Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What a Whirlwind Vacation

Hey Folks
September was a crazy month. This is when we close the Hi-Life Cafe for 3 weeks every year for our annual holiday. As I still am doing my weekly TV gig on the Cada Dia morning show on Telemundo, I just took some short trips. First up was Casa Morada in Islamorada down in the Keys. What a spectacular place. Kind of shabby sheik. Thanks to Heidi and everyone there for making our stay so memorable. If you ever get the chance, this is a must stop. Just so peaceful and beautiful...and the pampering never seems to end.
Next up, I had the opportunity to fly to LA for the Emmy Award party that Bravo threw for the Magical Elves and those of us involved in Top Chef as well as Project Runway. Ihad a blast. I got to see so many familiar faces, some of whom you are sure to recognize in these pictures. Even though Top Chef did not walk away with an Emmy, we were all proud of the production team for the nomination and we had a great time at the party.
The following week we flew up to NYC for a few days. We had amazing weather and some amazing meals as well. Dined at Eleven Madison Park. What a beautiful restaurant. Along with some friends, we had the chef's 12 course tasting menu. What a ride it was. And it was alot of fun as our server recognized me from the show. That is always such a rush!
We got the chance to dine at Harold's new restaurant down in the village, Perilla's. Harold looks great and it was wonderful to see the place packed. His food is very down to earth and delicious. Thanks to his entire staff for the generous hospitality.
More exciting news is around the corner...Hopefully I can share it with you next week. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hey Everyone
This is my good buddy Carey with me as I accepted the "Celebrity Chef of the Year" award from Boca Magazine. What a trip! Many thanks to Boca mag for this prestigious honor. The event was held at Chop's Lobster Bar in Boca Raton and the place is just gorgeous.

Everyone there treated me so well and afterward Chuck & I stayed to have dinner at the bar. Thanks to Pat, the sommelier, for sending over a beautiful bottle of Viognier. And thanks to Executive Chef Holger Strutt for stopping by to visit as well.

Sorry the posts aren't more frequent, but these Bravo folks are keeping me very busy between my webisodes, my blog, my morning stints on Telemundo's Cada Dia show, oh yeah, and of course that little thing called the Hi-Life Cafe!

Thanks to all of you who read and comment on my blogs. I am having a blast with all of these projects. Also have a potential deal in the works that I can't wait to share with you soon.

Finally, we will be having a 6 course "Summer of Love" wine dinner at Hi-Life on August 23rd featuring wines from the San Francisco Wine Exchange and Paul Moe to talk about the wines and their makers. You can check out the full menu with paired wines at . Hope you are having a great Summer and staying cool.

As always, break an egg and stay tuned...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Carlos' Angels

What do you think...Are we ready for the kitchen spinoff of that renowned '70's series? I guess I will have to find a blond sous chef before I can go forward with that project! LOL
All is rolling right along. It has been sweltering here, but my peeps keep coming in to support me. June was an amazing month at my restaurant (usually our slowest). Alot of friends are continuing to join us at Hi-Life for our TC popcorn parties every Wednesday.
Boca Raton magazine just named me the "Celebrity Chef of the Year" in their "Best Of" July issue. Very cool! I'm just loving everything I have the privilege to work on right now and am grateful that I have all of these opportunities before me. Thanks to so many who have given such positive feedback on my Bravo blogs and webisodes. And Wednesday mornings on Telemundo are getting more fun by the week.
Hope you are all staying cool and staying tuned...

