Saturday, July 26, 2008

Top Chef: The Tour and ThunderCares Day

This morning I went to Phoenix Downtown Public Market to try to make the Top Chef Tour demonstration scheduled for 8:30am. Patty and I have watched the last few seasons of the show. The chefs scheduled for the Phoenix tour were Season 4 runner-up Richard Blaise and Season 2 contestant Betty Fraser. Richard was one of our favorites so I was excited to watch him cook.

I arrived at 7:45am and there was already a line of about 25 people (at 8:30am, there were probably over 100 people). I put my name on a waiting list and the sun. There was an announcement that the seating capacity was 34 people and that they would call people from the waiting list. Around 8:40am, they called a few names from the list (maybe 6 total). I was not one of them. Oh well. I probably could have made the 10:00am session (as they were rolling over the remaining wait-listed names), but I already had another commitment scheduled.

Betty and Richard were outside the trailer for a few minutes taking pictures and signing autographs. Here are a few pics:
Top Chef: The Tour @ Phoenix Downtown Public MarketTop Chef: The Tour @ Phoenix Downtown Public MarketTop Chef: The Tour @ Phoenix Downtown Public Market
I've seen three of the Top Chef contestants now. Patty and I spotted Season 2 runner-up Marcel Vigneron last year during a trip to Vegas.

My 10:00am commitment was a Thunderbird volunteer event called ThunderCares Day. Prior to the event, we were given a choice of volunteer opportunities. I ended up getting my first choice, which was volunteering for the Children’s Angel Foundation Thrift & Boutique.

All of the proceeds from this store benefit the infants, children, and young adults who are served through Hacienda HealthCare. Hacienda HealthCare, through its affiliates, Hacienda, and Los NiƱos Hospital, is the leading provider of specialized services for medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children and young adults in Arizona.

Our group was given a choice a duties, and I ended up volunteering to vacuum the store. I actually enjoy vacuuming (I vacuum our house at least once a week), so this fit perfectly! Others in the group helped out with sorting and cleaning the merchandise.

After lunch, most of us headed to Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe for lunch. I enjoyed a bowl of udon soup, panko spanish mackerel, and green tea milk.

Places mentioned:

Children's Angel Foundation Thrift & Boutique
4648 N 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe
914 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85014

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