Bienvienuto a Top Chef Tres: Mee-AH-mee!
I'll make you a deal: that will be the one and only Miami cliche or use of espanol in this space if Marcel will swear immediately to abandon his gangsta-rap dreams. That's all I ask. Seriously, duden the name of all that's holy, please stop. Now then, having gotten that off my chest: Hello, TC fans! Great to be here! This is the place you'll be turning to for the answers to the following questions: -Which chef from seasons 1 or 2 was a total diva during the shooting of the preview episode, 4-Star All Stars, last week!? - What was it like shooting TC3 in Miami? - And what the hell possessed me to wear that loud-as-hell, pink floral shirt in the All-Star episode last Wednesday, when I know good and well that pink ain't my color? (Hint: think TV producers...)
For now, though, I thought I'd update you all on what my Queer Eye castmates and I have been up to since we finished shooting and what's coming in the finale season later this year on Bravo? After we wrapped our 100th episode, QE finished production for good, and, to be honest, all five of us were happy about that. As much as we love the show, our crew, and each other, it was a very demanding job; it took almost a week just to make a single episode, which left precious little time for anything else over the past four years. None of us wanted to wax guys' backs for our entire careers. And besides, we got our Emmy. What more do ya want?!
So now, we're all off doing new projects like this one and looking forward to the 10-episode, finale season of Queer Eye, slated for later this year on Bravo. Watch for it! I think our last ten shows are some of the best we've ever made. And there's a very special episode, in which you'll get to see * lots* of your favorite straight guys from over the years. We really pulled out all the stops! Aside from guesting on "Top Chef," I'm the host/narrator of a new public television show called "Uncorked: Wine Made Simple," debuting in more than 150 markets this summer (check your local PBS listings!). It's a lavish, beautiful production. I'm also continuing to judge cooking elsewhere, including on a show that originated in Japan and runs on a cooking-related cable network (wink-wink). I'm developing a couple of shows of my own. And I continue to work promoting my cookbook, "The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes," which is available everywhere, including via this website or through Amazon.
'm also doing speaking engagements and cooking demos around the country (check my website, www.tedallen.net, for updates, and come say hi!), and I'm beginning my third year as the spokesman for Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines. RMPS and I will be hosting a fabulous hospitality suite at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic the second weekend in June, so stop by for a glass of our new Bordeaux-style blend, Vinetta!
My partner Barry and I are renovating a brownstone in Brooklyn, and grilling large on a gorgeous new Viking grill! Later in the month, we'll be cooking it up out back with Ming Tsai for an upcoming episode of his great PBS show "East Meets West." Meanwhile, Carson's got a show in the works and is selling bucketloads of his own line of clothes and accessories on QVC, Thom has a great new show called "Dress My Nest" on the Style Network, Kyan is working as a brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris, and Jai has moved to L.A., where he's appeared in "Celebrity Duets" and is auditioning for bigtime television stuff! Everybody is swell and happy.
Now. About "Top Chef" -- first of all, let me say that I was absolutely thrilled to get the call on my cell from Andy Cohen asking me to judge half the episodes on Season 3 -- thanks, Andy! (I'll be on every other show, starting with last week's preview.) Bravo and TC's production company, Magical Elves, had already been kind enough to bring me on as a guest judge for one episode in the first season, and two episodes in the second, which was great.
To alternate with Gail throughout this exciting new season gives me the chance to really sink my teeth into the game, to watch the arc across the days and weeks as the competitors get tougher, stronger, smarter or as they completely fall apart and begin backstabbing. Dee-licious! It also got me an enormous per diem! (Well, "enormous" is a strong word...) Still, I couldn't say no! Check back every Wednesday after the showI'll be dishing, I promise! For now, hasta la vista (Yeah, I lied about using Spanishand it's a safe bet that Marcel is still in da clubs, guzzling Cristal and throwing down on the dance floor.... shudder.) Word. See ya in episode 2 on June 20! --T