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Have a Point! (of view, that is)

Hey Folks
Been busy as always lately. I hope you have been able to follow my blogs as I share my thoughts on Top Chef 3. They are posted weekly on and in Spanish on . It has also been really heady seeing my webisodes on the bravo web site. If any of you have had the opportunity to make any of my recipes, I would love to know your thoughts.
As many of you know, I have also been doing a weekly morning show on Telemundo on their national Cada Dia con Maria Antonietta. I am on every Wednesday morning at 8:35am. I re-create each episodes winning recipe in Spanish. It has been quite a challenge, but a terrific learning experience. Those folks have treated me like a star and I am having a blast.
And my restaurant, the Hi-Life Cafe just keeps reaping the benefits of all my exposure. We continue to get busier than ever. This has been a record June for us - usually our slowest time of the year. We just got another mention in today's Sun-Sentinal newspaper. Big breath and we keep going!
Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Miami Spice

Hey Friends
We were sizzlin' today in the Miami heat.....and it was spicy! We had the launch party for TC3 in South Beach on the Lincoln Mall and it was a huge success. I hosted the event with the ever charming Padma and there were several cheftestants from the upcoming TC3 on hand as well. They seem like a really nice group and I wish them all the best.
Also present was the vice mayor of Miami Beach and eight local restaurants cooking up some tantilizing cuisine for the crowds to enjoy. We had loads of fun and many thanks for the f0lks at NBC and Bravo for making me feel like a superstar!!
Tune in this and every Wednesday morning on the national Cada Dia morning show on Telemundo as I start my weekly segment presenting the winning recipe from the previous weeks TC episode. I am scheduled to appear around 8:30am. Also be on the lookout for my personal take on each episode with my weekly blog that will appear on as well as
Lastly, please let me know what you think of my webisodes that will appear weekly on each web site as well. These are fun latin recipe's that I think you will enjoy making at home. And a plug here for my partner Chuck's Wine Finds which you can find on the magnificent blog TopChefTheyCookWeDish.
Looking forward to all the action starting this Wednesday night........Stay Tuned............

Sunday, June 03, 2007

San Francisco - You're Golden Gates Are Open!

Hey Everyone,
Just got back from a quick jaunt to San Francisco and got to say we had a terrific time! What an amazing city. This was the 2nd visit for me and Chuck and we cannot wait to get back again soon.
As you can see, I got to hook up with Marisa while I was there. She looks amazing and is doing some great gigs. She took us around town and everywhere we went we were treated like royalty. What a great time. Thanks Marisa!
This was such a nice little break as we just wrapped up what has been our busiest season at Hi-Life Cafe. On top of that, the week before we left, the Bravo people were here in Ft. Lauderdale filming 14 different webisodes that will be appearing on their web site ( coinciding with the launch of Top Chef 3. We filmed each of the cooking segments in both English and Spanish. The Spanish webisodes will appear weekly on
I will also be blogging for both sites throughout Top Chef 3. I hope to bring a positive spin to what I know can be very difficult challenges. On June 10th, I will be in Miami with Tom and Padma promoting TC3, and starting on the 13th I will be appearing on the national television show "Cada Dia" on Telemundo every week to re-create the winning dish from the previous week's episode. Should be loads of fun. I hope you will get the chance to see me in at least one of these venues. I will keep you updated as I have more specifics.
Stay tuned......

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Word Up!?!

So what have I been up to you ask? The answer, in short, is alot! I will attempt to bring you up to speed and hopefully stay there. Last weekend, I did a cooking demonstration at at the grand opening of the Expo Design Center here in South Florida. Pictured above is Liz Messler, the store manager who booked me for the gig. About 200 people showed up for my demo on a brand new Vulcan Induction-top range which was very cool to cook on. It was alot of fun and I made alot of new salmon lovers.
Two weeks ago we did a fund raiser for the covenant house here at Hi-Life Cafe that was also a huge success. Over the last couple of months, as well as keeping busier than ever at Hi-Life, I have appeared on NBC's South Florida Today Show, Fox TV's Bites with Belky's as well as Telemundo's Cada Dia con Maria Antonietta. Hi-Life and I were featured in several regional publications including City Link, Gold Coast, Boca, Las Olas, Aventura, City Smart and Go Riverwalk magazines.
On the 24th of this month, I will be hosting a Merryvale wine dinner at Hi-Life. You can go to our web site and view the menu. AND...I have more exciting news for you that I am not yet at liberty to share. But share I will.....very coincide with the premier of Top Chef Season 3...
Stay Tuned........

