If you're a fan of Top Chef, you will be staying at home tonight, breathlessly munching on dishes you've perhaps cooked from one of Rick Bayless's books. Or Huber Keller's or Michael Chiarello's. Or maybe Tom Colicchio's or even Padma Lakshmi's (yes, two of them), if you're watching not only Top Chef Masters, but also the season premier of Top Chef season 6, Las Vegas, which debuts tonight. It's that kind of evening. If you're not a fan of Top Chef, this might be a good night to go grab a quiet meal.
On Top Chef Masters, Bayless, Keller and Chiarello compete in the final elimination challenge, set at the Getty Villa, of all places. Whether that gives Chiarello an edge (the Getty Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy), I've no idea. The three remaining chefs are to construct Proustian dishes, articulating their distant memories, defining food moments, etc.
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Meanwhile (sort of), in Las Vegas, Tom and Padma will kick off a new season of fun and games--even more literally than before, as odds are that Vegas-style histrionics will be worked in to most of the episodes. (17 chefs; $100,00; more relentless hawking of products.) According to Bravo, the list of luminaries is a long one: Wolfgang Puck, Todd English, Natalie Portman, Daniel Boulud, Penn & Teller, Hubert Keller, Laurent Tourondel, Tim Love, Michelle Bernstein, Tyler Florence, Charlie Palmer, Paul Bartolotta, Nigella Lawson and Jerome Bocuse will all be featured this season. Hubert Keller must be tired; whether this demonstrates anything in the way of a spoiler, I have no idea either.