There are spoilers about Top Chef and Work of Art in this blog, so don't continue reading if you missed last night's episodes.
First let's discuss Top Chef and the shocking elimination of one of the strongest chefs on the show, Kenny. I gather from your tweets that you agree with Kevin that Alex should've gone. As Tom pointed out on HIS twitter last night, Alex was on the winning team so he wasn't up for elimination. I saw the judge's yesterday and they were comparing Kenny's dismissal to Tre's shocker a few seasons ago -- also in Restaurant Wars -- when he (like Kenny) was Exec Chef AND put out a bad dish. It is upsetting, but fair.
The personality of this season is different than almost any we've done since the early years in that it really is anybody's game, and some strong chefs start pulling ahead and finding their inner chef now that Kenny is gone. The way this season plays out is something of a roller-coaster. The competition is heating up.
Last night was a fantastic party and screening at the Brooklyn Museum to celebrate the Work of Art finale. Pretty much the whole cast (minus two) was there along with China, Simon, exec Producer Sarah Jessica Parker, former guest judges (like Andreas Serrano), the Countess and her boyfriend (her niece is Nicole who almost made it to the finale!), and all the judges. The energy in the room was electric -- the artists were all in great form and everybody was riding the wave of a great first season of a super show. The critics love this one and I do too; and if you haven't seen the current TIME magazine, it's worth checking out their three-page spread detailing what a stir the show is causing in the art community.
China introduced the screening and everyone watched the show together with much laughter, applause, and tears. After it was over, Abdi got up and made an emotional, straight-from-the-heart speech. I was especially happy to hear his great praise for the dedication of all involved towards getting this show RIGHT. And I think we did. And I think anyone in the art world who has something else to say should take their heads out of their asses and be happy for the existence of a show that is inspiring discussion and debate about art.
In terms of the final collections, I saw them at Phillips and as much as I loved Abdi's and Miles', Peregrine's was my favorite. She, by the way, looked adorable last night in a little pink sequined dress a friend had made her the night before. (SJP was kvelling over the frock.) I loved talking to Abdi's mom, who seems as genuine and great a person as you could meet.
After the party, Bill Powers directed everyone to a bar on 2nd Avenue called Lit. The music was great; everybody from in front and behind the camera was there with much whiskey and dancing and it was a great celebration. We left somewhere between 1 and 2 and it was such a gorgeous, alive NYC night that we walked home It was a good night to be in New York.