Friday, May 09, 2008
As you ought to know by now, possums, in the name of bringing you the chercest bits, we're happy to ferret out any Top Chef-related detail, no matter how trivial, provided, of course, that it's entertaining, or at least informative.
We were, of course, curious about the wedded pair at the heart of this week's Elimination Challenge, and yet, when this bit of (public) info hit our inbox on Wednesday, we refrained. Heartless though we are, it made us a little uncomfortable. In the end, though, it is public, so here goes.
The bride, as you may remember, indicated on the show that she hailed from Marietta, Georgia, but according to a newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas, the Journal-World, she also has roots in the Kansas prairie:
For Lawrence native Corey (Smith) Marchetti, her October wedding included...80 crew members, eight top chefs, four judges and about 2.3 million of her, um, closest friends.
Her Chicago wedding to J.P. Marchetti is getting the reality show treatment on...Bravo’s popular cooking competition “Top Chef”....
Yes, the bride puckering up her face at her wedding cake in the show’s tension-filled promo is a 1999 graduate of Lawrence High School and a 2003 graduate of Kansas University.
So, how did the couple end up as special guests on such a hot reality show? It all comes down to a phone call from the show’s producers and a date, Oct. 21.
Producers were in Chicago filming this season’s series and were trying to find a venue for a “Wedding Wars”-themed episode. The producers were exploring the possibility of using Galleria Marchetti for the show, a prospect J.P. Marchetti, who runs the venue/restaurant, and his then-fiancée Corey, who does the marketing, found very exciting as “Top Chef” fans. J.P. Marchetti returned the producers’ message as fast as he could.
“Usually when people ask us about a date, they want the date to be open,” he says. “And I said, ‘Well, there’s nothing going on that day,’ so I was hoping you know, they’d move forward. And the guy told me, ‘Oh, that’s too bad.’”
The producers were looking for an existing wedding on that date so the chefs could take over the catering as a show challenge. Upset that despite holding 70 weddings per year they didn’t have the right date, the couple began discussing what they could do to make it work.
“And I was like, ‘Well, you know, we could get married.’ And we thought about it for a minute and we were like, ‘Yeah, we could get married,’” Corey Marchetti says. “So we called back and just kind of threw it out there, thinking maybe they’ll be interested, but probably not.”
Turns out they were interested and got the OK from the network.
But, of course, the couple couldn’t escape a reality show-type hitch ... they had just 27 days to plan a wedding in Chicago that had been planned for April in Kansas. They already had everything set in Lawrence — a church, reception site, florist, photographer and cake.
First up on their to-do list? Making sure her family was OK with the switch. The bride’s father, Michael Smith, is unable to travel because of a severe brain injury. It was decided the bride’s mother, Marcia Smith, would walk her daughter down the aisle.
Well, possums, that last bit especially made us reach for our lace-edged handkerchiefs. It's so wonderful to see a couple who, in Meat Loaf's immortal words, would do anything for love. Or for a chance to be on TV.