Monday, March 05, 2007

Where Have I Been?!?

No, I have not been traveling the country doing appearances at celebrity events as Suyai at a Betty Crocker Bake-Off!

I have actually been quite busy here in South Florida at my own restaurant and doing celebrity guest appearances as Chef Carlos!

Just to bring you up to speed...the woman pictured with me below is Camille Seghesio from the wine dinner at Hi-Life we did last month. It was one of those truly amazing dinners where everything just paired perfectly and the crowd was tremendous! Camille had some great stories for her family as well.

Following that of course was Valentine's Day. We had an amazing turnout for the most romantic evening of the year.

I keep reminding myself that life is about the journey, not the destination. And boy, have I been traveling lately! My life seems to be non-stop. It is the height of season now in lovely Ft. Lauderdale -- "Weather is here....Wish you were great" sort of time of year.

Since then, I have been featured in the March issue of Boca Raton magazine and several other local publications - CitySmart, El Nuevo Herald and City & Shore magazines.

I was hired to be a feature chef at the Miami South Beach Food and Wine Festival by the Absolut people. I prepared a beautiful spicy golden Shrimp with corn and cilantro to pair with Sauza margarita's. What a hoot. And so many people recognized me from the Top Chef show. I have become a little jaded at these events, but the crowd was truly delightful and my shrimp was a big hit (margs did not hurt things either.)

Last week I was on the local NBC station's South Florida today show doing a cooking segment. I was nervous, but it turned out to be so much fun! They ended up closing up the episode with my feature...leading up naturally to....the Martha Stewart Show! A natural lead in....LOL

And on Wednesday, March 7, I will be doing a feature on Telemundo, which is the #2 most watched network nationally. My segment will on the Cada Dia Con Maria Antonietta show at 8:30 am. So you can see me and brush up on your Spanish at the same time.

This should bring you up-to-speed on my life lately. I promise to be better about making posts more often! Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in the live chat last Monday night hosted by Java Junkie, Big Shamu, Miss Xa-Xa, Charlus & Miss Place! It was a festive whirlwind and I had an absolute blast. It was my virgin experience in a chat room so I want to thank everyone who participated for being so gentle!!

I want to wish you all a happy Valentine's day. The Hi-Life usually has fresh cut roses on every table and the granite topped bar, but this year I've decided to go retro. In Valentine's days of old, the traditional flower was the tulip. It represented new love as Spring was anticipated with new growth and rejuvination.

Tulips don't transport or last as long as roses do, so the shift was made to roses in the 1950's. So we have gone back to a simpler and more idealistic time, a time of youthful exhuberance and hope for the future.

Tonight we will be featuring a velvety, smokey Morel mushroom soup with a pastry heart, a Thai pepper glazed filet of salmon garnished with a butterflied shrimp shaped into a heart, a heart shaped chicken fried steak and a corazon shaped sweet cream cake with a zabaglione gelato. (Do you sense a theme here?)

Wishing you all much love your way on this Valentine's Day! Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I Need A Top Chef Fix!

Well folks, it's been one full week since the Top Chef finale. I've been dealing with my withdrawls by throwing myself into my work. Last night was the Seghesio wine dinner at Hi-Life Cafe with guest host Camille Seghesio. Seghesio is a sensational winery with the third and fourth generation Seghesio's at the helm. You can find out more about their wines at The dinner was beautiful and the pairings were spot on!

Camille let me know that she enjoyed all the pairings, but was absolutely blown away with the pairing of our flourless chocolate cake in a raspberry coulis with the Seghesio "Old Vine" Zinfandel. A huge risk, but this one really paid off. Generally it is a no-no trying to pair red wines with dessert, but I knew after trying the combination that it would be a real crowd pleaser.

Following is a copy of the entire menu with pairings. Hope you enjoy!!

