Clang, clang, clang went the trolley, ding, ding, ding went the bell, zing zing zing went my heartstrings as the Top Chef Tour rolled into Soulard Market. St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, was the first stop on a 21 city tour of the Emmy Award winning reality show, Top Chef!
Over the next two months, I will be blogging from the road and sharing stories of our behind the scene shenanigans, our fine and not so fine dining experiences in every city and of course the great food that these amazing chefs are cooking during our demonstrations along with daily cooking tips from the chefs.
Season 6 favorite Eli Kirshstein and Season 4’s Nikki Cascone opened the tour in St. Louis to huge crowds and put on a great show. Eli taught the crowd how to make sausage meatballs while fielding questions about his relationship with Robin, and Nikki served up a tasty salmon dish proving that she is more than a human pasta machine. However, St. Louis will forever be remembered by Nikki, Eli and myself as a serious Eatfest. We began with a great Italian meal Tuesday night at Favazzo’s on the Hill complete with St. Louis’ famous fried ravioli’s and then topped off the evening with some famous frozen custard from Ted Drewes. Nikki and I have a Top Chef Tour tradition that we get Egg McMuffins prior to the first demo so we began our day with an Egg McMuffin and forced Eli to eat one as his initiation to the tour. We then continued on with Pizza for lunch. However, during the second demo, all Eli could talk about was trying a double down from KFC, which consists of two chicken patties serving as buns with bacon, cheese and special sauce in the middle. A very nice fan decided to bring Eli a double down for lunch and we all watched him eat it in amazement. Eli is now one up on Nikki and I.
After the demos, we made another stop at Ted Drewes for frozen custard. That evening the good people of St. Louis gave us tickets to a St. Louis Cardinals game where the Eatfest continued. After bratwurst, hot dogs, nachos supreme, chicken tenders and a few beers to wash it down, it was time to roll out of St. Louis before clogging our arteries anymore. Thanks St. Louis for being such great hosts and Top Chef: The Tour 3 is off to a great start! Next stop…Kansas City on Friday. I feel a song coming on!