Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Notes From: Spiaggia's 'Top Chef' Finale Party

(Photos: 312 Dining Diva)

Spiaggia's Sarah Grueneberg skyped into her finale party twice Wednesday as fans anxiously waited to find out who won Top Chef Texas. It was held in Spiaggia's private events space on the third floor.


• Grueneberg's favorite cocktail, the Agrumi of Hendrick's gin, Prosecco, pineapple juice and fresh ginger syrup, was served at the party. Guests also enjoyed house-made salumi, charcuterie, fresh mozzarella and pastries.


• A number of high-profile, Chicago-based chefs came out to show their support for Grueneberg—even though she was in New York for the finale—including her former Top Chef opponents Chris Jones and Richie Farina of Moto (photo above); Bill Kim and Yvonne Cadiz-Kim of Urban Belly; Kevin Hickey of Allium and Giuseppe Tentori of Boka/GT Fish & Oyster. Master mixologist Adam Seger also made a cameo.


• Approximately 200 people showed up to support Grueneberg in her quest to become the next Top Chef. By the end of the night, $3,200 had been raised for The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

• Read Top Chef judge Gail Simmons' recap of the finale at, where she breaks down each dish. Best quote from her recap: "Sarah's first course—the spot prawn tartar over this gorgeous squid ink pasta—was just beautiful. It had heat, it had sweetness from the prawns, and the pasta, in Sarah's signature style, was perfect. I thought it was such a successful dish."

• Look for Grueneberg to soon feature her entire finale menu at Spiaggia, including the squid ink pasta. It's guaranteed to sell out!

• And one more thing: Kathy Simko, Grueneberg's future mother-in-law (Grueneberg's engaged to The Purple Pig sous chef Jaime Canete), told the audience that the judges really wanted to declare a tie, but Bravo wouldn't allow it.

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