs who would serve as his sous chefs (one for each day of competition). Kevin drew Preeti and Ash, Bryan drew Jennifer and Ashley, and Michael drew Jesse and Eli.

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'Top Chef: Las Vegas' Finale Predictions: Who Will Win?

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Dec 9th 2009 2:15PM
Top Chef: Las VegasWe're down to the final three on 'Top Chef: Las Vegas,' which airs its finale tonight at 10PM on Bravo.

Will it end with a classic dose of sibling rivalry? Or will Kevin spoil the Voltaggio-family party?

Check out our contestant-by-contestant analysis on who will win.

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What to Watch: December 9

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 9th 2009 6:00AM
'Top Chef: Las Vegas' (10PM, Bravo) season 6 finale
No pressure here: The three finalists -- Bryan, Kevin and Michael -- simply have to cook the best meal of their lives to win what the network is rightly touting as the "closest! season! ever!" Will one of the Voltaggio brothers pull off the win? Or will Kevin emerge with the fat check and a huge stash of Gladware? Watch it live on the tube and at Bravotv.com, where the cast will be Tweeting live during the finale.

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Best TV Shows of the 2000s (30-21)

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 7th 2009 6:00AM

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Drama Queens Podcast: How to Get on 'The Amazing Race'

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 3rd 2009 5:00PM
Amazing Race'The Amazing Race' hasn't been so amazing this season, and Kelly and Patricia discuss how casting choices can make or break a reality TV show. Want to run the 'Amazing Race'? They've got tips!

Plus, the avowed fans of 'So You Think You Can Dance' lament the lackluster sixth season.

Listen to the podcast now.

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'Top Chef: Las Vegas' Results December 2: Jennifer Carroll Elimination Interview

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Dec 3rd 2009 8:00AM
And then there were three: as Top Chef: Las Vegas relocated to Napa Valley, the four remaining chefs duked it out by making dishes out of grapes for their Quickfire and catering a 150 person party for the elimination challenge. Oh, and the kicker on that last part: they had to use all local ingredients in every aspect of their dishes.

In the end, Jennifer Carroll-once thought to be a huge frontrunner – was eliminated for a salting issue. While this wasn't that noticeable on screen, head judge Tom Colicchio explains on his blog that "What it came down to was that both of her dishes were way too salty. Jen's over seasoning of both her dishes stood out to the judges like a sore thumb."

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Review: Top Chef - Season Finale: Part 1

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 3rd 2009 2:45AM
season_finale_part_one_top_chef_season_six(S06E14) Well, if you think this competition was getting easier, forget it. This is the toughest Top Chef I can remember. These final four were all excellent and as they gathered for the last leg to the finale, you could see that it was game on.

Unlike other seasons, there aren't any obvious villains in this group. Who are you rooting for? I don't know. I like them all in some ways, and yet there isn't a clear favorite either.

I like Kevin, but the Voltaggio brothers have been excellent, too. Their food really does look good enough to eat! And Jen, for all her insecurities, has been great throughout. Tonight would be a close call. More after the jump.

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PGA Awards: Showtime Leads With Noms for 'Dexter,' 'Weeds'

by Sharon Knolle, posted Nov 30th 2009 6:02PM
Showtime got the most love today from the Producers Guild of America (PGA), as the guild announced nominations for television series (scripted and non-fiction). Showtime leads with four nominations ('Dexter,' 'Californication,' 'Weeds,' and the non-fiction 'This American Life.' AMC, Bravo, CBS, NBC and HBO each netted two nominations.

The nominated shows are listed below in alphabetical order by category:

Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television - Comedy
'30 Rock' (NBC)
'Californication' (Showtime)
'Entourage' (HBO)
'The Office' (NBC)
'Weeds' (Showtime)

Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television - Drama
'Breaking Bad' (AMC)
'Dexter' (Showtime)
'Lost' (ABC)
'Mad Men' (AMC)
'True Blood' (HBO)

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NBC cooks up a new food reality show with a big prize

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 19th 2009 2:30PM
nbc_logo_colorOkay, take the idea of Shark Tank (or Dragon's Den if you're a BBC America fan), mix it with the Top Chef folks, offer a great grand prize and hope for the best. That's the recipe behind NBC's new food competition show, United Plates of America. The network is turning to the Magical Elves from Top Chef -- no, seriously, that's the production company's name -- to succeed in the food field where NBC has flopped in the past. Remember The Chopping Block? Remember Rocco DiSpirito's The Restaurant? NBC has more luck with the dieters on The Biggest Loser.

