Quickfire Cruising?

Like many people with a persuasion for pork and all things - books, TV, movies, blogs, magazines, t-shirts - food-related, I count Top Chef among my favorite things. I've been watching it since Brian Malarky was knee high to a a grasshopper, or you know, since he was on the show and I was able to utter, "Hey, I ate at the Oceanaire in DC once, and it was fabulous; cool!"

It should be noted that in just a couple short weeks, I will turn 35. It seems unthinkable, I know. Yes, I have so much wisdom, but also: so young-looking! So vibrant and up-to-date with the music these crazy kids are listening to! Am I right? Oh, no? I seem exactly 35, or as Melinda puts it, "The wrong side of 30?" Fine then. But I think I should get to ring out my early 30s with much pomp, circumstance, glitter, bacon, and suntan lotion as possible. And therefore, besides a wine-fueled party with those I love, what I really want for my birthday (and Christmas) is to go on the just-announced Top Chef Cruise!

I've never been on a cruise before. Neither has Shawn. We've also never been to Key West. Also, I want to buy Gail Simmons a cocktail and tell her how much better she dresses than Padma, and how I think Padma and all the other stick-figure celebrities have meetings about how to keep the normal-sized girls from looking too good on camera, but that Gail has completely triumphed, and her frocks in Vancouver at the end of last season were all really gorg.

Gail, may I borrow that fetching purple frock?

But besides my rich inner-fantasy friendship with Gail, I really want to hob knob and take cooking lessons from Spike, Tiffany, Jen Carroll, Casey and NOT Mike Isabella or Angelo, who I think were both pretty obnoxious, though I would eat at Graffiato or Buddakan if the chance presented itself. I want to tour Key West and Cozumel, and I want to swan about a large ship knowing at any moment, I might round a corner and run into Tom Colicchio in shorts.

I feel like Shawn is really going to hate this idea, and I'm not sure how to pitch it to him. I could offer to cover the beverage plan, so he could be assured of unlimited beers while onboard? I could let him know that I won't make him go to the cooking demos with me, as long as he'll come along to the cocktail party and nightime entertainment? How do you think I should bring it up? Also, have you been on a celebrity cruise of this type before, and do you really get to interact with the stars all that much? What I'm asking is: is it worth the amount I'm going to have to prostrate myself to my home-body boyfriend in order to strike this deal? Or should I go quietly into that dark night that is my late 30s happy with a new dutch oven as my birthday gift? Please weigh in with all ideas, comments, opinions (unless they are about wrinkles), and recommendations!


  1. Tell him it's what you want for your birthday, and you're going! Sounds like a great cruise. I know people who did the Paula Deen cruise and they got to interact with her.

  2. Ooh, it would be so cool to score an interview with one of the cheftestants for the blog!

  3. Well, growing up in Savannah means too much interaction with Paula so I am not sure I'd buy a cruise to see her :) But is Tom going? Cause I LOVE Tom? (not my tom...although I love him too). Just tell Shawn you are going and he can come booze it up with you or stay in upstate NY while you eat and hang out with chefs. And soak up sun. If that doesn't work, take a girlfriend.