‘Top Chef’ Classes All Set at the Astor Center

It's like the show — but more expensive!
It’s like the show — but more expensive!

Forget the Top Chef truck. Likewise with the book, sudoku game, and all the other ubiquitous Top Chef paraphernalia. The Astor Center will be hosting a series of Culinary Institute of America–sponsored Top Chef classes with former cheftestants, including Sam Talbot, this year’s winner, Stefanie Izard, Casey Thompson (presumably not teaching knife skills), Dale Talde (presumably not teaching kitchen etiquette), and other show alumni. The first class, Thompson’s, is scheduled for July 7, and like all the classes, will cost $195. For that, you get a demo, a three-course menu, a cocktail, a book, and the chance to ask if Padma Lakshmi really does get baked all the time. The full press release, below.

New York, NY, June 12, 2008 – Fans of Bravo’s Emmy-nominated television series, Top Chef, will have a unique opportunity to learn the culinary arts from their favorite contestants this summer. Through a special partnership between The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college, and Bravo comes Top Chef: The Class @ the CIA. This new series of courses will give Top Chef fans and food enthusiasts the opportunity to watch their favorite Top Chef contestants in action as they create personal recipes at the CIA at Astor Center in downtown Manhattan.

Top Chef: The Class @ the CIA will feature eight separate demonstration classes led by a chef from the Top Chef series. Classes run from 6:30–9:30 p.m. and will be held July 7, 14, and 21; August 4, 18, and 25; and September 8 and 15. Top Chef personalities leading the classes include CIA alumni Marcel Vigneron ‘02, Dale Talde ‘98 and Jennifer Biesty ‘92 plus Casey Thompson, Dale Levitski, Sam Talbot and Tre Wilcox. Also teaching a very special class will be the winner of Top Chef Season 4.

“For Top Chef fanatics, this new CIA series is a dream come true,” said Laura Pickover ‘95, director of food enthusiast programs at The Culinary Institute of America. “No other culinary school will be offering this one-of-a-kind exclusive series with Top Chef contestants. Dedicated foodies will have a front-row seat as these superstars of the kitchen create the type of magic that originally made them Top Chef fan favorites. “Since the winners of the first three Top Chef seasons were CIA alumni,” Ms. Pickover added, “it made sense that CIA was the organization selected to create these Top Chef culinary classes.”

“‘Top Chef’ fans are true foodies who will be able to embrace the show as well as the skills they tune-in for every week through this terrific collaboration,” said Ellen Stone, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Bravo. “We are very excited to work with such a well-known and distinguished organization.”

Enrollment for Top Chef: The Class @ the CIA is limited to 36 attendees per class. Tuition is $195 per person.

Each chef will prepare a signature dish which appears in the Top Chef cookbook, plus two complementary dishes. Attendees will savor tastings of all meals prepared, plus a specialty cocktail paired with the dishes. All attendees of Top Chef: The Class @ the CIA will receive a copy of the newly released Top Chef: The Cookbook which they can have their favorite chef sign. The fun and informative program will feature a question-and-answer period that will allow attendees to quiz the Top Chefs.

Top Chef is the #1 rated food show on cable television.

Related: Grub Street’s Complete Top Chef Coverage

‘Top Chef’ Classes All Set at the Astor Center