Top Chef hearts NOLA, we get it. Now can we have our own season?


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The finalists from Top Chef’s season 5 arrived in town for a January taping session at Commander’s Palace, and as with many residents who relocated here, they seemingly have been unable to leave since. In anticipation of their appearance at NOWFE's Saturday Grand Tasting, Hosea Rosenberg and Co. get their latest local fete with tomorrow’s “special soiree” at Zoë, the W Hotel eatery at which no local I’ve ever spoken with has dined. (Seriously, anyone? The place could be Per Se and who would know.)

How much of a shelf life does Rosenberg have, anyway? What started out as unwrapped uni is now looking like canned albacore staying power. Top Chef is a great show, and Rosenberg may be a great chef, but he’s likely the least convincing of its quintet of champions. By the finale, when you could practically taste head judge Tom Colicchio’s disdain for Stefan Richter’s feigned indifference toward everything but co-competitor (and vocal lesbian) Jamie Lauren, there was zero chance of the season’s actual top chef being crowned as such.
Lauren, Miami Goldilocks Jeff McInnis and Leah Cohen — the Scarsdaler/Marisa Tomei wannabe, and Rosenberg’s erstwhile friend-with-benefits — are the evening’s supporting cast. (Memo to Bravo for season 6: Leave The Hills to those people who think an amuse-bouche is some sort of foreplay.)
Tapas will be provided by the Zoë kitchen, so if nothing else it’s an opportunity, sans commitment, to sample the nebulous restaurant’s wares. Alliterate away, Zagat:

The “beautiful, contemporary” setting and “creative”, “delicious” fare at this Contemporary Louisianan in the CBD’s W hotel make it a chic destination for the business lunch set; some sniff at its high-end “chain” trappings, however, calling it “mediocre” and “somewhat pretentious.”

Well, that really doesn’t help at all, does it.


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