Who needs current episodes of Top Chef when you can stalk former cheftestants and out future ones? Let’s begin! Last night, Fork in the Road hit up Stephanie Izard’s demo at the Astor Center and found out that, when Tony Bourdain made an appearance after the first episode’s elimination challenge, she had a "little panic attack" that required medical attention. She’s over it now, though, and opening a "fun, funky gastro-pub" in Chicago next spring. Speaking of Chicago, Eater hears from two tipsters that Radhika Desai, of Wicker Park’s Between Boutique Café and Lounge, will be on the show next season.
Eater SF, meanwhile, hears from a “solid source” that two chefs from John Besh’s New Orleans restaurants (which include La Provence, Luke, Besh Steak, and his flagship, Restaurant August) will be on the show next season.
Back to the old-school: A smiley, happy Lisa Fernandes prepared a tasting menu for some Time Out contest winners. Though one of the diners unloaded a fried snapper dish on another, the meals were well received — especially a chocolate-chicory tart just added to the dessert menu at Mai House.
And finally, Ilan Hall gives Eater LA his definition of “old Jewish food date-raped by bacon” (what he told the Post he’d be preparing at his new L.A. spot, Gorbles), i.e. “bacon-wrapped matzo balls, lobster hummus, schmaltz and the like … The menu is inspired by food he ate with his family — his dad, born in Scotland, taught him how to cook; his mother is Israeli — and his travels since he won Top Chef (England, Israel, Venezuela, Romania, Spain).” Ilan hopes to open by New Year’s once he finds a space in downtown L.A., which he says “feels like New York 15 years ago.” Okay, buddy, if you want to be fifteen years behind the curve…
Lisa Fernandes, Winning Hearts [The Feed/TONY]
Top Chef Rumormongering: Two Besh Chefs on Season 5? [Eater SF]
Cooking with Stephanie Izard [Fork in the Road/Village Voice]
Top Chef Spoilage: Possible Chicago Chef Spotted [Eater]
Ilan Hall’s Gorbles: Details, Details [Eater LA]