All apologies...for my absence. I have been on vacation for the past two weeks in Mexico, without copies of Top Chef and limited access to E-mail. I'll try and cover as much about the second half of Restaurant Wars as I can from memory.
OK, second half of Restaurant Wars (also known as "The Return of Top Sommelier"): I was actually really psyched to see Stephen again in Miami after seeing him briefly for the Smackdown Episode (I was not allowed to socialize with Season One and Season Two during that time). Those of you who are familiar with him from Season One probably have formed a few opinions, as did I at the time, but in getting to know him after the show, he has become a great friend. Stephen is extremely talented in the kitchen, but is more overly ambitious and gifted, and I am positive is well on his way to becoming a great restaurateur.
So, the question was whether the team who won the Quickfire benefit or be hindered by Stephen and his expertise. I thought it would be the former, granted the team's front-of-the-house manager would know how to work with him. I will admit, I remember clearly (as if it were yesterday) going through Restaurant Wars with Stephen. Not so much fun. But he has matured in many ways since the airing of our episode, and this time around he had no other responsibility than to match and pour the wines.