Bravo turned up the heat Tuesday in New York’s Union Square to promote the season premiere of Top Chef Season 3: Miami.
“It also happens to be Bravo’s hometown and my home city,” said Bravo president Lauren Zalaznick, adding that she lives four blocks from the Union Square event.
The network -- together with the city’s marketing and tourism branch, NYC & Company -- staged a “quick-fire” outdoor cook-off hosted by series host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio. The event also proceeded the city’s mid-July Restaurant Week, during which participating restaurants discount their menus.
Reasserting his culinary prowess in the cook-off rematch, Top Chef season-two winner Ilan Hall amply seasoned a soft-shell crab to overcome a quail dish from rival and fan favorite Sam Talbot.
On hand to spice things up were Queer Eye for the Straight Guy culinary expert Ted Allen; Top Chef season-one winner Lee Anne Wong; a panel of New York restaurateurs; and contestants from Top Chef Season 3. Audience enthusiasm was rewarded with food samplers and giveaways of T-shirts, aprons and Restaurant Week gift certificates.
Mixing with press and fans during the event, Zalaznick said that while the network had not decided whether to serve up a fourth season of Top Chef, the show’s special one-hour cook-off between past season finalists had done well last week.
She added that this first-ever summer version of the show, as well as a recent deal with Telemundo, were expected to attract a more robust audience.