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ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett and RedEye
Demi and Ashton. Kim and Kris. Celebrity breakups are hard, but nothing was harder to watch on last week's episode of "Top Chef: Texas" than the separation of Chris Jones and Richie Farina, the two fun-loving chefs from Homaro Cantu's wacky fine-dining restaurant Moto who cracked "Star Wars" references, sported short-sleeve work shirts instead of chef's whites and hoped to take first and second place in the show. They goof around like brothers, but have an obvious mutual respect and fierce loyalty for each other.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2013 | By Lisa Arnett, @redeyeeatdrink
"Top Chef" Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard has been pretty busy lately, what with the opening of Little Goat and an appearance on the show's latest season based in Seattle -- not to mention sporting the best smile among Chicago's celeb chefs ( more on that here ). When the Bravo crew comes to Chicago on Feb. 24 to host a casting call for the show's 11th season, it will be held at Izard's West Loop restaurant, Girl & the Goat . Other restaurants affiliated with past cheftestants are also serving as host venues for casting calls, including an Austin call on Feb. 11 at Uchiko (where "Top Chef: Texas" winner Paul Qui worked)
NEWS
February 29, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett, RedEye
The final showdown on "Top Chef: Texas" pitted a Texan against a Chicagoan raised in Texas. And sorry to disappoint, y'all, but it was Austin-based chef Paul Qui who won the title on Wednesday's finale over Chicagoan chef Sarah Grueneberg of award-winning Gold Coast restaurantSpiaggia. "I think in nine seasons and 'All-Stars,' this was the best food we've seen in the finale," judge Tom Colicchio said. "In the end, this was about as close as it can get. " The chef's final challenge was to prepare a four-course meal for their dream restaurant, with not just judges but also their families in attendance.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2012 | By Erin Gibbons and For RedEye
Chuy Valencia, one of six Chicago chefs to compete on Season 9 of the Bravo reality TV show"Top Chef," is taking a “sabbatical.” Valencia said he is selling his shares of Chilam Balam (3023 N. Broadway), the seasonal, small-plates Mexican restaurant where he's been co-owner and chef since 2009, to pursue other interests, which include a new restaurant and a book project. Valencia is teaming up with coffeehouse entrepreneur Philip Tadros (Dollop, Kickstand) on a new concept that he describes as “a really hearty, Midwest, but kind of modern-day Chicago take on diner classics and cafeteria food.” The spot will fresh-roast coffee up front, operate a two-kettle brewery in back, and serve up old-school dishes like buttered noodles, lasagna, patty melts and meatball sandwiches, cafeteria-style (and undoubtedly updated)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2012 | By Erin Gibbons and For RedEye
They both made Chicago proud on Bravo reality TV show “Top Chef.” They both became known on said show for saying exactly what was on their minds. And now Dale Levitski and Chuy Valencia are both bringing their colorful personalities and inventive food to a stretch of North Broadway in Lakeview that's ready for a breath of fresh air. Last week, Sprout executive chef Levitski opened French-American bistro Frog N Snail (3124 N. Broadway) with partner Mike Causevic. Valencia, who until recently was the chef at Chilam Balam (3023 N. Broadway)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2012 | By Kate Bernot, RedEye
Editor's Note:  In the time since our review, Bonsoiree has closed. Review: Bonsoiree 2728 W. Armitage Ave. 773-486-7511 Rating: 2.5 stars (out of four) Take it or leave it Beverly Kim was perhaps the most controversial contestant on "Top Chef: Texas" earlier this year. Despite her quiet and seemingly sensitive personality, Kim at times became a target of other chefs' frustration. Though some fans felt she was picked on, she made it to the respectable final four, and now has an entire restaurant, Bonsoiree, to call her own. Last week, the small-but-celebrated Logan Square spot reopened with a completely new menu, which Kim hopes has her name written all over it. "Top Chef" challenges are full of wacky rules - cooking on a ski lift, anyone?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett
If the ending of "Top Chef: Texas" has you starved for Chicago chefs on TV, you'll get your fix on a new cooking-centric Bravo show coming later this spring. "Around the World in 80 Plates" is set to fill that 9 p.m. Wednesday void starting May 9. Curtis Stone and Cat Cora host this travel/cooking show that has been described as a combination of "Top Chef" and"Amazing Race. " The cast of 12 features three Chicago-based chefs: The Drawing Room executive chef Nick Lacasse, Table Fifty-Two executive sous chef John Vermigilo and private chef Gary Walker.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett
Recently opened Chicago restaurant Quay will get the Food Network treatment when it's featured on new docu-series “Chef Hunter” on Thursday. The show follows culinary recruiter Carrie McCully as she helps find the right chef for six different restaurants around the country. An earlier episode ended with the hiring of "Top Chef: Nyesha Arrington, who is also currently on “Top Chef: Texas.” at Wilshire, a restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. Though Food Network would not reveal the two final chef candidates featured on the show, Chicago magazine has reported that they are Dan Marquis, who has worked at Pasha and Grocery Bistro, and Cara Thompson.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2011 | By Lisa Arnett and Emily Van Zandt and RedEye
The West Loop has long been considered a dining and nightlife destination - hello, Randolph Street Restaurant Row! - but next year, even more big-name chefs are due to fill in the neighborhood's vacant storefronts. "[Randolph Street is] easily the coolest restaurant street in the country, not just Chicago," said Graham Elliot , who is opening a restaurant this spring at 841 W. Randolph St. "And then one street over is Lake, with Vera and other restaurants, and then you've got Fulton Market with Next and Moto and the Publican, so it's a killer little area and I'm a huge advocate of the free market.
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