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Top Chef's Stephen Asprinio: "Wine is More Versatile Than Shoes"

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Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Comedy writer Bonnie Datt once bought a chainmail vest "for clubbing"—a purchase she later came to lament, once she realized that chainmail isn't terribly slimming. Inspired by this, she now spends her spare time asking famous people to dish about purchases which they initially loved—but ended up regretting, for Racked's new feature, Buyer's Remorse.

This week we talk to Top Chef's all-time most stylish contestant—restaurateur, noted oenophile and Racked reader, Stephen Asprinio, who appeared in both the show's inaugural season and in the recent Top Chef All Stars. But even the always dapper Stephen, who plans to open his next restaurant in New York City, has had the occasional bout of buyer's remorse.

And just what does Stephen most regret buying?

Stephen Asprinio: Several years back when I was living down south in Palm Beach County, after opening my first restaurant, I decided to invest in some suede Luigi Borrelli drivers made by Sutor Mantellassi—$600—to pair with a fast car, as it's typically done down there—so I was told. Shortly after my purchase, I left for New York City, got rid of the car, and now, have no use for the suede drivers—not the ideal match with the streets of New York. They never saw the light of day again. In hindsight, I should have invested in some Bordeaux futures. Wine is so much more versatile than shoes.
· Stephen Asprinio [Official Site]
· All Buyer's Remorse Posts [Racked]