The continuing georgeous weather in Chicago can only mean one thing: God is smiling on Top Chef. Seriously, it is supposed to be firmly in the 50s and 60s right now... yet, the high temp for today is 89, tomorrow is 87, Sunday is 88. Bravo says they will conclude filming TC4 in Chicago "before the weather gets bitterly cold"... and well, at this rate, they've got pleeeenty of time.
I'm not the only one who's loving the weather: Andy Cohen reports via his blog that him and the whole TC3 crew took to the streets of North Halsted for the Finale after party at Cocktail, one of Dale's favorite haunts. But before getting their drink on, Dale and Ted Allen took Andy & friends to "the gayest 7-11 on the planet". Observes Andy: "It did, in fact, seem incredibly gay. They sold OUT magazine there." Andy also muses about the party: "Casey questioned Tom, Dale was king, Hung was on fire, the girls looked like a million dollars, Marcel mingled, and on and on."
Finally, he adds: "It's late and we are taping the reunion show tomorrow." So I assume the reunion show was taped last night at the same place the Finale was shot - Resolution Digital Studios on the West Side. Guess they didn't really need a studio audience for that one. Hopefully during the reunion show they'll be wise enough to give us at least a LITTLE dish on Top Chef 4. Perhaps they can cobble together a brief promo or something. ANYTHING! Really, how can they be filming all of this stuff, and not even mention the season-sized elephant in the room. For goodness sake.
Bravo's blog "The Dish" reports that they also had a good time at the finale, and observe that "Chicago is georgeous! Go Cubs!" Go Cubs indeed. Here's a link to their exclusive photo gallery of the Finale. A few photos show the whole season 3 crew!
Of Dale's second place finish, Tom Colicchio writes: "I’m not exaggerating when I say that Dale was glowing after the show. He may not have won the title, but he gained something infinitely more important -- a renewed sense of himself as a chef. After retreating into a bleak place for a year and a half, Dale showed us, and himself, that he has what it takes to transcend the pitfalls of this mercurial business. Dale is back, and watch out, world." I whole heartedly agree. I can't wait until Dale opens his restaurant!
Finally, a little more TC4 scoop. On Wednesday, during my failed-finale-folly, I did learn that the name "Magical Elves", which is usually spotted along with TC4 filming, is actually the production company working with Bravo on Top Chef 4. I also called up Fox & Obel to see if there was any filming scheduled at that location -- but the woman I spoke with in their marketing department shared that "if there is, neither of us know about it!". She was polite and courteous though, unlike the person I spoke with at Whole Foods. Yes, it has filmed there, he told me. And no, he doesn't know when they're supposed to film next. He doesn't think that's the kind of information they can "just give out". Well boo on his parade too! I'll still be checking it out whenever I have a chance to get over there.
At some point, I promise to get back to my favorite part of this blog -- actually writing about restaurants and food. But really, how can I not stay excited about Top Chef? I just hope I can keep the dish going as the weeks of filming roll on! If you've got any tips please send them my way!