Seattle Sound Bites: ‘Top Chef,’ Please Pack Your Knives and Go

David Moir/Bravo Oh look, this is totally Seattle. There's a ferry in the background/Photo via David Moir/Bravo

Last week in Seattle – ‘Top Chef,’ please pack your knives and go. We’re more than a few ferries and the Pike Place Market. We’ve got a no. 1 song from Macklemore, secret dining societies and Zara likes us! So there.

Spoiler alert if you haven’t yet watched last week’s episode: Fine, while I’m happy Josie is finally gone my real issue is that “Top Chef: Seattle” seems to be the least city-highlighting season of all.

David Moir/Bravo
Oh look, this is totally Seattle. There’s a ferry in the background!/Photo via David Moir (Bravo)

While there are several pans of clouded skies and clips of the monorail going back and forth every episode, there isn’t much else. You read that right, the monorail. The monorail! Please raise your hand if you’re a Seattleite who has taken the monorail in the last year. The last 10 years? Even worse, remember when Padma declared the Bite of Seattle our preeminent food event? I almost choked on my fried chicken from Ma’ono’s … which failed to even get a mention (along with Ezell’s) in this past week’s fried chicken episode.

When Bravo filmed here last summer I couldn’t get enough of the “Top Chef” sightings that filled my inbox. In my day job I was practically pleading with the publicist to get a sit-down with the judges. It never happened but I was happy anyway to hear that they were at least utilizing Seattle’s own Central Market and Uwajimaya. Now more than halfway into watching the season and well, they keep saying they’re in Seattle but I don’t believe them. At least a couple of my friends were able to get their 15-seconds of fame being extras and taste-testers in a few episodes. And Seattle chefs and restaurateurs Tom Douglas, Jason Franey, Ethan Stowell and Thierry Rautureau got shout-outs, albeit brief. Sigh. Please excuse me while I go wait for Anthony Bourdain’s “Layover” Seattle edition to air.

Goodwill ain’t got nothin’ on Macklemore  and Ryan Lewis whose single “Thrift Shop” jumped to the no. 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts last week. This is the first time a Seattle artist has been on top since Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” in 1992. Baby got a hit song, more like it!

You’re still freaking out, aren’t you? On Jan. 24 it was announced that Spain’s fast-fashion retailer Zara is coming to Westlake Center. It’s actually happening! But … not until the end of this year or early 2014. This means you have a few more months before becoming a victim of a Zara-inflicted size-identity crisis. It’s not you, it’s them. Their sizing may be whack but we’ll forgive them for their up-to-the-minute fashions that let us stay on trend in Seattle rain or shine.

The Vude. No, it’s not an ‘80s punk band, it stands for Velvet Underground Dining Experience and it’s a “members only” dining club in Seattle. Velvet? Members only? Maybe I was on the right track with the whole ‘80s thing? Diners at these 40-person events engage with chefs, farmers, fishermen and winemakers at a warehouse space with an open kitchen in South Lake Union. This Sunday they mixed with Sam Crannell of LloydMartin. Bummed you didn’t know the secret knock? Sign up to get invited to future experiences here.

Shuffleboard and jumbo pretzels. All day long. At Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union. In case you’ve forgotten. Break away for just a bit during happy hour (4 – 6 p.m.) to walk down to Flying Fish for 50-cent oysters, now through mid-April.

Looking ahead to February is the inaugural Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour at the Armory at Seattle Center. The announcement went out last week via Twitter/Twitvite but the event isn’t until Feb. 21 … and then every third Thursday after. Oh hey, and there’s no fee to RSVP!