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While everyone's pulling out his best Tom Colicchio face and judging Richard Blais and Michael Isabella's four-course menu (Blais, you should have went with the Cap'n Crunch ice cream) on last night's Top Chef finale, we are scoping out all of the hotels featured on the all-stars competition.
The last two cheftestants were left to duke it out over the stove in the Bahamas. Of course, they holed up on the island's hotel-for-the-stars, The Cove Atlantis. The chefs, who stayed in an earth-toned suite with floor-to-ceiling windows, each chose one of the 21 Atlantis restaurants in which to set up their own one-night-only eateries.
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Chefs / Top Chef / Michael Voltaggio / Langham Hotels / Pasadena Hotels / → All Tags
Now that Top Chef champ Michael Voltaggio has left and the renovations are done, the Langham Huntington, Pasadena will reopen the Dining Room October 22, rechristened as The Royce.
But the restaurant's name isn't the only change diners will see. David Féau, who was executive chef of L.A.'s Cafe Pinot, will be manning the stoves here. And while Féau isn't a tatted-up reality TV star, he does have the cooking cred: He trained under noted chef Guy Savoy and was executive chef of Le Miravile, a Michelin Star-rated restaurant in Paris.
When we wrote about The Dining Room restaurant at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena in September, we thought because Top Chef contestant Michael Voltaggio had been announced as the chef de cuisine that there was no way he could be the winner of the cooking competition, since most winners take the prize money to open a restaurant themselves.
Well, we're eating our words right now for breakfast. With some tabasco sauce and tempura hash browns. But we then wondered, how much longer will he be at the hotel?
A rep for the Langham told us that Chef Voltaggio is still going to be cooking at the hotel Tuesday-Saturday nights. There are no further changes expected at The Dining Room until sometime in the second quarter of the year when they begin a renovation.
But for now, Voltaggio is all yours and word is he changes the menu daily. Room rates at the Langham for tomorrow night, when Voltaggio will be cooking, start at $229 for a deluxe king room stay.
Top Chef fans are licking their chops in anticipation of tonight's season 6 finale, one of the fiercest food fights in TC history. The Voltaggio brothers Bryan and Michael face off against one another, along with Kevin Gillespie, the man behind the famous beard. We found some places where you can catch the action with some TC alums and see who will be crowned top toque.
Surprisingly, the M Resort, the setting for most of the Vegas-set show, isn't hosting any TC finale events. Maybe the hotel felt snubbed by the lack of name-dropping it received on the show? Never fear, here are some places that are giving the Bravo show some love.
Top Chef and wine country fans alike will be happy to hear this insider scoop we were passed along: This season's finale was shot in one of Northern California's culinary havens, Healdsburg. Those in the know have long been trekking to Healdsburg to eat at restaurants like Cyrus, which one of our close friends—a nearby Sonoma resident—counts as one of her favorite places to dine. It was at Cyrus that part of the finale was shot, according to our channels.
With all of this Top Chef love being thrown Healdsburg's way, we thought it might be an appropriate time to list some hotel options for foodies whose trips are centered around tasting, sipping, and even gorging in extreme cases.
We've heard a lot of good things about Hotel Healdsburg—once again from Northern Californian natives who know the hotel and restaurant scene well. It's the home of Dry Creek Kitchen, which where chef and TC guest judge Charlie Palmer has made his name. One of the biggest events that the hotel hosts is Parker's annual "Pigs and Pinot" weekend, set to return in March of 2010, and involves exactly what the name implies: a helluva lotta Pinot Noir and pork goodness, with real-life top chefs contributing to the benefit weekend. Booking early for the popular event is a smart call.
We love the newest season of Top Chef for many reasons but namely because it takes place in Vegas and our baby sibling, VegasChatter gets tickled to see Vegas restaurants and chefs featured each week.
But we also love it because several of the chefs are working at hotel restaurants including one talented punk rocker chef, Michael Voltaggio, who is now the chef de cuisine at Dining Room at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. He's also one of the fiercely competitive brothers on the show. Did you see the daggers he gave his older bro after Bryan won the last challenge? Oooweee.
From the hotel's website:
Chef de Cuisine Michael Voltaggio’s celebrated style is described as new American cuisine using classic discipline and modern trends, and he delights in utilizing the bounty of seasonal produce that California offers while showcasing the best quality ingredients from around the globe.