This go-round is not about a single restaurant. It's about a chain of restaurants. To me, that's a questionable goal. Most successful chains start off with one great restaurant and then take off. This concept is go big or go home. Maybe it's more complicated, but it doesn't sound that way.

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'Top Chef: Las Vegas' Results November 18: Eli Kirshtein Eliminated

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Nov 19th 2009 8:45AM
After a grueling competition that involved recreating a miniature version of a Bocuse d'Or, chef Eli Kirshtein was eliminated for serving what judge Tom Colicchio described as "raw lamb."

This week's challenge was not only a showcase of cooking nouvelle French cuisine; it also served to highlight each chef's technique. And that it did, causing everyone except Kevin to struggle. In the end, it boiled down to Eli's raw lamb verses Michael Voltaggio's directionless Mediterranean dish, which featured a cauliflower couscous and salmon.

The winner was Kevin (again), who took home a $30,000 prize and the chance to represent the U.S. in the 2011 Bocuse d'Or competition. While he's only earned a chance to try out for the team, Colicchio said on his blog, "I think that though it's not his normal inclination to cook as they do for the Bocuse d'Or, if given the time to prepare for the competition, Kevin would apply that same intelligence about food to that particular challenge and would rise to it not only ably but admirably."

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Review: Top Chef - Culinary Olympics

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 19th 2009 1:05AM
tom_padma_top_chef(S06E12) When I saw that the title of tonight's episode was "Culinary Olympics," I didn't really imagine what the chefs would be going through. Were they going to be pole vaulting into the kitchen, did they have to prepare a meal on an ice skating rink? What could be the Olympian angle? Well, apparently there's a culinary competition that's as intense as the Olympics -- and it's not held in a kitchen stadium with Alton Brown doing play by play.

That said, this may have been one of the toughest assignments ever on Top Chef. I tried to envision how past season winners -- let alone the runners up -- would have done in the same circumstances that these final five faced. I can't say for sure that I can think of one that would have aced it ... and for how this five did, read on.

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'Top Chef: Las Vegas' Results November 11: Robin Leventhal Eliminated

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Nov 12th 2009 1:52AM
After having taken up near-permanent resident status in the bottom 3 over much of the season, 'Top Chef' contestant Robin Leventhal finally saw her luck run out when she was eliminated in the quirky "casino tour" challenge.

The six competing chefs were asked to take inspiration for their dishes from various hotels along Las Vegas's famous Strip. Robin, who drew the Bellagio, attempted to make an "artistic" panna cotta but fell short on both presentation and execution.

The winner of the challenge was Michael Voltaggio, who was inspired by the New York - New York Hotel to make crispy boneless chicken wings.

Robin spoke to reporters earlier today and revealed some insight into her dismissal.

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Fox Serving Up 'MasterChef' Starring Gordon Ramsay

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Nov 3rd 2009 1:15PM
Amateur foodies take note: Fox is developing 'MasterChef,' a new reality competition series starring everyone's favorite culinary devil, Gordon Ramsay, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Developed from a similar concept already tested in the U.K. and Australia, the show will be an 'American Idol'-style talent search for the next great amateur chef.

Details are still being figured out, but it will most likely resemble the Australian version of this concept, in which contestants audition for a spot on the show by cooking a dish for three judges. After the semi-finalists are selected, contestants will compete in team and individual challenges until a winner is ultimately chosen.

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'Top Chef': Natalie Portman Drops by as Guest Judge

by Donald Deane, posted Oct 29th 2009 10:49AM
Natalie Portman guested on this week's 'Top Chef: Las Vegas' and threw the remaining contestants a curveball with her vegetarian dietary requirements. The final seven chefs were prepared to create a reimagined TV dinner using a variety of meat at Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak restaurant, but were instead asked to prepare a dish using nothing but veggies.

In this clip, diners react during the elimination challenge to Chef Michael Voltaggio's asparagus salad, Japanese tomato sashimi and banana polenta. Although Voltaggio wasn't the winner of the challenge, diners responded favorably to his unusual pairing of polenta with banana.

Watch the video from TV's Top 5! after the jump.

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