Hey it's time for an unverified Top Chef Seattle rumor dump, including Hugh Acheson sightings, Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and the very interesting reappearance of previous cheftestapants (Chris Jacobsen, Josie Smith-Malave, and Stefan Richter). Is this a one-off thing, or are old cheftestapants back in play?? As always, grain of salt on all of this:
1) The show filmed at Pike Place Market today. According to a tipster: "The contestants are gathering ingredients from the market and cooking in pairs on site. There are still 10-12 chefs in the competition. The judges are under guard and can't be identified at this time." Also: "People caught taking pictures were removed."
2) Another tipster writes in: "There was filming in the market today for breakfast skewers. several chefs were repeats, with CJ [Chris Jacobsen, season 3] and Josie [Smith-Malave, season 2] and the bald German guy [Stefan Richter, season 5] amongst them. Padma was there of course."
3) Speaking of Padma, Seattle magazine posts the first picture of a Top Chef judge (Padma) on a set.
4) On Sunday night, tipsters reported that the restaurant Canlis was used as a Top Chef location (it is conveniently closed on Sundays). Wrote a tipster on Eater Seattle's Facebook wall: "I dined at Canlis last night and as we were leaving (we were the last to leave) they were moving out all of the chairs and tables. A staff member said: 'There's a TV show filming here tomorrow.'" Seattle Met ran photos of a TV production set up on Sunday.
5) Also spotted: chef and past Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson. He may or may not have flown first class to get to Seattle, and he may or may not have worn a thong. Wrote an Eater commenter: "Spotted Tom, Hugh, and Emeril leaving Restaurant 8 in Cap Hill late last night."
6) According to a tipster, last Tuesday the Space Needle closed their restaurant Skycity for a "special event" that was most likely Top Chef.
7) And finally, Anthony Bourdain denied claims that he was in Seattle. he tweeted: "Not in Seattle. Haven't been in Seattle lately. And will not be on Top Chef Seattle. For the record. Layover Seattle soon, though."
Got any intel or photos? You know where to send it.
· All Top Chef Coverage on Eater [-E-]