Ahhh, Ludo -- I simply know, that if we lived in a different place in the time-space continuum, you would be the love of my life. You're simply the picture of talented chef perfection: hotness and mean technique with a knife. How can a girl resist? And now you're facing off tonight on "Top Chef Masters" against one of my other chefly-crushes, Rick Bayless (his margaritas are a revelation), and a long-time friend, Cindy Pawlcyn (whose Thai-Gin-Tini is equally revelatory). [Note: I haven't had the pleasure of hanging out with Wilo Benet.]
And, wouldn't you know it, my damn TV is not working. There's a giant tree in the front yard that, encouraged by our unseasonably cool summer, has enthusiastically outgrown its last haircut. That's right, no satellite. (Well, we still get the Sleuth channel.) So I'm going to sleuth a spot to watch Ludo where no one will notice if I hyperventilate. I telephoned Barney's Beanery across from my office, and while they definitely favor the sports (anyone catch today's US-España soccer final?), they can give me a table where I can tune my own telly. I don't know if they charge corkage at Barney's, but here's what I'll try to bring to take the edge off the unbearable tension of watching a Top Chef cookoff: 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Chante Cigale. Wine Spectator describes it as "muscular but forward ... with a tight grip on the finish." (!!!) It also has flavors of tobacco and lavender, much like my favorite French men. And, when it comes to favorite French men, you're very high on my list, M. Lefebvre. Bonne chance, and thanks for representin' for your posse in LA. Now, where are my smelling salts?