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Life After Top Chef Recap: Cleaning Up The Kitchen

October 10, 2012 09:08 PM by Veronica Dudo

In a battle to rule the culinary world, four former top chefs work to keeps their dreams alive on the Bravo reality series Life After Top Chef. On this week’s episode, the four chefs are dealing with very different yet very real issues. Fabio Viviani donates his time to charity but in return gets a crazed client; Richard Blais is having problems with his restaurants; Spike Mendelsohn is working to open a new restaurant and Jen Carroll continues efforts to secure financial backers. Does Fabio lose his cool? Will Richard’s reputation go up in flames? Keep reading for all the details!

Fabio Viviani was born and raised in Florence, Italy and was the “fan favorite” from Top Chef: New York Season 5. He also competed on Top Chef All-Stars Season 8 and was the personal chef to William Shatner. Currently, he is expanding his own brand with cooking classes, endorsement deals and social media. His faith helped him get through his divorce so he is more than happy to donate his time teaching a cooking class for the church. Out of nowhere he gets a phone call from a church volunteer telling him that he shouldn’t judge her since they’ve never met. Fabio is confused because he hasn’t said anything. The time comes for the big event and Fabio gets through it acting very professional. Meanwhile, he is super tired and trying to de-stress his life.

Jen Carroll from Philadelphia competed in Top Chef: Las Vegas Season 6 where she proved she was a tough cookie. She also appeared in Top Chef-All Stars Season 8. Recently, she decided to quit her job with Eric Ripert to open her own restaurant. Unfortunately, during negotiations, Jen’s investors pulled out. Now, she’s trying to find funding for her own restaurant. Right from the Aspen Food & Wine Festival, Jen flies to the Charleston Food & Wine Festival where she serves up lambs and clams to the culinary elite. While spending time at the festival, Jen opens up to some chef-friends about her struggles in trying to open her own restaurant. She wants to call her restaurant, Concrete Blonde. Jen is committed to seeing this through to the end and is confident she will eventually open her restaurant. On the bright side, Jen says since she isn’t working full-time, she is able to spend more time with her family. Her mom had a major stroke and is paralyzed on the left side. Jen makes a visit to her parent’s house and helps her mom walk around. Jen’s mom says that she wants to be able to walk into her daughter’s restaurant.

Richard Blais from Atlanta is beginning construction on a new restaurant. He was a finalist on Top Chef: Chicago Season 4 and won Top Chef All-Stars Season 8. He’s trying to balance his personal and professional lives but is really feeling the pressure. Richard rushes back home to tend to Flip Burger boutiques. He is shocked to discover his staff has become lazy and his cooks are confused. Richard explains to them how important continuity is in the restaurant industry, “If one guest has a bad experience, it’s my name on the line.”

Spike Mendelsohn was born into the restaurant business and he works with his passionately opinionated family. Currently, he’s working with his family on their popular restaurant-chain, Good Stuff Eatery in Washington D.C. Spike works with his mother, father and sister! He first competed on Top Chef: Chicago Season 4 where he was sent home right before the finale and returned to compete on Top Chef All-Stars Season 8. Spike fears his nosy parents will interfere with his new concept, a steak and French fries bistro with a cozy feel. They also tease him about his personal life including discussing some of his ex-girlfriends.

Check back for more updates as the former cheftestants continue their journey’s in the culinary world.

Who is your favorite chef: Richard Blais, Spike Mendelsohn, Fabio Viviani or Jen Carroll? Leave a comment below!

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Photo Credit: Bravo

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Life After Top Chef |

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One Response to “Life After Top Chef Recap: Cleaning Up The Kitchen”

  1. Ep Sato Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    While Spike’s come off as a bit arrogant on this show, he’s at least being real about his reasons why. He’s enjoying fame and is living it up in part because he realizes the fans go for it. He also misquoted Andy Warhol and said he’s living up his 5 minutes of fame to get as much out of it as possible (it’s 15 minutes, but whatever). Spike’s family comes off as incredibly warm and likeable, I hope future episodes feature his family more prominently.

    Aside from Spike (I’m in DC and a bit biased), it’s been great to see Fabio return to his normal life. He’s charming, but also very real. He’s a hard worker and he too is maximizing his fame to help him build restaurants and his own brand.

    I feel bad for Jennifer. She’s got a good heart, but has been made the object of humiliation on the show. It’s as if she was never forgiven for her fall from grace in Top Chef allstars. The show also seems to suggest that Jennifer may be suffering from problems with overuse of alcohol.

    As for Blais? I really want to like him, but he seems to make every effort to come off as a bit of a jerk. His marriage problems are laid to bare in front of the camera, and his relationship with his staff seems to border on the abusive.

    The show’s been more fun to watch than I’d originally anticipated, but will the ratings stand?


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