EXCLUSIVE: Top Chef Goes Tropical! See Where the Finale Will Be Held

01/06/2014 at 09:00 AM ET

Top Chef New Orleans Finale Maui
David Moir/Bravo

Top Chef is leaving New Orleans and going to 


Judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons are jetting to Maui with the final crop of contestants for a two-part Top Chef New Orleans finale, in which the chefs’ pantries arrive in a catamaran rowed by men in luau gear (and Padma dons an ocean-blue jumpsuit only she could pull off).

Top Chef New Orleans Finale Maui
David Moir/Bravo

At least one chef is pulling out some impressive talent in tropical paradise: “This is easily the best dish I’ve had all year,” Tom says at the judge’s table—but in the end, it’s still a heated race for the crown. “This is the closest finale I’ve ever experienced,” Padma says.

Part one of the finale also reveals the winner of Last Chance Kitchen, an online only competition where eliminated chefs battle for a chance to return to the Top Chef finaleTune in January 29 at 10 p.m. ET and February 5 at 10 p.m. ET. to see it all.

Watch the video below for an early look at the competition:

—Marissa Conrad

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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