Last night, Top Chef 4 crashed the party at the Meals on Wheels 2007 Celebrity Chef Gala to serve attendees a surprise. My friend Courtney was lucky enough to be at the event, so she gave me the report.
The event, which took place on the top floor of Macy's on State St. in Chicago, included a $350-a-plate four-course seated dinner, as well as a $100-a-ticket dinner-and-dessert reception. Chefs from Frontera Grill, Blackbird, Le Bernadin, De la Costa, Sarah's Candies, Dahlia Lounge, and others presented food for the evening.
When diners arrived last night, they learned that the four-course dinner would include a surprise fifth course - prepared by none other than the contestants of Top Chef 4. Apparently, even the chefs preparing the other four courses didn't know Top Chef was coming, until they actually showed up - camera crew and all. The Cheftestants prepared the first course of the evening, and camera crews recorded diner's and judges reactions. My friend wasn't at the actual dinner, so no word on the food or how many chefs are left in the competition, but she was able to peek into the dining room. All of the judges were in attendance, along with guest judge Ming Tsai of Food Network fame and Boston's Blue Ginger. Sounds like a good time was had by all, and a lot of money was raised for a worthy charity.
UPDATE: Although I am clearly the one who broke this story two days ago, The Stew had someone on the inside, so they've got even more detail on the event. Sounds pretty cool!
In other news, The Miami Herald reports that Bravo filmed a Top Chef "Holiday Special" in Chicago several weeks ago, and that Tre is one of the participants. This corroborates with earlier reports of there being Christmas decorations in the front yard of the Chicago Top Chef house -- probably part of the filming. The news of the "holiday challenge" was leaked by one of the guest judges (and Season 3 judge), Norm Van Aken, who also shared that the prize money was $20,000. At least Bravo's nice enough to give us SOMETHING to tide us over between Top Chef seasons!