Hi-Life Café

Seghesio Wine Dinner
Featuring Guest Speaker
Camille Seghesio

Wednesday February 7, 2007

Pass Arounds
Mixed Seafood Ceviche
Served in a Plantain Canapé
Grilled Vegetable Napoleon
Finished with Basil Pesto
Conch Fritters

First Course
Caribbean Shrimp
Jumbo Shrimp prepared in a Florida Lobster Creole Sauce over “Nutty Rice”

Second Course
Cumin Dusted Pork Tenderloin
Oven Roasted and served with Savoy and Red Cabbage finished with a
Tunisian Yogurt Sauce

Third Course
Blond Strip
A New York Strip Steak Seared to Medium-Rare served over Creamy Herbed Mashed Potatoes and topped with a Blond BBQ Sauce with a side of Homemade Corn Bread

Fourth Course
Flourless Chocolate Cake
With a Fresh Raspberry Coulis & Fresh Whipped Cream SEGHESIO ZINFANDEL OLD VINES ALEXANDER/DRY CREEK 2004
Stay tuned for more......

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Top Chef Finale!

Wow.....what a great party we had here at Hi-Life Cafe last night! That is me dressed like Suyai, and Lee & Phil dressed as Betty & Marcel. The place was packed - the perfect conclusion to a fun ride! Thanks again for all of you who showed up.

Stay tuned......

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Top Chef Finale

Hi Folks,
Tonight will be the final Top Chef party at Hi-Life Cafe as this is the last episode! Our theme is Dress As A Cheftestant or Judge from either Season 1 or 2!

Many thanks to all of you who have joined and/or supported me and Hi-Life Cafe throughout this crazy roller coaster ride - both here at home, on the web and various blogs.

Special thanks to Java Junkie and Big Shamu for all of the photo-shops as well as the many mentions and support. Also much thanks to Charlus & Miss Xa-Xa (pics of her visit here will be posted soon) for finding out "Where the Boys Are" and the beautiful blown glass piece you gave us. And a shout out to Miss Place and the folks at Blogging Top Chef for your continued support.

Finally many thanks for all of you who have followed me and my blog. Love to hear from you fans and read your comments and thoughts. I hope you will continue to visit my blog as I will keep you up-to-date with what is going on here and in my life. Lots of press is coming my way as well as appearances at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival and much, much more!

Stay tuned.........

Monday, January 29, 2007

Top Chef 2 Finale - Dress As A Cheftestant...

For our last Top Chef party at Hi-Life, we are asking everyone to dress as either a contestant, judge or guest judge from either season 1 or 2. As for me, I will be coming as Suyai. Suyai didn't get much air time, but I think she deserves the love. Now that may be hard since, as you can see, shamu's work out has me beefier than ever, but I will do my best to fit into her chefs' jacket. Hope to see you here! Stay tuned........

Thursday, January 25, 2007


First off, congrats Sam! You have always been one of my favorites. Your originality and style is evident in everything you create. Those that think you are an instigator and/or a bully don't know that you are one of the sweetest guys I've met.

Chef Tom - Gordon Ramsey called and he wants his schtick back! I can understand why the season went awry. While the judges comments can be understandably harsh sometimes, this season bordered on the rude. Constructive criticism is one thing...nasty nit-picking is another. "You didn't cook anything." Are you kidding?! Are you watching the same thing we are?! Sam applied heat to his sauce and the cookie that was on the dessert didn't just jump out of the oven by itself! And this isn't a "cooking show" as Tom stated, but rather a supposed competition to see who can be the Top Chef, which would imply skills both in the kitchen and on the plate. Several of us were disappointed that the judges never seemed to take into account the contestants conduct and professionalism in the kitchen, as that is so much of what being a chef is all about.

Still congratulations are due to Ilan & Marcel for making it to the final. They weathered the storms and have made it to the end. Good luck to both of you.

I cannot believe that Bravo seems to have copied my latest vacation with Chuck in Hawaii that we took in September! LOL We too went to the big island and went horse back riding in the Waipio Valley. (We didn't get the helicopter ride down the mountain, but details, details...) Above is a pic of our horseback riding adventure in Waipio Valley. The other shot is of me and Chuck dining at Alan Wong's restaurant in Honolulu. I thought it was kind of strange when I mentioned my vacation plans to the producers they looked at me kind of funny!

