Celebrity chef Tiffani Faison was spotted last Thursday night dining al fresco on the gorgeous inset patio of the Met Bar and Grill on Newbury Street. The talented redhead who first appeared on season 1 of Bravo’s Emmy winning “Top Chef” series, and then returned to compete on their “All Stars” edition, opened her first restaurant in the Fenway area about a year and a half ago. Sweet Cheeks, a full-on barbecue and beer destination for the casual Boston set, features tables fashioned from old church doors and bowling alley lanes, sweet tea served in recycled Mason jars, and of course, every kind of tender-roasted hunk of meat you can think of, alongside a generous selection of brewery libations.
Thursday night, however, Ms. Faison was actually enjoying someone else’s cooking for once, sitting down with a female friend around 7 p.m. and enjoying a glass of white wine as she waited for her entree to appear. Even as the sun set, the Top Chef All Star lingered to enjoy the Beantown night air, wearing a light striped hoodie and a “Boston Back Bay” baseball cap, which helped keep her lovely red locks tucked out of her face.
Faison was spotted most recently giving back to Boston at the Fenway Bites Back event to benefit the One Fund.
Want to know why you should never, ever feel guilty about eating chocolate? Because earlier this month, celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels was spotted at Hotel Chocolat on Newbury Street buying about $50 worth of chocolate!
The super-buff star walked into the shop a little after three in the afternoon with her partner Heidi Rhoades and their adopted three-year-old daughter, Lukensia, from Haiti, who has been with them since May 2012. Lukensia was wearing leggings, a t-shirt, and a tiny leather bomber jacket. Michaels showed off her guns in a sleeveless t-shirt and jeans, and wore her hair tucked under a baseball cap, with dark sunglasses on her face in order to keep a low profile. The star picked out a variety of chocolates for her and her partner, including some salted caramels and a selection of cheesecake truffles. Lukensia tried a salted caramel in-store, as mama Michaels plunked down her black AMEX card and California license for verification at the register.
Michaels was in town for her current “Maximize Your Life Tour,” which made a stop in Lowell last night at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
The fitness guru hails from Los Angeles, California, and is best known for her appearances on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and “Losing It with Jillian.”
Last Friday night, Tracey Noonan and Dani Desroches, the mother daughter team and co-owners of the Wicked Good Cupcakes appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and got the alias “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary, to invest $75,000 in their little business based out of Cohasset, MA. This, however, was not the first time the company has made waves. In early 2012, “Cupcakegate” created a national commotion, after a woman got stopped by TSA while trying to take her cupcake in a jar through airport security. The resulting press helped increase sales on this clever company’s take on cupcakes, which puts layers on frosting and cake inside mason jars that can last up to 10 days without refrigeration.
Tomorrow, Wicked Good Cupcakes opens its second location, its first in Boston, in an area that receives more yearly visitors than Disney World–Quincy Market! The new addition to the plethora of cupcake shops that already inhabit the Hub brings with it their own creative spin and lots of buzz thanks to their recent appearance on primetime.
This is also not the first time that a New England company has appeared on the Friday night reality show. Last season, Barbara Corcoran invested $55,000 for a 15% stake in Cousins Maine Lobster, which helps bring succulent lobsters and lobster dishes to folks across the country, including lobster mac and cheese, lobster pot pie, and lobster rolls.
One of Boston’s favorite sons, Matt Damon will be in town today, visiting his alma mater in Cambridge. The Academy award-winning actor is visiting Harvard University in order to receive the 2013 Harvard Arts Medal. Damon attended the school from 1988 to 1992, but never actually graduated, though he later went on to pen the movie that would eventually launch his career about a young man’s struggles to improve his education at a different famed Cambridge school, when he won the Oscar for Good Will Hunting.
The award will be presented by the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Board of Overseers, and will feature a ceremony and a discussion on Damon’s life and career. The event will be hosted by fellow actor and Harvard alum John Lithgow of “3rd Rock from the Sun” fame.
The Harvard Arts Medal honors “a distinguished Harvard or Radcliffe graduate or faculty member who has achieved excellence in the arts and has made contribution through the arts to education or the public good.”
Today’s event also marks the official opening of Arts First, which will be an annual festival spotlighting students in the creative arts. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. at Sanders Theatre on Quincy Street. A live stream of the day’s events will also be available for viewing online through the school’s website.
Since last week’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon, a number of celebrities and other notable stars have come together to lend a hand in their own way to support the city, from both near and far.
