It's no secret that season after season, Top Chef contestants whiled away long hours in the Stew Room with a little help from the bottle. We've all seen the footage.
But this is a first: Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless recently divulged that producers not only supply the booze, they do their darnedest to make sure the contestants drink way too much of it and get all sloppy -- all in the name of good TV, of course.
In the time it took the judges to deliberate (sometime an hour or more), the producers wanted the contestants to "drink themselves silly." Bayless explains:
"We would sit down at that table and no one would drink. And then the producers would come over and go, 'How about a beer? How about some wine? We'll open it for you, here, we'll pour it.' Naw, I'm fine, naw, I'm fine. We'd all sit there, and it's like 'Ah! What am I gonna do with these guys!'"
According to Bayless, the Season 1 Masters chefs ignored the peer pressure and refrained from drinking. Good thing the contestants in the regular seasons didn't follow their lead; otherwise, we would never have gotten to see Jamie and Leah (Season 5) acting like wackadoos or drunk Stephen (from the current season).
I like to think that Top Chef is little more highbrow than other realty shows -- where plying stars with alcohol is all in a day's work. But who am I kidding? Good to know it's business as usual over at Bravo.
What's your favorite drunk moment from Top Chef?
Image via BravoTV.com