Stay well and stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Join us tonight at Hi-Life as we watch part 1 of the finale and see who starts the next fight..LOL

Seriously what we will be awaiting is the fan favorite winner. We are asking everyone to wear green and hopefully you will see me in the green!! So many thanks to all of you who have voiced your support for me during this competition - it means more than I can tell you. And thanks again to the gals at Top Chef 2 They Cook. We Dish. for the photo shopping they have done for us all season long.

Hope to see you tonight. Stay tuned......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

OOPS!! are all right. They were bad......really, really bad......but we all make mistakes...

Maybe next years' contract should stipulate California Penal Code!

How about we just talk about the food for a while.....hmmm...

Stay tuned...

No Means....No!

As far as the food, good show.......good show indeed! Congratulations to Sam on your quick fire (he was my roommate you know...yeah!!). And congrats to the team as a whole. The judges really had to nitpick to find anything wrong.

I have been receiving alot of questions about last nights' show. I'll try to answer them all. I truly don't believe that Elia was the instigator. Her idea was for her and the others to shave their heads and not Marcel's. The true instigators were probably Ilan and Cliff. You can hear her say "I can't" on the video which I interpretted that she would not participate in shaving Marcel's hair. (I still can't believe they video taped their own crime!)

Cliff - really sorry to see you go. You are a very talented chef, but Tom is right, the contract is very clear about physical violence. However, if you had beat Marcel with a bag of sugar, Tom may have let you stay!!LOL

If anyone wants to see more of Cliff and see his opinions, look at Andy's blog on If I had my choice for the finale, it would be three. Elia, Sam and myself. Good old-fashioned cookoff -- all about the food and the flavors and no drama.

Good job (food) fab four......see you next Wednesday when we see who will win the fan favorite! Stay tuned........

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cowboys & Indians

Hey folks.......Join us tonight at Hi-Life for our Wednesday Top Chef Party. Our theme this week is Cowboys & Indians cuz we have an inklin' that someone is gonna get scalped!

Belly on up to our bar for some BBQ popcorn and beer shots and we will all see who gets chopped tonight...

As you see, I have been bulking up and Chuck has been slimming down thanks to some great workout & diet tips from Java Junkie and Big Shamu! Thanks gals!!!

Stay tuned........

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Somethings Coming, Something Good!

Got a nice write up in the February/March issue of City & Shore Magazine for you local Floridians to check out. Loved the picture of the Hi-Life but I wish everyone would stop using those awful publicity shots from Bravo! I'm a smiler at heart, not that serious competetor face they wanted to portray.

Looking forward to a visit at the end of the month with Miss XaXa from Amuse Biatch blog. Should be a hoot and a nanny! You can follow her trip south on the Dishndat weblog as well -- Ms. Place is doing a "Where The Boys Are" theme. It is so campy and I love it!

Also right around the corner on February 6th is a special dinner featuring the wines of Seghesio. We are thrilled to have family member Camille Seghesio on hand to talk about all of the wines and her infamous great grandfather who started the winery in the late 1800's. Their Zinfandels are amazing and this will truly be a special evening.

And then of course there is Valentine's Day, but I am getting a little ahead of myself. First is tomorrows Top Chef episode. And I promise you the show is as shocking as the commercials!

So Stay Tuned, Break an Egg and Stay Scandalicious....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Year's Eve Pix

Thought you might enjoy seeing the Hi-Life as it looked just before our big NY Eve gala. Hope you enjoy!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Where Has The Time Gone - WELCOME BACK!

Glad to be back blogging. Been really busy at the Hi-Life, so I am glad I finally have a moment to put some thoughts down.