Former New Kid on the Block, Joey McIntyre was running in the marathon to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association and in honor of his mother who suffers from the disease. He finished the race mere minutes before the bombs went off. he’s since tweeted messages of love and support, along with Cambridge native Minday Kaling.
As a touching sign of solidarity, New York showed their love for Boston by singing Neil Diamond’s hit song, “Sweet Caroline” at Yankee Stadium. On Saturday, Diamond surprised the Red Sox fandom at Fenway, just hours after a citywide lockdown, by showing up to lead Red Sox fans in the song traditional sung a the top of the eighth inning. Diamond apparently flew to Boston before he even arranged the performance, and also told Rolling Stone, “I’m writing now and obviously affected by this situation in Boston, so I’m writing about it just to express myself.”
Victims of the bombings that are still recovering in local hospitals were surprise when actor Bradley Cooper stopped by the Boston Medical Center on Friday. Cooper is currently in town filming David O. Russell’s upcoming movie American Hustle.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made sure to visit Jeffrey Bauman during his visit. Bauman, lost both of his legs in the bombing, but awoke from surgery and was able to provide the the FBI with important information for their investigation. Other NFL stars, Danny Amendola and Jermichael Finley (of the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, respectively) have both pledged to give portions of their 2013 season salaries to the One Fund. Amendola will be donating $100 per catch and $200 per drop, while Finley promised $500 for both every dropped pass and touchdown to the relief efforts. “Now fans can cheer & boo me @ the same time!” Finley said on his Twitter page.
Late-night E! talk show host Chelsea Handler pledged her support to bombing victims in the form of a $25,000 donation to gofundme.com, an online recovery fund for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter from Lowell, Massachusetts, who were both severely injured at the marathon bombings.
Newton, Massachusetts, native Amy Poehler addressed the audience of her Smart Girls YouTube channel Friday by answering a viewer question on violent imagery. “It’s been tough, hasn’t it? Doesn’t it feel like we’re just bombarded with stuff now? That everywhere we go there’s just some picture that’s worse than before. I kinda feel like my eyes need a break.” She ended the video with a very simple message: “I love you Boston.” Poehler is a graduate of Boston College.
Other stars lent their support more simply. On Monday morning, “The View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck wore a red Boston jersey. The conservative member of the talk show panel attended and also graduated from Boston College. Likewise, Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman was seen wearing Boston t-shirts in her aired rehearsals for “Dancing With the Stars.” The 18 year old lives in Needham, saying “It was really difficult,” of performing live on TV shortly after learning of the bombings. “I just want to say that I love everyone back home from Boston. You’re all in our thoughts and prayers.”
The new VH1 reality series, “Wicked Single,” created such an initial ruckus when it released a teaser trailer on it’s website that angry viewers commented by the hundreds, remarking on how terrible the show looked to be. Not to let an opportunity go by, VH1 started using the comments as pull quotes on their television commercials, referring to viewers’ desires to inflict graphic violence on themselves, rather than be subjected to more of the show. Now, in a recent article by Boston Magazine, writer Bryanna Cappadona begs the question, “Is Boston the New New Jersey of Reality TV?” Not exactly the most flattering suggestion.
The show follows the antics of six young Bostonians, most of which seem to have not only a severe, and cliched Boston accident, but some sort of speech impediment, and/or a learning disability, that impairs their judgement and their awareness of reality, making said antics more eye-roll worthy than even mildly entertaining. This is not the Boston of highly educated scientists, doctors, professors, and techno wiz-kids, nor even the educational pursuits of any of the over 250k students that attend America’s “College Town” each and every fall. This is the work of the worst Boston stereotypes, hyperbolized into the same kind of mindless tripe that made the “Jersey Shore” into a parody of shoreline dwelling would-be Italianos.
Add “Southie Rules” to the mix, and Boston, for better or worse, has a decent amount of representation on TV, but most Beantown dwellers would say that the perception it casts is anything but fair.
Infamous Boston chef and restauranteur, Todd English, has been popping up on TV lately, with a new starring role on the much hyped E! reality show “Playing with Fire.” The show follows the crazy chaotic lives of Anna Boiardi, AKA, heir to the Chef Boyardee empire, “Top Chef” alum Candice Kumai, ESquared Hospitality Group Pastry Chef Julie Elkind, and identical twin restaurateurs The Koch Brothers. Actress Jennifer Esposito will also be making appearances on the show at some point, though she has not been in any scenes or episodes yet.
