Gail Simmons

The Dish on Top Chef: Just Desserts

November 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm , by

Claire and JohnnyAll season I have been an avid watcher of Top Chef: Just Desserts, currently in its first season on Bravo (and also currently filling the void Top Chef left on my DVR when the D.C. season wrapped). It’s been a fun new show featuring the obvious cuisine (JUST desserts!) and has also welcomed some esteemed guest judges and drop-ins including “Mr. Chocolate”, Jacques Torres and cake maven, Sylvia Weinstock to name a few. A happy viewer all season, I thought I had been having my cake and eating it too… until last Wednesday evening when I had a most unusual and exciting viewing experience that far out-shined my usual Wednesday night routine. I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive screening of last week’s episode hosted by none other than Godiva, the show’s sponsor, and I had to share with you all the fun that transpired as the night unfolded. I walked into the event and was handed a cocktail which I clutched while making my way to a long banquet table full of chocolate creations. I hovered there for a little while taking in all the smells Gailand edible art. While hovering ( something that only ladies can do when they find themselves in front of a table o’ chocolate), someone tapped me on the shoulder and said they wanted to introduce me to Eric.  I turned around and saw Eric Wolitzky who I had been rooting for until his elimination a few weeks ago.  ”Personally, I really liked your cupcake flower bouquet!” I told him, and he of course agreed.  He was as nice in person as he seems on the show.  Then, I was seated in the back of the very glamorous room, facing the TV with several rows of people in front of me.  Before I could even worry about seeing the confections onscreen from there, Head Judge Johnny Iuzzini walked in and was seated directly behind me. Sipping my chocolate cocktail, I tried not to turn around to gawk at Johnny’s shiny black signature pompadour, but it really was beckoning me. Before I was too entranced, the show’s host, Gail Simmons glided into the room with Dannielle Kyrillos, a judge on the show as Danielle and Ericwell as Editor-at-Large for Daily Candy. Was it wrong that I wanted Johnny, Gail, and Dannielle to dive into a full-on judges’ table deliberation? I think not. As if this wasn’t enough stimulation for a celebrity chef nerd like myself, Food Network’s Claire Robinson then entered the screening and took a seat next to Johnny behind me.  At this point, losing track of the episode I was there to see, I re-directed my focus up front to watch Morgan Wilson win the Godiva chocolate Quickfire challenge. Shortly after, I was presented with a tray full of Morgan’s 4 delectable creations to try out – WOW! TV does not do justice to the work these chefs put into their desserts.  I don’t have a huge sweet tooth but I think I grew one that night.  At the end of the night, I couldn’t tell you what else happened in the episode, but it didn’t matter because I felt like I was IN an episode while at this special screening.  Of course I went home that night to resume my usual, not-so-exclusive couch screening of Top Chef: Just Desserts from the comfort of my own apartment, but it was certainly surreal eating Morgan’s winning chocolates as I watched them on my TV. Tune in tonight for the finale and write to me below about who you think should be the big winner!