It's only been two weeks since the last episode of "Top Chef
," but thanks to the wonder of Bravo editing, it seems like it's been a lifetime. It's not just that the dry grime of the Vegas strip has been traded for the misty lushness of California wine country -- it's everything. The seasons have changed. Hairstyles have been altered -- or in Kevin
's case, have gone completely untended. Padma
is now buxom with child. For all we know, Michael
has run out and gotten even more lame tattoos.
This can only mean one thing: We have entered the first part of the "Top Chef
" finale -- now with 80 percent more pregnant pauses, concerned looks and furrowed brows! Certainly, the stakes are high enough without Padma, Tom
being overly reverent and ominous, but still, they do the best they can to help ratchet up the tension.
The occasion this time was a Napa Valley "Crush Party," which, contrary to the moniker, was not a celebration of the complex flavor profile of Orange Crush. Rather, it was an opportunity for affluent wine-country moguls to let down their hair and ostentatiously stomp on some grapes with their bare, pedicured feet, thus celebrating the harvest season while their underpaid grape-pickers toiled in a faraway field.