Top Chef Season 5 Penultimate Bus Tour Stop: Stefan and Fans Talk Heavy Cream and Sexy Shit

Yesterday in Culver City, the Top Chef tour bus made the second to last stop of its 24-city tour. Tents went up in the Famima parking lot on Overland and Venice, and Season 5 finalists Stefan Richter and Hosea Rosenberg offered cooking demonstrations and food tasting to a few lucky crowds.

With a mirror above the stove and plasma monitors on either side of the platform, the chefs seized the opportunity to display the skills that made them top chefs, and also to redeem themselves from any inaccurately villainous characterizations that so often result from reality show editing.

Each cooking demonstration doubles as a get-to-know-your-chefs session. As they bantered their way through a nutmeg halibut on top of creamy mashed potatoes (at 10:30 and 1:30 a.m), and a cold cucumber avocado gazpacho with shrimp (at 3 p.m.), the guys grow increasingly familiar. They begin by formally answering the audience's questions about the show -- why they don't use heavy cream in their mashed potatoes and where they like to eat when they're in Los Angeles -- and somehow end up conversationally detailing how Hosea went from a degree in engineering to cooking, and in which countries Stefan thinks the hottest chicks live.

Stefan talked at length about everything except the specifics of his new restaurant. He confirmed that it will be opening on August 1, somewhere in Santa Monica, but playfully withheld its name and specific location. And when asked about the new menu, Stefan reported only, "There will be a lot of sexy shit on it."

Then, the Finnish chef turned the tables, "Okay," he said, addressing the audience, "let me ask you a question." He finished plating the halibut and looked up with a grin, "Who is my biggest fan?"

The chefs make their final stop today at the Farmer's Market on 3 and Fairfax. If you aren't already a fan, come ready for conversion.


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