Top Chef Siting!!

So this post is semi-food related….. but funny….Ok, before I tell you who I saw, let me explain my celebrity-itis. I’ve haven’t met all that many celebrities in my life, but every time I have it’s been disastrous. I’m not talking I’m one of those people who freak out when they see a celebrity begging for a photo and/or autograph. In fact, the complete opposite happens to me. I completely freeze up. Blubbering idiot, or actually mute idiot. Cases in point:

Case #1 Janeane Garofolo – I go to see her comedy show in 1999 in NYC. Myself, hubby, and my best friend Sue and her hubby all decide to linger after the show because it was crowded. As we leave we see Janeane in the crowd giving autographs. I get her autograph but can’t even utter a thank you. All I can do is stare and think, wow, she’s shorter than me (I’m five feet nuttin’). Say how funny she is! Say anything dummy!

Case #2 Paula Deen – Miss Stick of Butter is at a gourmet food show in NJ I attend. I know she’s going to be there, in fact, SHE’S why I’m there. She walks right by me on her way up the stage, saying hello to everyone. I could touch her I’m so close. Again, I can’t even say hello, nothing. Just stare at her like a freak with a big, stupid grin on my face.

Case #3 – Harry Connick Jr. – This by far has been the most disappointing celebrity experience of my life. I have loved HC since I was in high school, have seen him in concert numerous times, front row center for his Broadway debut in Pajama Game, have been a member of his fan club for years (yes, dork) – I heart him. So after seeing him in Pajama Game, I get a tip he signs autographs after the show at the side stage door. I go with my mom and mom-in-law and there he is in his glory. When he gets to me, I hand him my playbill and stare and stare and stare and say nothing. Meanwhile the two moms are hitting me and muttering under their breath to say something. I’ve been waiting for this moment for over 15 years and I blow it. After bragging for weeks to my husband how I’m going to ask for a hug.

So as you can see I clam up when I see celebrities I like/love. Now I’m a HUGE fan of Top Chef since the very beginning. Last season, my favorite chef was Sam Talbot. I think, but am not sure, but he came in third or fourth. I know he has two restaurants in NYC currently. So I’m at Newark Airport Saturday waiting for my flight for my vacation to Florida and am looking around the book shop.

And. There. He. Is.

I start to panic but I have to say something so when he’s a few feet away I whisper, “Excuse, aren’t you Sam?” He quickly whispers back “Yes.” Then he either winked or had something in his eye and walked away. Again, I blew it. Why didn’t I ask him for a picture or autograph or tell him he should have won Top Chef?! Doh! Another moment lost. Dang it. However, I will say, he either was in a hurry or didn’t want to be recognized and didn’t seem approachable. So Sam Talbot, if you are reading this….the five foot nuttin chic at Newark Airport Saturday hearts you and is a fan. A freak of a fan, but still a fan.



  1. Talia said

    That’s crazy about your experiences with celebrities. I get the same way sometimes, and freeze up. That’s cool that you ran into Sam, though. I’m a HUGE Top Chef fan as well. I take it you weren’t a big fan of Hung. He was a little off the cuff for me, but I did like his sous chef and celebrity guest judge, Rocco. I became a fan of his when he was on The Restaurant, back in the day. I guess he’s the new face for Bertolli’s Mediterranean style frozen dinners. I’m sure if you’re a big Top Chef fan like me, you’re not really into frozen dinners, ’cause it’s all about the prep and creating something intricate and healthy. Unfortunately, I’m super busy and don’t have a lot of time to be creative. I tried the Bertolli dinners, though, and they’re phenomenal. Garlic shrimp, penne, and cherry tomatoes is my favorite, especially with some pinot grigio. You should check out Rocco and some of his cooking techniques (, and let me know what you think. They’re amazing…I know, ‘cause I work with Bertolli.

  2. foodiedani said

    Hi Talia,
    You’re right about Hung, he wasn’t my fav (Casey was) but I do think he deserved it. And yes, I am a big fan of Rocco, even before The Restaurant, when he had a show on The Food Network. I actually was curious about those Bertolli things since Rocco was endorsing it but my grocery store didn’t have them, at least not yet.


  3. Marilyn said

    I saw Bobby Flay at No Joe’s Cafe in Red Bank one day – he was right in front of me! I know that face anywhere! I’m certainly not a fan of his, however I was speechless. I couldn’t even mumble a hello. I just couldn’t believe he was standing there right in front of me! I was star-struck! lol

  4. foodiedani said

    Hey Marilyn,

    Bobby Flay in Red Bank! Oh man! I would have been star struck too!


  5. Nicole said

    LOL! You really had me rolling with laughter while reading this. Aww, bless….. good luck with your next celeb. LOL

  6. foodiedani said

    Hi Nicole!

    I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! I need to do some celebrity training or something!


  7. I had NO IDEA how fantastic your site was. You are AMAZING and I am so proud to say I am your Mother-in-law…..

    I love you.


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