By all accounts Top Chef: The Cruise's maiden voyage was a huge success, but perhaps by no one more than Sarah Tedford, of Clarksville, TN, who just got engaged to her boyfriend of four years, Joe Kozlowski, of New Milford, CT on the cruise!
The couple met online four years ago (Patti Stanger would be so proud!) Sarah would get out of nursing class late and Joe would cook her dinner... and watch Top Chef! According to Sarah, "Joe's really creative in the kitchen and loves to cook. Even now we make sure to watch the show together on DVR (our schedules can be a little tricky at that hour.)"
So, how did they end up on the cruise?
Sarah exclusively tells The Dish:
[Joe's] 40th birthday was last September and I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to get him. I wanted it to be something memorable and special. I don't even know how I came across it, but I found the website for the Top Chef cruise and knew I had found the perfect gift. I think Top Chef Masters was on at the time and they started running the screen crawls a few weeks before his birthday. When we would watch the show I just hoped he wouldn't notice it and say anything. Luckily he didn't, so on his birthday I made him a scrapbook with our travel information and pictures of the chefs that would be there. He was totally excited.
Fast forward to the cruise...
Sarah tells us, "We had a great time. I had thought about how it would be the perfect time for a proposal and it is something we had talked about, but I honestly didn't really expect it to happen. I asked Joe and he says that he had been thinking about doing it for awhile, but right now we work sort of crazy schedules so we see each other at odd times. He planned to do it on Captain's Night, but halfway through the 11:30 Quickfire I had hit the wall of being awake. The next day was our day in Cozumel, and that night was Dining in the Dark, and afterward Joe wanted to get some coffee, but I told him I had to go floss before anything else would happen. We go back to the room and after I'm finished with my dental care he asks me to come lie on the bed with him. I go over and he says, "You know I really do want to marry you." And I think I said that I wanted to marry him as well. We then went downstairs to celebrate with a drink and that when we ran into Max and Leah who we had met at dinner that night."
We wondered how Sarah shared the news with her loved ones. Communicating with the outside world on a ship can be somewhat difficult.
Sarah said, "We had thought about going to the computer center and changing our status to 'Engaged' on Facebook, but I knew there were some people to I wanted to actually tell first. I'm proud to say that Hubert Keller was the third person I told. Incidentally, Joe and I would be very happy to have him DJ our reception. Anyway, once we were back in Miami, Joe was able to tell his parents and I was able to tell my best friend."
They set their date for December 14th, which is also Sarah's grandmother's birthday. "I don't know how we are going to incorporate Top Chef other than having good food," said Sarah. "And any of the Top Chefs who would like to cater, I would be happy to talk with them. Or really they could attend as well."
Oh, and before we forget... here's the beautiful ring!
Mazel tov to the happy couple!