Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bravo, Top Chef in New York

Ok, three nights in New York. Can't eat 6 courses every night, so I meet friend and fellow venture capitalist Brad for soba noodles in Soho--a famous place, I learn, called Honmura An. Good noodles, very good noodles actually and decent small plates too. But that's not the good part. I thought $80 for two, including two light beers was a bit steep for noodles, no matter how sublime.

Brad says he knows a place next door to get tea and dessert. Sounds a little Castro-district to me, but Brad doesn't ride that bike, so I say lets go. Two minutes later we enter a nearly empty Moroccon tea room. Casablanca is quite literally projecting on the white curtains and we are ordering mint tea and baklava, as the French police are busting into Rick's Bar high above us. But that's still not the good part. Well actually that was a pretty good part.

Then, at about ten o'clock, some vaguely familiar people stroll into the place each with respective entourage in tow (what is the plural for entourage?). They are, I am amazed to overhear, some of this season's contestants on Bravo's TOP CHEF. My wife and I are addicted to Top Chef, which rotates in production with what I think is the only other show on Bravo, Project Runway, which is also a Susan favorite. On Top Chef, 15 pro-am chef's, cooks, cafeteria workers etcetera each compete for circa 15 weeks for something like $100,000, a vending cart and a whisk. Anyway they are here--and now we are here--in an obscure Moroccan bar in SoHo to watch and drink through this week's episode. For me this a little like finding yourself watching the first screening of Star Wars, while sitting next to Jabba the Hut (I am sometimes told by strangers I look like either Bruce Willis or the young Jabba). What a hoot!

I engage the top chefs in idle banter and find out that this is the first time they have seen the actual edited production of the episode and by a vote of 2-1 consider it fairly true to what actually happened. None of them would reveal the outcome of the competition--apparently doing so results in the forfeiture of the whisk.

It turns out that Josie, Cliff, and Sam (the three TC contestants) respective followers consist of some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen--yes all three of them are surrounded by gorgeous women, especially Josie. Andy Warhol was right about each of us getting our 15 minutes of fame. What he didn't tell us is that after those 15 minutes are up, we will be surrounded for some longer period by gorgeous women, whether we like it or not. Is it just me or does this sound ominously like what al Qaeda tells its prospective suicide bombers.


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