Dining Poll: What Type of Food TV Do You Crave?

I don’t really watch a lot of food television, preferring to go out to eat or cook myself. If forced to choose, however, my favorite is anything featuring Jacques Pépin on PBS. There’s something so zen about his demeanor, his uber-efficient technique, and the fact that the food always seems to be the star. Having had the privilege of learning from him at The French Culinary Institute, I can tell you that he works as neatly even when there aren’t cameras trained on him, and that his appreciation of even the most simple foods, like bread and butter, is genuine. When you’re watching food-related TV, what type of program do you prefer? Weigh in on today’s poll!

Celeb Spotting: Entourage Stars Sup Like Us; JLo Chows Down; Tiger Woods Swings into Palm Beach Restaurant; Bruno Mars + Taylor Swift Sing at The Darby

We hope James Spader wasn't sporting Steff's tux when he stepped out in San Francisco.

Recent sightings of celebrities dining out…

Jennifer Lopez celebrated the end of her marriage her 42nd birthday at Scarpetta in Miami. [NY Post]

JLo also dined at The Forge with manager Benny Medina during her trip to Miami. [Examiner]

James Spader, or Steff, as I will always think of him in my Pretty in Pink mind, is clearly a foodie, as he recently visited Cotogna and Frances in the Bay Area. [Tablehopper]

* Anthony Bourdain had no reservations about dining with his wife at Zio in New York’s Flatiron district. [NY Post]

* The wildly under-cast actor Victor Garber (on whom I’ve always had a crush) visited Rasika in Washington, D.C., with friends. [WashingtonPost]

* Entourage‘s Emmanuelle Chirqui chilled at Southampton Social Club with her beau, while Eli Manning, Kevin Boss, and Shaun O’Hara hung out at the bar. [NY Post]

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Chef Ed Cotton Talks Top Chef, Target and Elmo

Best. Guest. Judges. Ever.

Some of our favorite contestants are fading fast as the all-star season of Top Chef winds down. Plein Sud Executive Chef Ed Cotton, a season 7 finalist, checks in with OpenTable again to dish on last night’s action.

Hey, Ed! So, we’ve got some friends here from the street. Sesame Street, that is. Who is your favorite muppet?

My favorite muppet is Ernie. I’m not sure why, but I thought he was cool. He used to collect bottle caps, and as a kid I would go around looking for bottle caps just like him. When I would come home with some, my mother would tell me they were “dirty” and to “stop picking things up off the ground.” So my bottle cap collection did not go that far.

Well, mother knows best! I love a perfect oatmeal cookie — but the best cookie I make is actually a ginger snap! What’s your favorite cookie to eat — and what’s the best cookie you make?

I don’t eat a lot of cookies or sweets, but I do like sugar cookies, once in a blue moon.  The best cookies I ever made were the ones that come from a box that are pre-made and frozen. If you saw my pastry skills on Top Chef when I was in the finale? Not the best display.

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Top Chef Season 8 Episode 1: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’…

Bourdain asks Fabio, "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"

Plein Sud Executive Chef Ed Cotton, a Top Chef finalist on season 7, sits down with us to discuss the first episode of what’s sure to be an uber-competitive season of Top Chef Season 8: All Stars.

Ed, what would make someone want to go back and go through this all again? Are y’all chefs gluttons for punishment? Is it a reckoning?

Why would someone want to go back through all of this again? Well, you’ve got to keep your eye on the prize. This year’s prize is $200,000! That’s a major reason why I would go back and take a leave from my restaurant Plein Sud, if offered. I also feel like some of the other cheftestants were axed a little bit too soon or fell just short of winning the whole thing. They are hungry to win this competition and get redemption. I know I would feel that way!

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