Sam Talbot grinds with his pepper mill.Photo: Getty Images Eater today announced a “Win a Date With Sam Talbot,” contest, posting some smokin’ photos of Hot Chef Sam Talbot taken for a charity event, the Glad Steamiest Chef Contest. (Grub Street’s pal Aaron Sanchez is also one of the steamy nominees.) The Eater-sponsored date is not sanctioned by Talbot, but editor Ben Leventhal thinks he can convince Talbot to participate with “a hot photo and the right cover letter.” But is the whole exercise just an excuse for Leventhal to proclaim his man-crush on Talbot from the rooftops of the Internet?
Eater’s commenters certainly think so: “Ben, please stop trying to disguise your crush on Sam by hating on him. I’m embarrassed for you. It’s a little 3rd grade, don’t you think?” says one reader. “I’d enter to win the date, but I think Ben wants Sam all to himself,” suggests another. We asked Leventhal for a response to these incendiary allegations of unrequited love, but he didn’t answer our e-mail. Perhaps he’s letting his own comment to the Talbot post stand alone: “To think that once upon a time Eater didn’t accept comments. What fun that was.” —Aileen Gallagher