Archive for the ‘Top Chef’ Category
I’m not really sure how I managed this, but somehow I was able to convince the gang over at Endless Simmer to let me take a crack the Top Chef Masters interview for this week. Luckily, BS and gansie didn’t use their better judgment and gave me a shot at it, which is saying something given that the entire experience was a complete trial by fire for me. I really can’t thank them enough for letting me run with it, and the fact that they let me splice in WuTang Clan lyrics throughout the article just goes to show how fucking cool the ES gang is. Check out the full post here.
First of all, and I know everyone says this, but when actually listening to the sound of my own voice after listening to the recorded the interview the next day was extremely cringe inducing. I sound like a clown, and it honestly baffles me that anyone, anywhere can take me seriously. Then there’s the excessive wordiness that comes out of “thinking on your feet” while trying to ask an decent question or two. This amazing folly only produced semi-cohesive statements and resulted in sentences that only vaguely imply that I’m asking an acual question. And of course there’s the actual writing itself. How the fuck was I supposed to write up a four person interview into one coherent and readable piece?! But then again, I expected to face a learning curve and it’s not like I don’t have plenty of experience publicly looking like an idiot.
I’m digressing. The fact is my lunch break the other day consisted of sitting on a conference call with some of the most talented and well recognized chefs in the country. Wiley, Elizabeth, Graham and Suzanne were all exceptionally friendly and excited to talk about their experiences on the show. So if my amateurish attempts to sound professional were as transparent as I thought, they never let me know it. The only hang up I had with the whole process is that we couldn’t talk more about the food. In fact, pretty much everything was clouded in mystery except that they love each other, and the show is great, and blah blah blah. But I guess there’s a contract out there somewhere stating if they leek any details before the air date a baby seal will get decapitated, so fair enough.
One detail I do know (thanks to the commercials) is that the contestants are cooking for the LOST crew… which is possibly the best idea ever, ever. Well played Marketing Execs and your piles and piles of demographic data. Blending two of my favorite shows sure will keep me tuned in. Maybe next episode you can use The Wire as a theme and have the chefs cook on the sketch-town neighborhoods of Baltimore.
Given my love for geeky baked goods in general, I figured I would put something together for this episode, but ran short on time this week. Low and behold someone else beat me to it! Sydney over at Crepes of Wrath busted out a true blue Dharma Initative themed cake. Not only was this cake a technical achievement but she deserves full fan-girl credit for making this delicious looking sliver of Lost lore to celebrate/mourn this season’s finale. Now now if I could just find my Transformer and Ninja Turtle culinary brethren..
I swear to god that was a gorgeous plate of food. Maybe if I had a decent camera you could tell that last night I cooked a delicious chicken and eggplant curry. But that is not currently the case. Actually, it kinda looks like I made vomit treebark stew (maybe next post). Not that I have any professional photography experience, but I can usually salvage the footage and make it look decent. Last night though the pics just weren’t coming out and there wasn’t really anything I could do to change that. Meh, the day I can finally invest in a quality camera will come and that day my friends will be a joyous one.
So last night’s Thai curry was inspired by the Blaze & Dale Top Chef team-up back in Season 4. At the time of the show’s airing I was really curious about learning how to make complex, creamy curry so I made the dish for some friends for our regular Top Chef gathering the following week. What I love about this dish is the process of making the curry. The melting of the sugar, the sweating of the veg, the simmering of the coconut milk, are all really satisfying for me to put together. And if you do the curry right, then you can really do anything else you want with the dish.
I hate tofu so I’ve always used chicken, and the veg is really up to you depending on how much time and energy you can devote to the dish. Last night I did just the eggplant and skipped the green beans. Honestly, next time I do the dish, I’ll probably skip the eggplant. Unless you’re really craving a tempura-ish fried veg it’s a lot more work than I think is worth. The curry is going to make everything taste amazing so use whatever veg you prefer. Top Chef curry from last night follows..
I’ve long since given up on predicting DC weather. On my way to work yesterday it was snowing. Lunch it was cold and raining. Going home it was warm. Sooo, grill out? Yup, grill out. I’ve been itching to play with our underused gas grill for a while now, so I’ll take the excuse. Pork, starch, and open flames is a really fucking beautiful thing. This dish isn’t too involved either. The marinade is good to go after 15 minutes and the veg and yams just need a coat. Easy, slam dunk and ready by Top Chef.
I’m not really sure how i missed the memo, but I only recently found out that Top Chef is putting together not one but TWO spin-offs of the Bravo franchise that will no doubt be an orgy of product placement, celebrity chef camios and I can only hope, some really fantastic food porn. Please Jesus, God let Top Chef Masters be good! And touché Bravo for finding another reason for me to have to suffer through even more horrible horrible Desperate Spoiled Wives of Don’t Give a Fuck Planet. I honestly didn’t think there was anything other show out there that I’d be willing to do that for but Top Chef Masters I’m pretty sure I’ll find a way to deal.
Don’t get me wrong, i can’t imagine a Mario Batali/David Chang/Alice Waters cast locked up in a house together for six weeks, but getting some real talent sans Food Network established personality ego is a fucking awesome prospect. It’s not like they have to tweek the formula too much. I can live with the same music cues, graphics desplays and suspensful pauses as the last show. Just do this right please. Less drama, more cooking.
The other spin-off is supposed to be a kids show. And to that I say.. sweet. I won’t lie, probably won’t go out of my way to watch some kid make waffles, but it’s a sound idea and I’d still put that show against half the Food Network programing out there right now. Actually I’ll probably watch the hell out of it and curse the kids for being considerably better with a knife then I am. Either way, well done Bravo. I hate everything else you put on the air, but at least you aren’t trying to put some sad repackaging of a show on a call it Chopped Forked.