Friday, August 31, 2007

Top Chat

So, I've had this feeling for a while now. I thought it may happen with the move to NY, but I was pleasantly surprised to have it happen right here at home in West Palm Beach. I've had a sneaking suspicion that a celebrity sighting was in my near future.

And it happened today!

I am a huge Top Chef fan. In fact, I could probably state that it has been my favourite show for about three years now (though Project Runway may be able to shoulder it's way into first place, especially if it was wearing 80s shoulder pads which I hear are making a re-entrance in the fashion world - ugh).

I was driving down South Olive looking for the tax collector's building so I could get my "filing late" homesteading paperwork.
An Aside: Big thanks to Mr. Government Worker who totally duped me by asking me to take a number when there was NOBODY in the office. Your poker face is stellar. You were a champ and a peach for pushing the whole paper process through in one swell foop rather than having to return three times with signed papers. Love you, Presh!
So, back to my celebrity moment. There I was, crossing Clematis on South Olive and one-a-dub-a-trip-a take...who do I see standing in the doorway of an empty storefront space but...

Stephen Asprinio (Sommelier-Man) from Season 1! An ensuing heyyyyyyyy emitted from my mouth and I drove on thinking that was it.

Park. Paperwork. Smile at Mr. Government Worker. Back to car, no ticket, big relief.

Self, I think to myself...why not just do another drive-by down the impossibly-complicated-with-construction, one-way streets and see if that really was Mr. Wine? Okay I say to myself, and off we go. So I do the second swing by and Goddammit Minerva, parking goddess to us all, there's a space in front of the store. Well, that's a bit of fate, no?

Park. Get a little nervous. Ask self if I'm being slightly retarded and stalker-y. Decide, no it's fine and move forward.

I peek around the corner and there he is, in this huge empty space with nothing around him but steel girders and a gaggle of contractors, pretending he's sitting down at the hostess station, telling his guys that he wants the hostess to be comfortable or something and that he doesn't want her to have to be awkward on getting up to greet people when she comes out from behind her station. (I got all that in about .2 seconds of conversation and body language.) Anyway, I stood there for a bit as everyone had their backs to the door and one of the contractors noticed me and asked if he could help. I said, and I think my voice got significantly quieter and I kept speaking, "I'd just like to speak to Stephen if I could." Hearing his name (just barely, I'm sure), he turned around and said hello. I told him through this dufey smile that I was a big fan of Top Chef and that I thought his food was beautiful. He was leaning wayyy in by this time because at this point I was speaking like the Low Talker on Seinfeld. I asked if he had a restaurant where I could actually taste the food and he stepped back and made a grand gesture to the open framed in space behind him, as if to say "This is going to be my restaurant." And I asked if he had others and he said he did in L.A. I think I said something like, "Well, I'm really pleased that I"ll be able to eat your food and I can't wait until your place is open" but I'm not really sure I said just that because even I couldn't hear my own voice by then. Then he asked my name, which was, while very normal, very nice of him, because he was obviously busy, and I told him my name, and then he introduced himself. Thank Pete I wasn't goofy enough to stutter "I know, I watch you on TV!!" *guh* So that was it. I said thanks and was out!

And then I giggled like a schoolgirl all the way back to the office. tee hee


Worker Mommy said...

At least you didn't say "I'm pleased to eat you"

Whiskeymarie said...

I stood next to Cheryl Tiegs once.

I think your brush with fame is better...

cK said...

Fame! That dude better have a killer wine list at his new joint....

Lollie said...

I'm going to order some Blue Nun white table wine when I go to his opening!

Lollie said...

WMommy: Nice one.

Wmarie: The Tiegs is a goddess - far larger than Mr. Wine - I think you win, even without the conversation.

cK: I think I will ask him to explain every single wine choice on the menu...we'll be there for hours!