[image-1]Well readers, it happened again. I got to attend a second day of Top Chef filming but just like last time I’ve been put under a strict gag order. Everything in me wants to spill the beans on this upcoming season, but as the embargo agreement looming from my cork board reminds me, those Bravo lawyers don’t play. So, here’s my redacted report from yesterday’s filming.

About a half hour before filming the ________ episode, I sat down with Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio. With ___ contestants left, Colicchio discussed how on this episode he’d be looking for _____, ______, and ______. “_____________________,” said Colicchio. “_________________________. It should be a fun shoot.” Today’s guest judges included all-stars ___________ and ____________ who recently __________. “They’ll be judging both _________ and _________ which is so vital to a restaurant,” Colicchio added.

As I’ve mentioned before, Colicchio is no stranger to the Holy City. As a consultant for Kiawah’s club house restaurant he said he’s been lobbying for Bravo to shoot in Charleston for years. 

“My favorite thing about Charleston is when you come off the plane and the smell of the marsh hits you,” he said, getting a dreamy look in his baby blue eyes. 

With shooting taking place all over the peninsula, Colicchio is lodging downtown and has become something of a regular in the Elliotborough-Cannonborough neighborhood. “I go into Brown’s Court Bakery so much, the staffers greet me by calling me chef,” he said. Colicchio has also hit up Artisan Meat Share twice and gave solid reviews to the porchetta and Italian sandwiches. He’s visited The Ordinary, Minero, and raved about Xiao Bao Biscuit. 

“The one thing I still need to do is go have breakfast at Hominy Grill. I usually do that first thing when I get off the plane,” he said.

As for Gail Simmons, yesterday’s filming was all about looking for contestants to ______________. “I _________________,” she said, adding, “I approach the judging objectively.”

For Simmons, any off time from filming she’s spent biking around the peninsula and discovering new eats. “There are so many restaurants all over that I want to try,” said Simmons. So far she’s made it to The Wreck, The Obstinate Daughter, Leon’s (twice), Martha Lou’s — “her fried chicken was great” — and Hannibal’s. 

“And we visited SeeWee Restaurant in Awendaw which was a really great, kind of old fashioned experience,” Simmons said. 

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