Wow, a bulging in-box this week. First up, the New York City Wine & Food Fest took place last weekend - lots of chefs with TC connections made appearances and offered commentary. A few morsels.
Top Chef Just Desserts judge Johnny Iuzzini dished to the NY Post that upcoming JD episodes will include drama (despite Seth's departure) and fashion (no surprise if you’ve seen previews for Wednesday’s show). Perhaps more interesting are his thoughts on what to serve at such an event, as Iuzzini handed out “caramelized Godiva chocolate mousse on a stick, with salted walnut nougatine, dried cranberry, a Godiva pearl and a gold leaf.” Hmm, we just know there are bound to be more catering challenges coming up on this season of Just Desserts, and it's always helpful to know where the judges are coming from.
In an interesting panel discussion about the meaning and importance of eating locally, TC head judge Tom Colicchio mentioned that one of the reasons he chose the location of his new NYC restaurant RiverPark is "we're looking to actually grow food in soil. Majority of it will go to schools and educating kids about nutrition."
Eater.com caught up with TCJD judge Eric Ripert’s pastry chef at Le Bernadin, Michael Laiskonis, who will appear as a guest judge in his own right during this season of Just Desserts and offered his observations about TCJD and pastry chefs’ time in the spotlight in this interview.
Speaking of The Ripper, he will prepare a five-course dinner featuring sustainable seasfood with his protoge, Jennifer Carroll - much-rooted-for Top Chef Season 6 contestant and member of the upcoming TC Season 8 All-Star cast - this Thursday in Philly.
And re: sustainable seafood, TC Season 7 contestant Tamesha Warren will prepare an entree Nov. 16 for Baltimore’s National Aquarium Fresh Thoughts series, while Season 1 finalist and returning All-Star Tiffani Faison recently appeared at Boston’s Museum of Science, where she demonstrated how to make “meatballs” from scallops and monkfish, two fish that “tend to be a bit sweeter” and appeal to kids, commenting that it can be hard to get kids to eat fish. Guess it depends on where they grow up and what they’re used to as a kid.
Traveling further along the science – and TV series – train, according to this item, Season 6 finalist and returning All-Star Richard Blais has just wrapped production on a couple of pilot episodes for a show on the Science Channel. And lest we forget Chef Blais’s heavy-duty background, here’s a photo Alinea’s Grant Achatz recently tweeted from years gone by of Blais, Achatz, and the renowned Thomas Keller.
TC Season 3 contestant Brian Malarkey seems to have landed himself a show on TLC called Kick Off, Cook Off, traveling around the country as “cheferee” to judge football tail-gate cooking.
In news about a TC chef who did not try to boost her recognizability by wearing hats, Season 5 chef and All-Star contestant Jamie Lauren has a new gig.
Top Chef Masters contestant Graham Elliot & TCM Season 2 winner Marcus Samuelsson are among the chefs to be included on A&E’s Ikea-sponsored “Fix This Kitchen” makeover show premiering October 16th, along with TC guest judge Charlie Trotter and a couple of other chefs you may have heard of, Ming Tsai & Lydia Bastianich.
Enough media, shilling, and hype, you say?
How about the great news that TC Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle is opening his second restaurant, named Kin Shop? Grub Street has early photos here, and Feast has a mini-interview with H here.
The Karmic Kitchen about her recent dinner at Season 6 Finalist Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill in Atlanta.
the official announcement from DC comics about his upcoming "graphic novel," Get Jiro!