Top Chef last night shafted another homegrown grocery chain, implying Uwajimaya didn't carry the high-quality ingredients Micah needed for a raw meat platter.
"They have absolutely no meat I can serve raw," Micah huffily announced before purchasing the sashimi which eventually led to his elimination.
Whole Foods has been notably absent from this season of Top Chef, but a spokesperson for the company says the longstanding promotional partnership hasn't been terminated. "Whole Foods Market wasn't able to make this season work, but plan to be a part of future seasons!," writes Annie Zanin of Curator PR, which handles publicity for various Whole Foods programs.
Zanin refused to say why filming flopped in Seattle, or whether any shooting was completed at area stores.
When the production crew was in town last summer, an Eater National comment writer claimed, "My mom works at Whole Foods in Redmond [16 miles east of Seattle], and said the contestants just ran in to do their frantic shopping for a challenge. Filming for Top Chef Seattle is definitely underway."
Without Whole Foods as a supplier, Top Chef turned to Central Market in Shoreline and Uwajimaya for its cheftestants' shopping sprees. But the results for the participating stores have been mixed, with at least two failed dishes pinned on inventory problems. Last week, Lizzie blamed Central Market for selling her rotten scallops.
"As a company, we are very thoughtful in the sourcing of our products," says Central Market spokeswoman Susan Allen, who was clearly disappointed by the depiction.
Allen couldn't reveal much about the shooting process, since she's bound by a non-disclosure agreement. But she says Top Chef initiated the conversation with Central Market, which has never before been granted such high-profile exposure on national television.
"We were happy to have them come in," she says. "Of course, we knew from the show we couldn't choreograph everything."