First--last weeks show. It was so nice to see my roommate Mikey win 2 challenges in a row! Mainly because people kept stopping me and asking "what the heck--how is Mike still on there?" This episode just proved that he did have the talent to be on there in the first place. If you go to, you will hear Mike's take on Chef Tom. I can't believe he said that Mike should have a tooth pulled every day. Would it have killed him to give Mike some props???

Finally--this weeks show. This Marcel bashing has just got to stop. Sure he is annoying as all hell, but there is no reason to be midieval l and start carrying torches down the street! LOL (Maybe he should audition for American Idol with his rap/poem!) And it was sad to see Mikey go.

Thanks for everyone who came to our parties these last two weeks. And don't forget to vote for your fan favorite (me I hope!) at There is only one week to go.

Next weeks episode should really be a shocker! Five little indians, all in a row...Five little indians, one has to go...Stay tuned..................

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Top Chef Parties Are Back

The Top Chef parties at Hi-Life will resume tonight with the newest installment of the season. Our theme is New Years Eve deja vu. Join us as we pass champagne and party favors and watch to see who must pack their knives tonight.

Tune in later in the week as I will be posting pix from our amazing New Years Eve party here! Thanks to those of you who joined us and made this the most special celebration we have ever had here.

And thanks again to "the gals" for the fun pic. Each one I think is funnier than the last!

Stay tuned........

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Hi Friends..........been absolutely so crazy busy here at Hi-Life that I have had not time to update my blog...thanks for your patience! As promised, following is the Christmas carol that the Noel Quartet created for me. Thanks so much to Carrie, Jeanne, Michael & Danny for this - it meant so much to me!!

Top Chef
(Sung to the Tune of "The First Noel")
The first Top Chef, the judges did say,
"Bring Carlos to us, we may send him away!"
But Tom and Gail, they could not berate,
For Carlos did NOT serve them "crap on a plate"!
Top Chef, Top Chef, here's to our Top Chef!
Carlos will always be our Top Chef!
More challenges came, fast food and flambe'
Crown Carlos the king for his bouche amusee'!
Through the scandals and scenes, through the intrigue galore...
Someone PLEASE take those lychee nuts back to the store!
Top Chef, Top Chef, here's to our Top Chef!
Carlos will always be our Top Chef!
Alas, we come to the Thanksgiving meal
When the judges thought salad was just not ideal.
You packed your knives, but gladly we'll say
We'd rather have you here at Hi-Life Cafe!
Top Chef, Top Chef, here's to our Top Chef!
Carlos will always be our Top Chef!
Top Chef, Top Chef, here's to our Top Chef!
Carlos will always be our Top Chef!
Merry Christmas Everyone.........stay tuned!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Yesterday was my birthday, but even though we had a busy night at the Hi-Life, I managed to celebrate with friends and staff. Thanks for all the good wishes.

I have gotten many requests, so my birthday gift to you is the Lime in da Coconut recipe...

16 oz coconut milk
1 qt limeade (purchased or homemade, who's a cocktail!)
4 oz light rum
3 oz Meyer's Rum
2 tbs orange juice
2 tbs pineapple juice

Blend all together, shake and served over ice. Garnish with lime slice and shaved coconut.
"Look curdling!" LOL

Stay safe and stay tuned...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mama Mia!

Congrats to Mia! You have joined the ranks of the honorable. On the set you were the mother figure. (And I will always remember the time you tucked me into bed!) Even though the end was very trying, and I know the pressures of the judges table, you followed your conscience and were true to yourself.

I know your friends, fans and family welcomed you back with joy. Now fight the powers that be and go FEED THE PEOPLE!

Jaws dropped as the drama unfolded last night at the Hi-Life. Thanks to all of you who showed up to enjoy the last episode of Top Chef for 2006.

Congrats to Sam "dangalow" -- you da man. Nice job keepin' your crew together. No easy task.

For more, stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Holidays -- It Had Better Be Good!

This Weeks Top Chef Party Theme At Hi-Life Cafe --
Come As Your Favorite Christmas Ornament, Or Wear It!

Our featured cocktail is Lime in da Coconut. This will be the final TC party for 2006 as no more new episodes will be aired until January.

