It’s just under two weeks until we will have the chance to get to know a whole new batch of cheftestants on Top Chef 4. Meanwhile, previous Top Chef contestants and judges have been keeping busy out and about, and sometimes, they’re even hanging out together.

There was a big showing of the Top Chef crew down in Florida at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The attendees included chefs from all three seasons and a couple of judges.

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New York Magazine reports that they ran into Lee Ann Wong (season 1), Ilan Hall (season 2 winner) and Chris Jacobsen, aka CJ, (season 3 contestant, coiner of season 3 tee-shirt phrase “Oh, Big Time”). Lee Ann and CJ posed with Gail Simmons for a photo, and, New York notes, “Lee Ann talked pork, C.J. hit the bar, and Ilan danced by the pool at the Versace mansion.”

Sam Talbot (season 2) was sighted at another party, and Tom Colicchio put in an appearance as well, although they noted he looked pretty exhausted.

Sam then headed to Charleston, South Carolina, where he’s participating in another food and wine festival. For this one, he’s putting on a gospel brunch on Sunday. He’s from Charlotte, North Carolina originally, and studied at Johnson and Wales in Charleston, so he’s familiar with the lay of the land in the southern city and can likely be counted on to serve up a brunch the locals will love to eat.

Meanwhile, host and judge Padma Lakshmi, who divorced author Salman Rushdie, has been seen on the arm of computer mogul Adam Dell of Dell Computers. She was also recently spotted in Florida, where she gave a frank answer to whether or not she’s always as even-tempered in response to the brattier cheftestants as she appears on Top Chef.

“They do get whiny sometime,” she admitted. “I never want to show my emotions. But inside I’m thinking, ‘This is your chance! What are you complaining about?’ I don’t want to upset them. I feel bad for them.”

– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: New York Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times
(Image courtesy of Bravo)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV