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Top Chef is Coming



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When I heard Top Chef finalist C.J. was coming to Minneapolis for a $175-per-person Beard House–fundraising dinner at 20.21 on May 1, my feelings were…nothing.

I’m not a big Top Chef fan. I like it okay, but a lot of the time, product placement seems the main point of the show. If I hear “Glad Wrap” or “Breville blender” more than 60 times in the space of an hour, every cell in my body compels me to leave the room to load the dishwasher. Now, I realize I’m completely alone in these feelings. To gauge real interest in a local Top Chef event, I decided to ask Terri Ann.

I work with Terri Ann, and if she’s not the biggest Top Chef fan in Minneapolis, I’ll eat some Glad Wrap. How big a fan is she? She has traveled to New York City to visit Top Chef restaurants—twice. She’s been to Perilla, the West Village restaurant run by Top Chef season-one winner, Harold Dieterle, and to Crave, the restaurant on 42nd Street opened by the third runner-up of season one, David Martin. “The thing with Top Chef is, that, watching the show, you get the visual of the seeing the food,” Terri Ann tells me. “You also get to hear what the judges say. But going to the actual restaurant means you can taste the food and say, ‘It doesn’t just look pretty, it tastes good, too.’” For instance, at Crave, Terri Ann got to try a black-truffle macaroni and cheese that was featured on the show. “I was ready to lick the bowl clean,” she says. “I would go back to that restaurant just to have the macaroni and cheese. Luckily, the bowl had steep sides so you couldn’t lick it clean. That would be kind of embarrassing.”

Typically, Terri Ann watches each episode twice: once when it broadcasts, after which she e-mails her friends about it, and then again on the weekend with her dad. She keeps up with the Top Chef judges’ blogs, and at Christmas last year, she downloaded the holiday menu of Tre Wilcox (a season-three finalist), and made it for her family holiday feast: “They were pretty patient with me. I did some of the plating and everything.”

So, would Terri Ann, the biggest Top Chef fan in town, pay $175 to attend this fundraiser for the Beard Foundation, which is helmed by Top Chef–finalist C.J. and 20.21 chef Asher Miller? The press release promises that the night “will begin with an elegant reception, featuring unique hors d’oeuvres creations served with a complementary wine selection. An innovative, one-of-a-kind dinner will follow, throughout which chefs Jacobson and Miller will engage the audience and share their gastronomical insights in an intimate and exclusive setting, as guests enjoy several meticulously crafted courses paired with an assortment of carefully selected wines.”

Says Terri Ann? No. “For $75, I would definitely go,” she says. “But for $175, I’d kind of need to know they were going to end homelessness or something. I did really want to try C.J.’s seafood sausage, though. That sounded amazing.”

Well, what’s your price seafood sausage? If $175 sounds about right, buy tickets at: celebritycheftour.com

It’s all for a good cause. And when you get home, drop us a note. We’re dying to know how it went.
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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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