This episode had better be good in order to hold the fans over the holidays. This episode's title is holiday spirit, maybe they'll get some. Maybe noone will go home...oh yeah...they already did that! LOL

Thanks so much to "the gals" at Top Chef 2 They Cook. We Dish. for all of the wonderful parody pix (see example above) that they have done for us this season. If you have not been to their blog, you are truly missing out.

Last weeks Plaza 3000 holiday party was a great success. Lots of good cheer and great music. Thanks to the Noel Quartet for the very special song they composed for me. I will post it in its entirety closer to are gonna love it!

Stay tuned....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wednesday Night's Outrageous Tee-Shirt Party Pix!

What a blast we had on Wednesday night. Thanks for all of you who keep the Top Chef Parties going strong! It was great having our Sarah fly in from Boston to party with us!!

Til we meet again Frank, but never Goodbye! As long as we have "good food, good wine and good friends." Even though Frank left, the show was quite enjoyable.

The quickfire was a great challenge. No crap...just a straight-forward challenge - true Top Chef style. Congrats to Marcel on
your first individual win.

Seeing the fire pits in the elimination challenge definitely would
have made me chuckle. Good job to everyone considering they
had to work on their knees! LOL... Eggs cook at a very low
temperature and that flame was a roarin'! I am surprised that
more weren't burnt and rubbery. Extra shout out to my buddy
Elia for her second win in a row!!!

And what childhood memory has Gail so perturbed. Did you
get the impression that she doesn't like brown eggs?!?

Love to you all and stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Perfect Holiday Gift!

"...wore my "It's not crap on a plate" shirt to Whole Foods on Thanksgiving (yes, I was one of those idiots still shopping on Thanksgiving day...) - Had several people stop me and say things like "oh...that's from Carlos on Top Chef!" and "how cool...where can I get one?" - (of course, I gave them Carlos' web site address...) I left feeling quite smug and privileged!"

This was a note from a fan who got one of the first tee-shirts we made. You can order tee-shirts and they can be shipped. They are only $10 plus shipping.

If you plan on visiting Ft. Lauderdale or know someone who is, we can also mail Hi-Life Cafe gift certificates. They are customized and can be made in any denomination. To order tee-shirts or gift certificates, you can email me at .

Hope to see some of you tomorrow night for our Top Chef party! Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This Wednesday Night...

It was very considerate of Bravo to skip a week so we could all mourn the packing of my knives! Ha!

But now it's once again SHOWTIME!!! Wednesday night's theme: Outrageous tee-shirts. Wear your most scandalicious tees and as always we will have gourmet popcorn & light bite fare. Our featured drink special is made-from-scratch Champagne Sangria.

We know you can't wait to see who will be packin' up their knives this week. I will be available during the show to offer my personal insights and answer questions. Join us if you are in town.

Tasty Tidbits:

Recently I received a post telling me to ignore the Bravo boards. So true Chef Carlos style, I hit 'em...hit 'em hard! There were alot of emotions there. To all of those who think I was trying to be safe and in the middle, please note that when this was said on the final episode, I was wearing a different color shirt than in the rest of the interviews. Who knows when I said that or what I had been referring to...oh the magic of editing!!

To all of you who support me...I love you!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mardi-Gras Party Pix

Despite no new episode, we still had a festive time with our die-hard friends! Congrats to Nicole for winning the gift bag.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Top Chef Gift Bag Give-Away @ Hi-Life Cafe!

Another day, another scandalicious happening...Seems there is no new episode tonight for our Mardi-Gras party at Hi-Life. So we decided to throw in a very special treat for one lucky partier here tonight. We will be doing a raffle and the prize is a Top Chef gift bag. The Top Chef bag has a Top Chef Cork Screw, an official Top Chef Apron and a Top Chef issue special issue of the Zagat Guide. We will also be giving away free Hurricane Cocktails. Hope to see you tonight as we celebrate my run on Top Chef...what a trip!
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Infamous Cutting Edge Salad...

