The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Top Chef Masters Live Blog TONIGHT

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 19, 2009 6:00PM

2009_08_TCM_bayless.jpg If you ever wondered what a reality show looked like where contestants were civil to each other, there was no backstabbing and maneuvering to save one's own ass and had a host that made Padma Lakshmi look hyperactive, "Top Chef Masters" was that show. That's not to say the show didn't have its moments: Ludo Lefebvre acted so above it all that Stolpman nicknamed him "LeDouche;" Tim Love showed signs of a drinking problem when faced with making a meal in a dorm room; the crestfallen look on Art Smith's face when told he was cooking a vegan and gluten-free dish for Zooey Deschanel and her party.

"Top Chef Masters" didn't really kick into gear until the championship rounds began a few weeks back. For the most part, these proven and established chefs have been civil to each other. They're competing for charity and they have their restaurants to return to once they're eliminated. But they still have something to prove and viewers will find out tonight who gets the "TCM" crown between Rick Bayless, Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello. The finale also rolls right into the next season of "Top Chef" prime, set in Las Vegas. We'll never take Padma for granted again. Since Bayless has a very vested interest in the finale, Laura's gonna live blog the whole shebang this evening. I'll be giving her an assist live from a viewing party at Frontera Grill, where Bayless may show up to watch the finale and (if Helen Rosner's sources are to be believed) give us a damn good poker face. Should be fun.