As Top Chef 3 gets ready to conclude with its live finale from Chicago this Wednesday, the new season is apparently filming in its new Second City home. On Saturday at the Green City Market, host Padma Lakshmi and 15 contestants were spotted by The Chicago Tribune, which reports that Padma showed up first and rehearased/shot her introduction for the quickfire challenge.
“Dressed in a vivid purple knit top and dark tight trousers tucked into snappy boots, Lakshmi outlined the challenge: Create a ‘fully realized entree’ using just five ingredients from the market; Lakshmi cautioned that too many ingredients can overwhelm the palate,” the paper reports. “The chefs will be allowed to use oil, sugar, salt and pepper when they return to the kitchens, those ingredients not counting against their five. She also said that the winner of the Quickfire would not win immunity in the Elmination Challenge, but we couldn’t hear why. … Lakshmi went through the wording several times before she or the producers where happy that they had it, but still no signs of the chefs.”
Once the chefs showed up–and there were 15, suggesting this may have been the very first challenge, since this season’s cast started with 15–The Chicago Tribune’s reporter witnessed the crew forcing the cast to re-do a scene over and over again: “After more waiting (there’s a lot of waiting), the chefs ran toward the production area for the cameras, but then stopped. … Filming must be pretty tedious. The chefs have been made to sprint toward the market at least twice, then get called back. Trying to get the shot, we guess.”
One person commenting on the newspaper’s story wrote that the store where the contestants will shop is the new Whole Foods at Halstead and Waveland, which is east of Wrigley Field in Lakeview, a sighting confirmed by the Chicago Tribune. Another commenter said the contestants were recently at the Fox and Obel store in Streeterville.