Top Chef / Hotel Restaurants / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Celebrity Cehfs / Jenny Carroll / Eric Ripert / → All Tags
Top Chef’s Season 6 in Las Vegas may have started out with two Jennifers, but the one left standing after two episodes is Jenny Carroll from the kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. For those of you just catching up on the season, she’s the blond one, not the one with those scary earlobe-stretching rings.
This Philly native studied her craft at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in her hometown, and now works as the Chef de Cuisine at 10 Arts by Eric Ripert. That means she does the real work in the kitchen every night. Ripert handpicked her from his staff at New York’s famed Le Bernardin to lead his team at his new digs at the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton right across from City Hall.
Blogger All Purpose Dark kindly sent over the link to her party report from Art Basel. And she got some good scoop. Starting off with what she overheard sexy hotelier Andre Balazs saying at the Raleigh Hotel for Kelly Klein's book party.
Highlight: Overhearing Balazs say to someone: "You can do that, you have a real house. I have a shack." Of course he does.
Hmm...what shack could he be talking about? The Maison Tropicale? Or could it be that he really has a shack somewhere? (Note: AB's version of a "shack" is probably still bigger than our apartment.)
More party report after the jump.
Sneak Peek / Inside SLS / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Openings / Los Angeles Hotels / Jose Andres / Top Chef / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
This is the second part of a three-part series on the SLS Hotel.
Much like the guest rooms inside the hotel, The Bazaar changes all your preconceived notions about a hotel restaurant. For starters, it's actually three restaurants. There's Bar Centro, Pâtisserie, and Rojo y Blanco. In addition, there is a Moss custom-curated retail area where guests can purchase eclectic pieces which are all on display in free-standing glass vitrines.
Walking through the Bazaar is no easy feat. Not because you can't make your way past stuff but because you can't make your way past all the stuff without stopping to stare and look at it. Like the dark-humored mobile that hangs from the ceiling of a hideaway nook and features plastic guns. Or the wall of shelves with dozen of photographs of the back of people's heads. And like the rest of the hotel, the furniture is Starck-inspired (remember this man loves chairs) and almost every piece, whether it's a lamp, chair, ottoman or vase, is different from the next.
In short, Bazaar is quite bizarre.
Wanna be Top Chefs, knives at the ready!
Another hotel has partnered with a magazine: Loews is sponsoring a contest with Food & Wine.
If you've got a knack for creating bite-sized snacks, Loews Hotels wants you:
Loews Hotels is looking for recipes that capture a full spectrum of flavors in a single BITE/BYTE to be enjoyed while on your laptop and will be offered at reasonable prices. Entries must be created with the following in mind: - easily eaten in 1 bite (3-5 pieces per order) - designed to be served with a bamboo spear or a pick without the need for forks and knives - avoid overly expensive ingredients - avoid labor intensive techniques - create with a production scale of 100 pieces at a minimum
If the judges like your byte, it will be featured on the forthcoming, ominous sounding Bytes Menu that will accompany free WiFi in the lobbies. Woo! Plus, you'll get a free trip for two to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the opportunity to showcase your recipe at the Grand Tasting Tent. Basically, a wanna be Top Chef's dream.
Selections will be judged by none other than Top Chef's Gail Simmons and Loews Chairman and CEO, Jonathan Tisch.
Gather up bamboo spears and 100 of your closest friends and start cooking. Submissions are due here by November 15.
Faithful Top Chef viewers (or dedicated Padma Lakshmi oglers) may remember CJ (Chris Jacobson) as the absurdly tall, absurdly handsome Season 3 chef who -- spoiler! -- was doing really well in the competition until a particularly disastrous "broccolini" dish sent him packing. Of course, his departure was sealed with a kiss by guest judge Anthony Bourdain, who went through the trouble of gently letting CJ know that his dish "wasn't fit to serve in prison."
But still, we know in our heart of hearts that our big tall kitchen-man is an all-star chef when broccoli isn't involved -- and CJ, who was also a pro volleyball player, definitely knows healthy food.
Apparently, the Hilton Garden Inn chain agrees with us because they commissioned him to design some items for their brand new Big Day Breakfast Menu. Ahem, sorry: "BIG DAY Breakfast" Menu.
Check out highlights from the new menu after the jump. Hint: there does not appear to be any broccoli, but there IS brisket.
Top Chef / TV Set Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel News / Affinia Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Reality Shows / → All Tags
We love the reality show Top Chef on Bravo and it doesn't hurt that the show always has some hotel element that we can grok about. Like Season Three when the contestants shacked up at the Fontainebleau in Miami.
Now for the fifth season, the show is headed back to New York City and The Benjamin Hotel in Midtown East will play a big role.