I've been getting alot of questions on the Thanksgiving day salad from friends, family and fans. Now folks don't get me was a wonderful experience...but I was ready to come home. Being placed at the bottom of the quick fire challenge was absolutely shocking! I made a flavorful pasta Putanesca in fifteen minutes!! Chef Tom even tasted it twice. I was shocked that he chose a couple of inedible dishes over mine.

My plan for the elimination challenge was to make a pretty salad "so not to be offensive" and to use mixed greens out of a bag in order 'not to be cutting edge'. I thought this strategy would secure me a ticket home. Little did I know that I would have competition from Betty & Michael for least desirable dish.

Harold is the only one Bravo blogger that got it right. "He just seemed done. Like, 'I have a great life and this is not for me.' You can almost watch him talking to the judges. He's fustrated, he's short with them, he's ready to go home."

Amen brother, Harold's right. For the first hour of the judge's table, I was smiling all the way. The second hour, well, I was trying to move things along.

Moral of the story "be true to yourself and have fun." - And speaking of fun, this Wednesday nights' theme for our Top Chef party at Hi-Life is Mardi-Gras madness! We'll have the beads and the New Orleans punch and you can dress like "When The Saints Go Marchin' In"! Hope to see you there.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Today's Lexicon...

Thanks to the folks at Bravo for the meticulously recording every detail. Let's start off with the words that had our crowd oohing and aahing last Wednesday night. You never know when those big SAT words are going to pop out.

DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED: Betty & Marcel...Frank & Marcel...ok, anybody & Marcel

OXYMORONIC: Chef Anthony & Michael

BRAGGADOCIOUS: Insert your choice here...

My phrases that will hopefully become part of the American vernacular...




Saturday, November 25, 2006

One Of Many Notes I Have Received...Thanks To Everyone For The Support!!

"BRAVO Chef Carlos!!

Congratulations on your run on TOP CHEF!! It is impressive that you made it and you were the nicest and most gorgeous contestant!! I am just so excited I found you, because I have thought of you often over the years!

One Question: Is Betty a drunk or a psycho?? I wanted to kick her ass last night when she pointed to you and SCREAMED CARLOS!! (Bitch, does she know she is messin' with some pretty tough Hoboken girls who are madly in love with you!!!! Where is her restaurant??!!)

WE LOVE YOU!! It was a thrill to have one of our Hoboken Boys represent!!

Congrats, again, and please send me info on ordering some crap on a plate T's!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! and when I roll into the Hi-Life in my Nike roller-skates (circa 1981) I would like one of those beautiful salads waiting for me!!

All my love,

Friday, November 24, 2006

Top Chef Thanksgiving Party Pix!

And thanks to everyone for bringing all of those canned goods. Our cup overfloweth! We have so much to be thankful for and it is so nice to see good folks sharing with those who are less fortunate.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

10 Little Indians All In A Row...10 Little Indians, One Had To Go...

After the quick fire challenge, my team felt a little demoralized. We went shopping at Wild Oats, where I found a national Zagat guide. Inside was the Hi-Life listing and I thought to myself..."What the hell am I doing here with these freaks!" It was one of those moments where I felt like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life". " TAKE ME HOME, CLARENCE...I WANT TO LIVE...I WANT TO LIVE!

The whole experience is really wonderful. I knew I had a fan base, but didn't know how large. That is what fills me with a new sense of confidence and pride. My goal was to get on the show and be the most descent person on reality TV. I think I was successful.

And don't worry folks, the Wednesday night parties will continue come rain or shine. We are gonna see this thing through to the end.

Stay Tuned...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bring It On!

Many thanks once again to the gals at Top Chef 2: They Cook We Dish for the plugs and photo shopping! For this Wednesday's Top Chef party, we are asking everyone to bring a canned good that we will donate to the food bank at the church accross the street. Hope you can make it and party on with all of us here at Hi-Life Cafe. Also want to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for all of your support and hope to see you very soon...
Stay Tuned.........