10 a.m. on day four of PBFW is a brutal time for demo, but a hung over Jamie Lauren and Stefan Richter rallied to the occasion (with the help of a bottle of wine and some Journey tunes) and cooked up an asparagus salad and a chocolate mousse. Of course, the majority of the audience could care less about the cooking—it was Top Chef unplugged time, a chance to experience Stefan’s unrequited love for Jamie first hand. The Top Chefs entreated (Jamie: “Everyone knows we’re in love and are having babies, right?” Stefan: “Jamie, you called me at 8:30 to wake me up? No, I turned over at 8:30 to wake you up”), even going through a fake marriage ceremony, administered by Food & Wine editor Gail Simmons. “Stefan, do you take Jamie to be your lawful wedded wife, even though she doesn’t like men?” He did. “By the power vested in me by Pebble Beach Food & Wine, I now pronounce you man and wife.” The crowd shrieked, the cameras snapped and the asparagus simmered.
The whole thing was a Top Chef love fest and it’s a testament to the skill of these two chefs that they actually were able to plate some presentable dishes through all the joking, question answering and smoke breaks—Stefan took a few audience members outside the tent at one point. He also phoned up Carla and put her on speaker to ask if she was still cooking with love (“okay, I’m gonna let you guys go!"), called Hosea a wimp and requested that all the single 25-year-old women move to one side of the room.
Both Jamie and Stefan talked a lot about boozing on the show, confessing that they were drunk for pretty much every judge’s table. “Those are so intense,” Jamie said, “with Padma staring at you, just giving you the eye. You pretty much had to be drunk to handle it.”
So what’s next for these two (other than a marriage annulment?) Jamie’s trying to get Stefan up to Absinthe for a guest chef stint and Stefan says he’s looking for restaurant spaces in Santa Monica. So stay tuned for more from this dynamic duo…
Gail Simmons presiding over marriage ceremony, complete with a tin-foil ring.