There's no shortage of web sites on which you can learn who won last night (Brooke), and which cheftestant was sent home in defeat (Eliza). But we've got the story behind the story, thanks to our friends who participated in the filming.
1. It's a good thing that Marilyn Hagerty got her fill at the Quickfire, because she didn't have a chance to eat anywhere else.
"I stayed two nights in the hotel," famed Olive Garden reviewer Hagerty writes of her July Fourth weekend shoot. "At the end of the day, I had a quick stop at the lounge in the hotel for a glass of wine and a couple of hors d'oeuvres. And I also enjoyed the little coffee shop in the lobby there. I knew it before, but I found Seattle and environs beautiful."
2. Tom Colicchio has to follow a strict beauty regimen to share a stage with Padma.
"He powders his bald scalp," confides Voracious contributor Sonja Groset, who scored an invite to the challenge at Collections Cafe. "But Padma is more gorgeous in person, if you can believe that. And Gail was poured into her dress and looked amazing."
3. Audience members wished they'd brought sweaters. And stoles.
According to Groset, the temperature dropped to 45 degrees before the crowd was dismissed. "We were all freezing," she recalls.
4. While it may have looked like the party was hopping, crew members outnumbered guests.
"As the night wore on, we smuggled food to the bartenders serving us," Groset reveals. "They were starving!"
5. The competitors' plates may look dainty on-screen, but none of the audience members went home hungry.
"Based on what I've seen on Top Chef, I ate a huge lunch so I wouldn't starve," Groset writes. "Turns out there was a ton of food. We were there until 1 a.m. so it was good to be well-fed. And with all the free beer and wine, we needed the booze sponge."