Catching Up with Brian Malarkey at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

Michelle Dudash and chef Brian Malarkey of Searsucker, The Taste and Top Chef
Michelle Dudash and chef Brian Malarkey of Searsucker, The Taste and Top Chef

Chef Brian Malarkey and me. Sorry for the blur. I see where my husband's priorities lie, balancing an iPhone opposite what Malarkey called, "Tongue in Cheek". I'm still not sure what he meant. Beef cheeks? It tasted like braised short rib.

I’m sitting here attempting to work, but really just thinking about how much fun I had on last night’s date with my husband. I’m typically not an enthusiastic go-out-during-the-week kind of gal. Monday through Thursday nights I’m focused on work, with occasional early morning risings for TV segments. I squeeze in a few late afternoon workouts and then scramble to get dinner on the table before Scarlet’s bedtime.

Michelle Dudash

En route to the gala in typical fashion--still finalizing makeup application.

Wait, free tickets to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Gala, you say? What should I wear?

My husband works in the car industry and his employer sponsors this event, so we ventured 10 minutes from our home to take part in the festivities. Last year I heard that Bret Michaels appeared at the gala since he was selling a car at the auction. So that piqued my interest.

Then, there I was at the Gala teetering on a carpet seam on black suede stiletto boots awaiting Maestro’s filet mignon with mushroom barley risotto. Swish. I felt someone whisk past my back. I turned my head and saw the back of a guy’s chef coat. But it didn’t appear to be just any chef. His hair was trendily coifed and he was tall and thin. He turned the corner and I glimpsed a chiseled profile shot.

It was chef Brian Malarkey, in all his sun-kissed, dimpled glory. You might have watched him compete on Bravo’s “Top Chef”. He also recently opened the restaurant Searsucker in downtown Scottsdale.

Blingy cowgirls at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

I thought, he must be here promoting his new digs. Hubs and I wandered our way through the Saks runway show, dancing blingy cowgirls, and throngs of party goers.

There it was. The Searsucker booth–and Brian! A couple of years ago I met Brian at a potato luncheon held at Searsucker San Diego, so it was fun running into him again. I love meeting celebrity chefs who are appreciative of their fans.

I couldn’t resist asking him a few questions:

Me: Welcome to Scottsdale!…How are you liking it so far?

Him: Love it! Have you been to the restaurant?

Me: No (feeling guilty)….but my husband hosted a group at your chef table recently! (whew–off the hook)

Him: Great! Well, you’ll have to come in.

Me: What else are you up to?

Him: I have a new show coming out.

Me: Oh, really!? Tell me about it!

Him: It’s called “The Taste”.

Whoa, I’ve only seen coverage about Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson hosting this show. Brian told me that last week he bellied up to a bar shoulder-to-shoulder with Tony eating fried chicken and drinking whiskey. Nice!

So, tune in to The Taste next week on ABC Tuesday, January 22 at 8pm Eastern. I know I will! Will you? Do you watch reality shows? Reality cooking shows? C’mon. Don’t be shy. Tell me about it.


You might also enjoy:

Nutrition Expert and Anthony Bourdain’s Take on Skinny Chefs

TV Host Giuliana Rancic Dishes on Her Slim Secrets

Kale, Grape & Walnut Salad and Lunch with Ellie Krieger at FNCE

Creamy Potato Soup Recipe for All (and meeting Brian Malarkey)


  1. Suzanne says:

    I do enjoy reality shows and a good number of cooking shows. I do plan to catch this and see what it’s about.

    1. Suzanne,

      So, you won’t confess to which ones? LOL. Let’s see, right now I’m tuning in to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!

      Thanks for sharing.

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