As seen on TV

Two locals competing on ‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ Wednesday night

 

Two locals have their knives all set to go for Top Chef, season 11.

This time out, 19 contestants will cook their hearts out in tough challenges in the setting of New Orleans. The first episode, airing on Bravo at 10 p.m. Wednesday, sees the crew attempting to make something delicious out of swamp fare: alligator, frog or turtle.

Piece of cake (maybe) for our fearless competitors, Nina Compton and Bret Pelaggi.

Compton, chef de cuisine at Scarpetta, tells us she is inspired by “seasonality and great product,” so we’ll have to see how she fares with reptiles.

The St. Lucia native’s guilty pleasure is a far cry from anything with scales and cold blood: “crusty baguette and good stinky cheese.”

Italian food is her specialty, and if she’s not eating at her own restaurant, she heads to Macchialina on Alton Road.

“Michael Pirolo is a very talented chef and has an amazing menu that ever changing and evolving,” says Compton, who also loves the international cuisine at Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel.

Pelaggi, who lives in the Brickell area, tends to favor other parts of the world, namely Mexico: The Massachusett native’s guilty pleasure is a taco salad.

When he’s not working on his rustic technique, Pelaggi often visits hot spots like Swine Southern Table & Bar in Coral Gables. “It’s amazing how they can elevate barbecue,” raves the chef, who says he goes out without bias or high expectations. “Plus the service has always been spot-on, the decor is perfect and the mood they set is amazing.”

Pelaggi is looking forward to whatever Top Chef can throw his way. In Miami, this cold weather boy has had his own issues, namely “cooking in winter holidays when it’s 85 degrees.”

Real love

Katrina Campins was all hush-hush when it came to her June 8 wedding to Egyptian actor Mustafa Marzuk, but now she’s letting the world see how in madly love she is with her buff partner for life. Campins was going to share her news with Hot Listings Miami viewers but since Style Network is kaput, she can’t.

The real estate dynamo released a few photos from the intimate beach ceremony, held at The Moorings Village in Islamorada. The bride wore a Reem Acra embroidered lace gown from Ever After in Coconut Grove. The couple currently live in Miami Beach.

Could a Katrina & Mustafa reality show be next? Start your petitions now.

Scary stuff

If watching Sleepy Hollow didn’t do it, just go to any Party Store. It’s beginning to look a lot like....Halloween.

To whet your appetite for the scariest holiday even more, tune in to Food Network’s Halloween Wars 9 p.m. Sunday to see Hialeah-raised contestant, expert pumpkin carver Gabriel Vinas, show what kind of display he can dream up for the episode entitled Zombie Prom. The show will be guest judged by scream queen Danielle Harris, who has starred in the new-generation Halloween movies.

The Cuban-born Vinas — a full-time sculpture student in Detroit — is vying for a $50,000 prize and coolest pumpkin bragging rights.

Believe it or not, the 22- year-old artist doesn’t eat his canvas.

“I actually don’t care much for many things involving cooked pumpkin,” says Vinas, who attended Rainbow Park Elementary, Norland Middle School and New World School of the Arts. “But I really enjoy baked pumpkin seeds.”

Madeleine Marr

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