- Tiffany Derry, Spike Mendelsohn, Carla Hall
- Gail Simmons
- Casey Thompson
- Tiffany Derry
- Tony Mantuano
- Tiffani Faison
- Bethenny Frankel
- 312 Dining Diva Audarshia Townsend and Spike Mendelsohn
- Stephanie Izard and Eater Chicago editor Ari Bendersky
- Carla Hall, Gail Simmons and Bethenny Frankel doing a live check-in
- Tiffani Faison, CS editor Korey Karnes Huyler, Tiffany Derry
Top Chef finale party [Red Carpet photos: Timothy Hiatt Photography; Inside: James Goeke]
If things were tense during the actual final round of Top Chef, you wouldn't know it by the party going on inside the Girl & The Goat.
Last night, Bravo and many of its reality stars descended upon Chicago and packed into season four winner Stephanie Izard's West Loop restaurant for a Top Chef finale soiree. The network took over the space and more or less turned it into Club Bravo, removing the furniture and replacing it with photo stations, swanky lounges, a karaoke booth and TVs throughout. Guests snacked on bites from Izard's kitchen as well as four dishes featured on the finale, including Richard Blais' raw hamachi with fried veal sweetbreads and Mike Isabella's braised pork shoulder.
But it was more about the star wattage Bravo brought in for the party. Gail Simmons hosted the party while Padma Lakshmi and Andy Cohen hosted similar parties in LA and NY simultaneously. Many of the contestants from Top Chef All-Stars were flown in including Carla Hall, Tiffany Derry, Spike Mendelsohn, Casey Thompson and Tiffani Faison. Dale Levitski arrived following a private party at his restaurant, Sprout, and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano held court and smiled all night.
Bethenny Frankel, from Bethenny Ever After, supplied her Skinnygirl margaritas, and the entire cast of Real Housewives of Atlanta for some reason were also there. While the Top Chef crew mingled and schmoozed with the crowd all night, Frankel mainly kept to herself and the Housewives, with the exception of Sheree Whitfield, couldn't be bothered to talk to anyone but themselves.
If you think watching a show with a couple hundred people is easy, think again. Between the food, drinks and stars, distractions abounded. But in the end, as the announcement was about to take place, a hush came over the room, which was quickly replaced by cheers as soon as Blais was named Top Chef. Clearly he was the favorite and Izard even said Blais had to win or else he would've been a wreck. We think his head may have exploded. Now that would be reality TV.