Stephanie Cmar

November or Nah?

Well, it’s December!  In this month’s edition of Photo Finish, we say goodbye to the month of November.  I admit, I was a bit off my instagrind this past month, but I’ll do better!

Here’s what I did capture:


[1] Beautiful golden autumn in the South End for Stephanie Cmar’s last donut pop-up of the year. [2] Alex & Ani’s Providence Collection made a great addition to my enormous A&A collection.  The matching skeleton key earrings are on my Christmas list! [3] I attended my first little event as a blogger!  Did you read my post on Loretta’s Last Call? [4] I attended my second midnight release at Game Stop and this one was a big deal!  I picked up Super Smash Bros. for WiiU, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby! [5] I finally got my hair done!  Blonde for the holidays, please and thank you. [6] I decorated my Christmas tree early… again!  It’s full of dachshunds, obviously. [7] I play A LOT of Pokémon.  I redeemed my download codes for Gengar and Diancie on this exciting Saturday night pictured. [8] I spent Thanksgiving at my parents’ house.  I swear, my mom’s decorating could be in a magazine! [9] Leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast.  Yes.


Is everyone ready for the holiday season?

Follow along for more instagram adventures, and expect lots of sparkle this month on the blog!

Top Chef BOSTON, baby!

The best judges: Emeril, Padma, Gail, Tom, (with the best dance moves,) and Hugh!

The best judges: Emeril, Padma, Gail, Tom, (with the best dance moves,) and Hugh!

When I first heard the rumor that Top Chef season 12 would be set in Boston, I was excited.  However, you have to take that as what it is: a rumor.  This week, though, my wildest dreams came through when it was confirmed!

To have one of my favorite shows in my favorite city, the city I live in, is news I can’t even begin to comprehend.  When the confirmations were coming out left and right on Wednesday, it was literally all I could think about all day.

Now I’m working on how I can eat the cheftestants’ food this spring/summer…

In light of the good news of what I’m hoping will be my new favorite season, I wanted to revisit my other favorite Top Chef locations, in a top 3 list.


3. Season 11 – New Orleans

American Horror Story and Top Chef were both on at the same time, and both were set in New Orleans, so I was all about New Orleans!  I had a couple of favorite contestants this time around including my hometown hero, the wonderful and kind Stephanie Cmar.  Humble brag: I’ve had the pleasure of having coffee with her, and she personally introduced me to season 10 winner Kristen Kish.  Stephanie is awesome in real life and on screen.  My other favorite was the adorable Janine Booth, who I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting but I have tweeted back and forth with her, and that’s nice too.  The great thing about the New Orleans location was the utilization of new-ish judge Emeril Lagasse.  New Orleans is where he made a name for himself.  Emeril, who I used to watch on TV with my parents when I was growing up, gives me a nostalgic feeling that’s nice.  Also, he kind of looks like my uncles.

2. Season 8 – New York City

The second time Top Chef made New York its home was for the All-Stars season.  That it itself is enough to make this one of the best seasons.  Most of my favorites are all thrown together in one season including the  fierce Jen Carroll, hilarious Carla Hall, the joyous Tiffany Derry, and a man whose quotes liter my twitter feed endlessly, Fabio Viviani.  These are literally some of my favorite cheftestants period, so seeing them all in one episode is pure magic.  Fabio is always pure magic and watching his budding bromance with Richard Blais is fantastic.  I laugh every time I rewatch this season.  Actually, all of the contestants on this season were people I liked, so it can sometimes be a bit hard to watch your favorites pack their knives again.  But with so many fan favorites on one season, what’s not to love?

1. Season 6 – Las Vegas

Love those Voltaggios!  Forever my favorite season, Vegas is tied to my memories more so than any other season.  I can tell you what year of college I was in without looking up the year; I can tell you exactly where I was living.  This is the first season of Top Chef (and maybe the first show ever) I live tweeted.  Twitter has been instrumental in my Top Chef experience, and I tweeted through that finale like a fiend!  This is the first time my chosen contestant won the title of Top Chef.  Yes, I cheered for Michael Voltaggio.  The man is unstoppable!  Really, so was Bryan.  The two brothers both had such consistent success throughout the season, and it was amazing to watch.  Vegas, like New Orleans, opened my eyes to a culinary city I never would have expected.  Now whenever someone mentions Las Vegas, I say, “I want to go there!  But to eat!”


Here’s hoping Boston is the best season ever!  We have three cheftestants here– Tiffani Faison, Kristen Kish, and Stephanie Cmar.  I’d love to see them pop up on the new season.  I’d also love to see another Boston chef vying for the title.  Mostly, I hope to see Padma or Tom in my city soon!


photo via Bravo

Stacked: Stephanie Cmar’s Donut Pop-up!

IMG_4952I was on a mission last weekend: a mission for donuts.  If you’ve been reading, you know I love Top Chef.  My favorite cheftestant from last season, fellow Bostonian Stephanie Cmar, recently left No. 9 Park.  I found out thanks to twitter that she would be selling donuts at The Butcher Shop in the south end on Saturday & Sunday 9 am to 11 am for three weekends only.  I planned to get up early on Saturday to try one of her donuts!

Saturday came, and I got up and got going.  I left my house slightly after nine to walk to The Butcher Shop.  I go to restaurants in that area all the time, so I neglected to look up the address and ended up completely overshooting it.  When I got there around 9:40, the 250 donuts she made had already sold out!  I did get the chance to meet and chat with Stephanie, who was so, so sweet!  I got a picture with her (in which I look completely hideous) that you may have caught on my instagram.  I was even more determined to get up on Sunday morning for donuts!

Sunday, I got up even earlier, even before I get up for work.  I left the house at ten past 8, and arrived at The Butcher shop around 8:30.  I was fourth in line!  In front of me was a couple who read about the pop-up on Boston Eater, and a woman who, like me, had missed out on donuts the day before.  She was actually in line when they announced they had run out at 9:20!  They ran out of donuts within 20 minutes on Saturday!  Even if I hadn’t overshot it the previous day, I’d have been out of luck.  Within minutes, the line behind us wound down Tremont Street and we were super happy we were there so early.  Stephanie came out, announced that they had made so many more donuts than yesterday, and told us to come on in!

Last weekend, Stephanie’s flavors were chocolate Bavarian creme and blood orange glazed.  I tried both, and they were both so delicious!


Stephanie kindly remembered me from the previous day, and let me snap another picture with her looking a little more put together this time!


So, here’s your mission for this weekend.  Get up super early and get yourself to The Butcher Shop, located at 552 Tremont Street, for Stephanie Cmar’s donuts!  They run $3 a piece and go quickly!  Stephanie’s doing two different flavors each weekend and I am seriously considering going back again and again!