The show does take place entirely in New York City, so Chef English’s appearances, unfortunately, are not being taped locally. Though there have been a few clips here and there with English and his daughter Isabelle, in her namesake cupcake shop on Charles Street in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. Isabelle showed up at her father’s birthday party in the debut episode.
Aside from Curlycakes, English also owns Figs on Charles Street, as well as Bonfire in Logan Airport, and recently reopened his much heralded Olives restaurant in Charlestown, which had been closed since a fire in 2010.
“Playing with Fire” debuted on March 17th, and the show airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on the E! network.
Texting all actors, producers, directors, and crew who want reel deal advice about getting ahead and crafting your career. Book this FREE gig now and audition too. HEC has the exclusive.
This Thursday, March 21st, schmooze with renowned coach, Tom Todoroff at the Omni Parker House Hotel. He will be teaching a two hour Audition Master Class, “How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Have a Career”. Stage is set for 7 p.m.
Todoroff has been setting scenes for more than 30 years with Hollywood A list performances. He coaches the best including Django star, Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson, and Gwyneth Paltrow among many other stars.
“Todoroff is the best,” Jackson says. “All you need is T.T”.
The tour will give us front row experience of the way T.T coaches and directs actors. This is Tom’s first demo and audition tour in Boston. Let’s break a leg.
All levels of New England Talent and Crew are encouraged to join, but the audition part is targeted to actors seeking professional training. Benefits of auditioning at the Omni will give actors a rare break to get crafty with Tom and possibly pave the way for placement in Tom Todoroff’s Two-Year Conservatory Class 2013-2015.
Before you arrive pour yourself a glass of, “The Unshakeable Skill” written by Tom Todoroff. You will catch a buzz. Also stir up some questions about your career to share with Tom.
In this biz, we always need to stay a float as we tread along together keeping our acting chops in shape for future film and television work. This is a perfect opportunity to stay hydrated with an LA director on thirsty Thursday. Act now.
Last night was a big night for Boston locals on television. In addition to the premiere of the much anticipated “Boston’s Finest” on TNT, a couple of local folks made headlines related to some rather prominent reality show competitions.
Earlier in the day, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was announced as a contestant on the upcoming 16th season of the ABC series, “Dancing With the Stars.” Raisman hails from Needham, Massachusetts, and first captured the hearts of America during her Olympic debut in London last year, where she successfully walked away with three medals. She won a bronze in the balance beam, and gold for both the floor final and for the overall team competition. The new season of DWTS will debut on Monday, March 18 from 8:00-10:01 p.m.
Last night, Boston-based chef, Kristen Kish was announced the winner of season 10 of the Emmy winning Bravo show, “Top Chef.” After having been sent home early in the season, Kristen Kish was able to demonstrate her fighting spirit by earning a spot back into the competition during the “Last Chance Kitchen” challenges. She ended up defeating L.A. chef Brooke Williamson by two rounds to earn the title of Top Chef.
Kish, a former model who originally hails from South Korea and was raised in Michigan, currently works as Chef de Cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s Stir. This educational culinary facility hosts demonstration dinners seven nights a week, and features a revolving menu showcasing different cooking styles, cuisines, and regions. Previously, Kish worked as Chef de Partie at Chef Guy Martin’s Boston restaurant, Sensing.
Along with the title of “Top Chef,” Kish was awarded a showcase at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, a feature in Food and Wine magazine, and $125,000 in prize money. She told the crew she plans on traveling back to South Korea for the first time since her birth with a portion of her winnings. She is only the second female chef ever to win the prestigious competition.
Tonight on TNT, the cable network that would lead you to believe their programming should be likened to explosive materials, a new show featuring some of Beantown’s boys in blue premieres. The docudrama, called “Boston’s Finest,” is produced by Donnie Wahlberg of the Dorchester Wahlbergs, otherwise known as “the one that was in New Kids on the Block.” The pet project came out of a home-grown respect for the BPD, fostered early on in his childhood.
Wahlberg, who was in town last week for the show’s premiere event, told NECN:
“The Boston Police, when I was a kid, they were typically chasing some of my brothers. I was the good kid by the way, rarely saw the inside of a police cruiser in my childhood, but they were also very good to us.”
Who better to honor the true spirit of Boston than someone who was raised here? While Wahlberg insists that he wanted to help Hollywood steer clear of the endless parade of the oft parodied Boston accent, the realities of true Beantown life are pervasive throughout the show, thanks to the up close and personal perspective the show assumes. Wahlberg also serves as the voice-over narrator of the series.
“Boston’s Finest” debuts tonight, with an hour long episode on TNT at 9 p.m.
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