Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(Top Chef) Master of His Domain!

(Photo: Rick Bayless)

Felicidades to the first-ever Top Chef Master Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill/Topolobampo), you make Chicago proud!

While Bayless himself gushed out only two words on Twitter—"Party's starting!"—his fans had plenty to say about his big win:

asupsiri: "Rick Bayless: the Top Chef Master!! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy - and gotta love that he reps both Mexican cuisine and Chicago!!"

The scene from Frontera Grill during the finale party—from Bayless's iPhone. (Photo: Rick Bayless)

HitnRunTony: "Fuck yeah! Chicago's own, The king of Mexican cuisine Rick Bayless is The Top Chef Master. He said it himself 'VIVA MEXICO!'"

bitchyshitty: "New food guy crush: Rick Bayless."

cacoperez: "Very good finish to Top Chef Masters. Rick Bayless was the winner. I'm finally going to try Frontera Grill in a couple of weeks."

Bayless at celebratory party at Frontera Grill, telling guests that it took him 20 years to learn the mole recipe. (Photo: Ellen Malloy)

Mario_10: "All three Top chef masters were brilliant but Rick Bayless is 1 step ahead. Love the fact that Rick is genuine and loves da Mexican culture."

marycaryne: "Congratulations to Rick Bayless for winning Top Chef Master and $100,000 for the Frontera Farmer Foundation!!!"

TallGrassBeef: "Congratulations to our good friend Rick Bayless, the winner of Top Chef Master tonight! Way to go!"

Ladygourmet: "Yay for Rick Bayless and his victory in the Top Chef Masters competition!"

Check out the Chicago Tribune's story on Bayless's win here.

Two Chicago chefs host The Big Ten Cookout

Julius Russell, new co-host for "The Big Ten Cookout" (Photo: Big Ten Network)

It's a touchdown for Chicago!

This fall, not one, but two local chefs have been tapped by the Big Ten Network to bring an exciting gourmet twist to the typical tailgaiting party.

Julius Russell of A Tale of Two Chefs and former Rhapsody chef Ben Walanka—who made it to the finals on FOX's Hell's Kitchen—will host The Big Ten Cookout on Saturday mornings beginning Sept. 5.

Ben Walanka, new co-host for "The Big Ten Cookout" (Photo: Big Ten Network)

Each week, the chefs join different tailgaters and taste their dishes and then try to enhance and introduce them to clever ways to better feed their teams.

I'm not much of a football fan, but I'll certainly tune it to see what they whip up!

Check your local listings for channels/schedule.

Radhika rocks Kit Kat for Top Chef parties

(Photo: Radhika Desai)

Look for a familiar face at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club during the next Top Chef season, beginning tonight.

Radhika Desai, former chef at Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge, competed last season when the show took place in New York.

She'll host weekly viewing parties at the offbeat Lakeview eatery that'll include cocktail demos, Q&As and the show on five large screens with sound. For the season premiere, she'll shake up The Slumdog, that's made with Goslings Rum, pineapple juice, fresh mint and candied ginger. Of course, Kit Kat's offering free samples of the cocktail, plus half-price martinis and buy-one-get-one entrees.

Premiere night includes Radhika's demo (8-9pm), followed by the premiere of Top Chef: Las Vegas (8-9pm), Top Chef Masters Finale (9-10pm) and finally the Q&A (10pm).

Also look forward to special guest appearances at upcoming viewing parties by former Top Chef contenders Jill Snyder, Lauren Hope and Ariane Duarte.

Mr. Skin party doesn't disappoint

For those of you who missed Mr. Skin's 10th anniversary party Tuesday at Roof, here's a highlight. (Photo: floozefactor/Flickr)