5 thoughts from ‘Top Chef Masters’ premiere at Cosmo

Kerry Heffernan picks up fellow cheftestant Patricia Yeo as they arrive for the “Top Chef Masters” Season 4 premiere party at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
Photo: Steve Marcus

1. It’s finally time. Last summer, Twitter was abuzz with chef glimpses around the Cosmopolitan, and it didn’t take long for local food-minded folks to guess that Bravo and co. were filming in town. Here’s to a season of Top Chef Masters in the city where so many top chefs have staked their claim. And here’s to a season full of gratuitous Vegas shots and friend spotting. Someone’s got to eat all that food.

'Top Chef Masters' Season 4 Party

2. Up in the invited guests area at the Boulevard Pool premiere party Wednesday night, Cosmo chefs are plying the crowd with an array of nibbles: kampachi with sturgeon caviar and a calamansi spritz, bruschetta-like bread rounds with tissue paper thin strips of jamón Serrano, manchego cheese poppers with apple and nuts. But the MVP selection of the night: Gerald Chin’s tribute to foie gras—foie popcorn, a foie foam savory crème brulee and seared foie gras on pistachio French toast. Take that, California.

3. The premiere episode starts with all the drama we’ve come to expect from Bravo: a surprise twist forcing competitors to use pre-purchased ingredients for Mexican or Indian buffets; scratch tickets stealing time or adding cash to competitors’ tool boxes and ….

4. Blood! Cheftestant Missy Robbins from A Voce gives her pinky a good slice practically before the competition even begins, leaving her team to cook her dish and forcing the chef to withdraw from the season. Though, that didn't stop the judges from sending home chef Sue Torres for a dry chicken dish that didn't deliver.

5. Top Chef fans would be wise to check out Cosmo’s ongoing Masters bashes. The pool is a pretty great place to grab a cocktail, kill a few hours and watch the drama unfold. Just one request for the Cosmo crew: Please no more repeat viewings of that “Bohemian Rhapsody” ad during commercial breaks. There’s gotta be something else to fill the void (like the sexy silhouette video from the lobby ...)

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