I don’t think I’ve ever read about what happens to people after they appear on a major reality show. And I’m not quite sure if anyone really cares, but...
Recently, I entered the next phase of my post Top Chef existence.
There are still people who yell out “Top Chef”. There are encounters that start with, “Hey Richard”. There are frequently times people shout out “ you should have won”, or “ banana scallops”. There are, believe it or not, some who yell “ I love you”. For the record these tend to be slightly bearded and more than slightly overweight men. However now I get a lot more puzzled looks, and mostly this:
“Where do I know you from?”
If I was single and better looking, I’d think this was a sure pick up line, no ?
I do like this, as it’s presents an interesting engagement. Here are my personal rules for my behavior in such situations:
I’m not going to say that you know me from Top Chef or Iron chef or TV. It’s not going to happen. It’s a bad recipe. The first time I did this, the gentleman said, "no, I thought you were Craig Wilson from softball". So, I affectionately call this the Craig Wilson rule. You have to guess. I’m not going to be that douche bag that says, Oh, you probably know me from this television show, so you can then say that you thought we went to elementary school together. BTW, softball ?
I will say that I’m a chef. That's my only hint and of course I’ll introduce myself if it gets to that point. After that, you're on your own. There have been a few times that this triggers their memory a few yards after we disengage. Then, the inevitable shout across the airport is (my favorite), “oh yeah, Americas next Top Chef”. It is amusing.
I also will play for a bit if it seems we may actually know each other from some other encounter, you never know. So, there have been times where I’ve said, yes, I have been to Florida, I did live in New York, I did play little league baseball or no, I haven’t been on That Seventies Show. Yeah...that last one really threw me too!
And of course there are moments where people don’t say anything. That is how I would play it. In fact, that is how I have played it! I once followed Al Horford, one of my favorite basketball players for a few hundred yards not getting the nerve to say hello. For all of my friends, that's how I “know” Al Horford. I’d like to think that because Al Horford could palm my skull, that had to do with not pulling the trigger, nope. I did the same thing to Alton Brown once. Of course now I know Alton enough to walk up and say hello, so please don’t tell him that I stalked him at LaGuardia once.
BTW... If you are in NYC, I will be at Grand Central tomorrow from 12-2 for a charity event Bravo is hosting. Come say hello...