01:56 PM EDT 11/19/2014
Originally posted 02/29/2012 11:30PM
The heat was on Wednesday night for the Top Chef: Texas finale as two contestants – Paul Qui and Sarah Grueneberg – battled it out in Vancouver to determine who would ultimately come out on top.
The chefs were asked to prepare four courses of their choice for 100 diners and the panel of judges, with the help of some familiar faces. Paul enlisted Barbara Lynch, Ty-Lor Boring, Chris Crary and Keith Rhodes, while Sarah had the help of Nyesha Arrington, Tyler Stone, Heather Terhune and Grayson Shmitz in the kitchen.
And if it were up to People.com readers, Qui would persevere: He polled far ahead of his competitor, with 90% of readers voting that he deserved to take the Top Chef title.
Sarah, however, has been formidable competitor throughout the season, collecting thousands of dollars and big wins in elimination challenges.
Both, interestingly, also have a connection to the Lone Star State. Paul currently cooks in Austin and Sarah, who now lives in Chicago, was born in Texas.
So who won in the end? Keep reading to find out:
Originally posted 02/23/2012 12:50PM
After toiling away in snowy Vancouver in a series of physical challenges – even, at one point, shooting for their ingredients last week – three contestants were left standing at the beginning of Wednesday's Top Chef.
Warning: Spoiler Alert Ahead:
Originally posted 02/21/2012 11:00AM
For nine seasons, Top Chef fans have known Gail Simmons to be a thoughtful and incisive judge, a dessert enthusiast (she does host Top Chef: Just Desserts, after all) and a friendly, familiar face.
But for Simmons, being a TV personality was never in the cards. In fact, after graduating from college in Montreal, neither was a career in food – initially.
In her new book, Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater, Simmons shares "the story of my life – so far – and the mentors and the adventures I've had along the way," as she tells it in her warm, conversational voice.
Originally posted 11/20/2011 03:55PM
Theodore "Teddy" Forstmann, a veteran business leader and philanthropist who was romantically linked to Padma Lakshmi, died Sunday. He was 71.
Forstmann suffered from brain cancer, his spokesman tells The New York Times.
Although the famed billionaire never married, he dated Top Chef host Lakshmi, 41, over the last several years. Their relationship made headlines when she gave birth to now 1-year-old daughter Krishna in February 2010, which spawned speculation over the identity of the father. (Venture capitalist Adam Dell was later revealed as the father.)
Originally posted 11/03/2011 08:35AM
With 29 contestants and three cities around the state, Top Chef: Texas is shaping up to be the biggest season yet.
Wednesday's premiere found the chefs split into groups and facing off against each other in two rounds – the final qualifying rounds will air next Wednesday – just to determine which 16 chefs will actually make the final cut.
They will also be facing some major celebrities on the other side of the judges' table this season.
"I think everybody who comes on the show – especially if they're not in the food business – has a certain level of interest in food," host Padma Lakshmi told PEOPLE of the season's array of guest judges on a conference call. "These are cities you have to fly to, and you have to take a day or two out of your schedule."
Originally posted 10/27/2011 05:55AM
She was away for her actual birthday (Sept. 1!) filming Top Chef: Texas, but Padma Lakshmi's friends did not forget her. Instead, they threw her a surprise belated birthday bash at New York's Sons of Essex. The group all sipped Armand de Brignac Brut Gold champagne, and some signature cocktails. "She was completely surprised and had no idea," a source says. Lakshmi also took a trapeze lesson earlier in the day. Says the source: "Her friends made it a really special day for her." – Jennifer Garcia
Originally posted 02/04/2011 04:00PM
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi's passion for entertaining and good food has roots in her native India, where she soaked up her grandmother's wisdom in the kitchen.
Originally posted 01/26/2011 08:05PM
Tensions between Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi and Adam Dell, the father of her 11-month-old daughter Krishna Thea, are reaching a boiling point.
A friend of Lakshmi tells PEOPLE the reality host is "devastated" that Dell made their custody battle public by filing court papers in Manhattan requesting more time with Krishna.
"She said 'I'm living in a nightmare,' " the friend says. "She's a single working mother who is trying very hard to have a peaceful and calm environment for her daughter. The recent events are making it difficult."
Originally posted 01/26/2011 01:05PM
Custody drama is back on the front burner for Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi.
Adam Dell, the father of Lakshmi's 11-month-old daughter Krishna Thea, having long been unhappy with the custody arrangement hammered out last spring, has now filed court papers in Manhattan seeking more time with Krishna.
"Adam wanted to avoid going to court, but it was so frustrating trying to find a co-parenting agreement [that] he had to take this action," a source close to Dell tells PEOPLE. "He's seeking sole custody of his daughter – but he's hoping for a shared custody agreement." The source adds that in New York, courts are not authorized to grant joint custody, which is why Dell has filed for sole custody.
Originally posted 08/31/2010 11:35AM
Walking into her living room, where her parents were watching Sunday's Emmy Awards, Jane Lipsitz asked before the announcement for outstanding reality competition program, "Did we lose yet?"
Anything but. Lipsitz, who was working in New York on the Justin Bieber 3-D concert film, watched as her Magical Elves production company's Top Chef defeated the long-dominant (and seven-time winner) Amazing Race.
"Everyone just went nuts," says Lipsitz. "My phone, my Blackberry, it was all going crazy. Then [coproducer] Dan [Cutforth] calls me from backstage and says, 'I can't believe you're not here!' "
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