One of the final events of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic this past weekend was the Classic Quickfire Challenge, judged by Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Food & Wine's Dana Cowin, and Jacques Pépin. This year's competitors: Top Chef Masters season one winner Rick Bayless and Top Chef season six winner Michael Voltaggio. The highlight reel, in no particular order:
1) There were lots of sex jokes, some involving Jacques Pépin! And one washing machine/masturbation joke. These guys.
2) Oh, and lots of hammy boozing, again featuring Jacques Pépin.
3) Allison Janney, the celeb guest sous chef, was a doll. She tussled a little with the demanding Michael Voltaggio, hammed it up while drinking cocktails, and told Gail she was too busy to talk when the judge asked her inane Lost-related questions.
4) Michael Voltaggio brought a ginormous canister of liquid nitrogen with him. He used it to make frozen sangria.
5) An audience member, Todd Jaffey, paid $10,000 to be Rick Bayless' sous chef. But actually it was a relative bargain: last year he paid $15,000 to be a judge.
6) Most intense part of the show: when Rick Bayless eviscerated two live lobsters. The audience gasped as it was projected large on screen.
7) Though Tom said they would have deliberated for five hours if this were a real Top Chef challenge, Rick Bayless won after an audience "vote" (see final photo).
· All Aspen Coverage [~E~]