Several former Top Cheftestants are participating in an event for Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry. Nyesha Arrington's Pig Roast will be held on April 28th, 2013, at Wilshire Restaurant, 2454 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, CA from 1-4pm.
Guest chefs will include Ilan Hall, CJ Jacobsen, Alex Reznik, Marcel Vigneron, and Brooke Williamson from Top Chef and Danielle Keene from Top Chef Just Desserts.
This was in the mailbox this morning. I'm assuming Padma is on Anderson Cooper's show tomorrow.
" Come be part of the audience for a “Talk Show” with a Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi on Friday, March 15th. Please email us email@example.com. In your email please include you full name, phone number, and number of tickets desired. Please write “Top Chef” in the subject line.
"The show tapes in New York, and you must be 18 or older to attend."
A Just Recompense on like the Super Bowl, but not: "Now we find out: each round will be voted immediately, and the first chef to win three rounds will win Top Chef. Sort of like the Super Bowl. For each round, first chef to win three votes wins the round. Which opens up all sorts of possibilities for manipulating the results to stretch things out and add suspense. It also cuts down on the discussion of the food, which Tom acknowledges in his blog. Sure they’d want to cut down on the descriptions of the food, since we’re viewers who can’t taste it and thus rely on the judges’ comments; they wouldn’t want to make it too easy for us. TC, Viewer Challenge Edition."
Minxeats on sous: "Each of the finalists has three hand-picked sous chefs waiting for them. Brooke has chosen Team California--CJ, Stefan, Kuniko--for whatever reason. Maybe to save Bravo airfare? Kristen, on the other hand, has chosen the sharpest knives in the box, namely the last three contestants to be eliminated from the competition--Mustache, Sheldon, and Lizzie."
Grub Street actually amused me a little this week: "Kristen and Brooke are both sweating while cooking their red snappler, a kind of fish. Brooke is pairing it with a 'pork cheek.' Between that and her pig-ear salad, I think Brooke would be a good person to know if you’re stranded on a desert island where the only thing to eat is a bag of pigs’ heads. Me, I would look at a bag of pigs’ heads and say, 'Nothing to eat here,' but Brooke would be like, 'I can make 30 entrees out of this one head, you idiot,' and I’d say, 'Well, excuse me for not knowing how to make a meal out of a dumb pig’s head,' and she’d be like, 'What’s wrong with knowing how to cook a pig’s cheek?' and I’d be like, 'Actually, I think it’s cool that you know all that stuff about food — in fact, I watched you on Top Chef,' and she’d say, 'I figured as much because don’t you remember how we were both on the Top Chef Cruise, which sunk, which is why we’re on this desert island in the first place?'"
Grantland says what we've all been thinking: "How else to explain the near-disastrous decision-making on display? Just a week after I praised the veteran food competition for always considering contestants 'solely on the strength of their cooking,' the producers chucked their winning format in the garbage like so many burnt pig ears. In its place we were served something both unwanted and unexpected: an overheated, painfully dulled version of Iron Chef. Instead of excitement, it was hard not to feel sorry for Kristen Kish and Brooke Williamson, the two totally deserving, totally shellshocked finalists, as they were pitted against each other in a garish kumite that treated both their talents and the audience's comprehension the way a Vitamix treats an overripe tomato. Instead of cooking the 'meal of their lives,' the two gifted chefs were forced to cook as if their lives depended on it, racing breathlessly to push out 68 plates (!) of each course, and then stand, sweating like salted eggplants, while it was judged on a nuance-free up and down vote, separated by time and context from what came before or after. It was loud and it was dumb. Kristen won, but we all lost."
Eater on baby mama? " I'm not sure how Brooke and Kristen worked out the sous chefs, but Stefan is on Brooke's team. He calls to Kristen. 'I chose light blue.' 'For what?' 'The baby's bedroom!' 'Shut up.' She seems genuinely uncomfortable with that joke. Maybe you took it too far, Stefan? I know I did. Sometimes, what people hate even more than being objectified is joke-objectified. What if she does want a baby with you, Stefan? Now your joke is mean. But who doesn't want a baby with you."
Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on formatting: "The entire episode was done in Iron Chef style 'live' from a Kitchen Stadium-esque set with a hooting and hollering audience. This episode was also edited in a frenetic, choppy way that left me edgy and confused. The challenges and dishes were not clearly introduced, so much so that I was pretty sure at one point that I had missed the first 30 minutes of the show."
Top Chef Seattle Champion, Kristen Kish, talks about her experience on the show.
ATC: I felt like last night's episode went by very quickly. Did you watch?
KK: Yes. I felt like there were a lot of details that were not shown on the program, like how we chose our sous chefs and how we developed our recipes...all of the work that comes before the cooking - but it is only an hour show... ATC: Yes, that is one of my questions, were ALL of the season 10 chefs brought back for you to choose from? KK: No, I think there were maybe eight or ten... after the last challenge at Craft, we chose our sous chefs. ATC: Playground style? KK: We flipped a coin and I chose Lizzie and Sheldon and later we found out we could choose one more, and that's when I picked Josh. ATC: Were you surprised to learn that you had to cook for 150 people? KK: Not completely. We had to send in a food order ahead of time, so we had an idea...
After being crowned Top Chef, Chef Kish thanked Tom Colicchio for Last Chance Kitchen, and there's little wonder why. In the past, top contenders have been sent home for being the leaders in Restaurant Wars. This time, however, Kristen was able to fight her way back into the finale and claim the Top Chef win. Chef Kish was deemed a favorite to take the top prize after only a couple of episodes, and her determination to win never faltered. To battle back after her controversial elimination was quite a feat and proves that Chef Kish is truly Top Chef.
It looked like Top Chef became Iron Chef when the two finalists, Brooke and Kristen, went head-to-head in a flashy kitchen studio with a live audience. The cheftestants were competing to win the best three courses out of a possible five in order to be crowned Top Chef.
For the first course, Kristen served chicken liver mousse while Brooke went with a crispy pig ear and three-minute egg. The judges gave Kristen the win. The second course was a scallop battle and this time Brooke's hard-seared scallop won out over Kristen's citrus cured mollusk.
With the score tied, Brooke tried to show that she could cook chicken on the bone with vadouvan chicken wings. Kristen's bone marrow and celery root puree won the round however. Course number four was a red snapper battle. Brooke paired her snapper with pork cheek while Kristen went with a simpler preparation using leeks and uni. Kristen's clean, straight-forward approach gave her the third win and the title of Top Chef.
What did you think of last night's finale? Leave your comments below.
A Just Recompense on Project Runway: "Some will disagree, as Top Chef has stolen the concept of 'home visits' from Project Runway (which probably means the Elves merely transplanted their own idea). Problem is: what makes the PR home visits work is Tim Gunn. Top Chef has no Tim Gunn (remember one of the first things Tom said back in Season 1: 'I’m not a mentor, I’m a judge'). What they do have are two finalists with lovely families, and I suppose the producers just couldn’t resist the opportunity to show that off. Not to mention get a trip to Hawaii."
Minxeats on cranky: "Soon enough time is up and Tom is in the kitchen to expedite. And he's a real cranky bossypants in that position. He makes the chefs as nervous as if this were the first time they had ever worked the line, and both Sheldon and Kristen DO work the line at their current jobs. In between fits of crank, Tom tastes all of the dishes."
Eater on welcome back: "I have never been as nervous watching Top Chef as I was last night, while Sheldon and Brooke waited to see who'd come through the double doors. Maybe it's my innate sense of fairness, maybe it's because I've developed this strong emotional attachment to Chef Kish, maybe I realize that the $125,000 prize money could be part of our dowery, but I would have flipped out at this show had Kristen not rolled through. I would have walked away and left Eater without its final two recaps. And God forbid a blog doesn't post about a TV show; the whole system would shut down. But Kristen did not disappoint. She's back, and Brooke, Sheldon, and Kristen make for one of the best final threes I can recall."
Grub Street on where's the product placement? "The three chefs marvel that they’re cooking in craft’s kitchen, but it looks like every other kitchen to me: I see ovens, sinks, and shiny counters. Interestingly, I don’t see any Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Healthy Choice Meals, or Reynolds Wrap. Are we sure this place is legit?"