A little Top Chef goodness…

A big kudos to Stephanie Izard – the first female winner to be awarded Top Chef! In last night’s Top Chef finale, Stephanie did a superb job with her dishes, and managed to stay focused during the evening’s nerve-rattling competition. Her items were simple and elegant, without over-fussing – her winning style throughout the series. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt to have handsome, award-winning Chef Eric Ripert as her Sous Chef, either!

Fellow contestant Richard Blais was a strong competitor throughout the series, but as Tony Bourdain pointed out on his own blog, the judges try to approach each challenge individually. Unfortunately, the final battle was not his best.

Baffled by her appearance in the top three, after only winning one competition and zero quick-fires, I was worried that Lisa Fernandes might just pull off a win for herself – she seemed right on task with all of her dishes and managed to keep level-headed as well. In the end, it may have been her sharp demeanor that sealed her fate.

In need of more Top Chef-ness while the show takes a summer hiatus?

The LA Times featured a short bit on judge (and former model) Padma Lakshmi this week. Lakshmi, who refers to herself in the article as ‘the anti-Martha Stewart’, released her second cookbook in late 2007, titled “Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet”, and will continue development on a new cooking and entertaining show.

Favorite snappy dresser, and fellow judge, Ted Allen is looking to spread his food wings as well. Starting July 29th, Ted will be hosting a new food science show on the Food Network called Food Detectives. The show plans to examine common myths about food.

“We’ve wanted to work with Ted for years on a series of his own and we’ve found a great fit in Food Detectives,” said Food Network programming executive Bob Tuschman. “Not only will this show provide a wealth of interesting information for our viewers, it also gives Ted an opportunity to show off his wit and culinary knowledge.”

Ted’s book, “The Food You Want To Eat”, is available on Amazon as well.

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