Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Texas Episode 12

Jordan Baker offers up a ****ing brilliant new show idea: "The chefs trundle off to central market with 40 minutes and a budget of $600 (I had a typo at the top of that sentence so it originally read 'The chers' rather than 'The chefs.' Think how much more awesome it would be if they had to cook whilst all dressed up like Cher and doing Cher impersonations. The challenges can all be Cher themed -- 'Do You Believe in Life After Lunch?' 'If I Could Turn Back Thyme' and so forth. Yeah. I'd watch that)."

Minxeats on the Quickfire: "Padma pairs up the chefs into three teams: Team Red is Sarah and Lindsay, Team Green is Grayson and Squinty, and Team White is Ed and Paul. Each team must peel and devein a gazillion shrimp, shuck and de-silk umpty-three ears of corn, and make 43.6 pounds of fresh fettuccine - all in forty minutes. But wait - there's more! They will then have to use this mise en place to create a dish in whatever time they have left. All of this is told to us by Padma in a voice-over with such poor sound quality it seems to have been recorded in an airplane bathroom during turbulence."

David Dust on flava: "The judges arrive: Padma, Tom, Emeril, Dana Cowin (Editor, Food & Wine). They are greeted by Ryan from Season Four, who is a 'Flavor Ambassador' for Healthy Choice. This must be an easy job, considering the fact that those frozen bricks are pretty much flavorless."

My Monkey Could Do That on interludes: "Commercial interlude: people curse because they believe Paul has lucky socks. There is a small discussion about which socks are luckier, and Paul reveals that he has several pairs of these socks that everyone thinks are his 'lucky' socks. Heh. See, that is a good commercial interlude: something completely random that is amusing but not important to the show."

A Just Recompense describes the Elimination Challenge: "Padma announces gleefully, “Your partner is now your opponent.” They’ll be catering a block party for a food bank food drive, serving 200 people. Both chefs in each pair have to make a version of the same dish, and the guests will determine their favorites from each pair. They have to decide right then and there what dish, and side dish, they plan to make, which tells me there’s another element to this challenge."

Max the Girl on a shortage of buns: "Actually, the worst part of Edward’s dish is that he made homemade buns for his “open faced” sandwiches, but they are self-serve. He’s expecting each guest to dutifully take one bun. But I think Edward has been in Texas long enough to know that “moderation” and “restraint” are not exactly in the state vocabulary. Everyone is taking two buns and one little whippersnapper actually grabs three. So poor Edward has to be, like, the bun-catcher, grabbing stray buns off people’s plates. It’s awkward."

Eater on Charlize, one more time: "At the top of the episode, the chefs get a personal thank you from last week's guest judge, Charlize Theron. She gushes at them while they stare on with slack-jaws and micro-boners. It is a odd to hear her tell these guys that she is a fan. I believe that she's a fan, but she's a fan of past seasons, with which these guys have nothing to do. 'I want you all to know that you are the best, and when I say "you" I mean Richard Blais.' They just nod and try not to drench their aprons. Charlize says, 'Thanks for having me!' Sure, because these chefs had a lot to do with her appearance and also explicitly allowed it to happen. Sarah was on the phone for months coordinating schedules with Charlize's people."

Entertainment Weekly on DQ: "At the last minute, Paul forgot to add the shrimp to the dish, disqualifying him and Ed from the competition. This mistake elicited as passionate a response I've ever seen from Padma — or maybe she short-circuited for a second: 'What?! Noooooo!' There must be a rule in the Top Chef Judging Handbook that says you must make the contestants feel as bad as possible about leaving an ingredient off a dish. Predictably, Padma hinted that Paul and Ed might have won had the shrimp made the plate. If you made a Corn Flake and ketchup puree but left off the shrimp, Padma would probably say, 'Too bad, because the flavors were all there.'"

Emeril Lagasse for PopWatch on what he wouldn't have done: "I would have never done a chicken salad, [like Grayson and Chris, especially] in that heat [and] in those conditions. It was a reach [for Chris to supplement tofu for mayonnaise]. Keep in mind it’s a 100 degrees. I think some of the people judging and some of the guests were like, 'Really? You really have the nerve to do this?' Intellectually, I totally understand what Chris was trying to do but I don’t think at the end of the day it fulfilled everyone’s expectations. I think he was kind of on the fence [prior to this challenge], and I think that this really put him over the fence. He’s a very talented guy."

Cliffieland on Last Chance Kitchen: "Chris arrives at the Casa Cuisine and doesn't understand Tom's letter about meeting him in 'the kitchen.' So, he stands around the house's kitchen talking to the bric-a-brac like someone who thinks he's funny ... but really, really, really isn't. (Well, he may be funnier than Tom tries to be, but botulism is funnier than Tom, so that's not saying much.)"

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Top Chef: In, Out, at the Super Bowl. and Finale News

Lindsay Autry is still standing on Top Chef: Texas. But she and mentor Michelle Bernstein have left the Omphoy in Miami according to reports here and here.

TC: TX Final Fiver's Ed Lee and Paul Qui team up for a cooking class on "Asian Fusion Redined" in DC on March 31.

More on plans from Season 3's Brian Malarkey for world culinary domination - and a possible reality show - here.

Top Chef All-Stars Richard Blais and Antonia LoFaso will compete in a tail-gating challenge at the Super Bowl.

If you love behind-the-scenes insights as much as I do, check out this post from someone who attended the TC block party that aired last week.

Bravo confirmed those rumors we mentioned that the Season Finale filmed in Vancouver, BC. Renowned ski resort Whistler, BC is involved too. When will it air? We're guessing February 29, since another show is airing in Top Chef's traditional Wednesday time slot starting March 7. Somewhere in there, we're anticipating the Last Chance Kitchen winner will be reintroduced into the mix. And there's a reunion show. How will it play out? Watch what happens :)

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top Chef Video Sunday with the Moto Boys

See what Top Chef Texas contestants Chris Jones and Richie Farina whip up in their own kitchen at Moto for a 16-course winter dinner here.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top Recipe - Paul Qui's Turkey Kalbi, Eggplant with White Peach Kimchi

Turkey Kalbi, Eggplant with White Peach Kimchi

Turkey Kalbi:
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup onions, diced medium
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/8 cup ginger, grated
1 1/2 cup Chinese eggplant, diced medium
1/4 cup green onion whites, thin sliced
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup apple cider juice
1/2 cup Korean chili miso (go-chu-jang)
1/4 cup soy sauce, gluten free, low sodium
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup sambal oelek chili paste
Salt, to taste
Olive oil, as needed

Peach Kimchi:
4 cups white peaches, cold, semi ripe, large dice
1/2 cup onions, small diced
1/4 cup green onion whites, finely sliced
1/8 cup ginger, grated
1/8 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/8 cup sesame oil
1 cup white vinegar
Kimchi, to taste

Hot Sauce:
1 cup garlic cloves
1/8 cup dried chili flake
1/8 cup sambal oelek
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup agave syrup
1/8 cup thai chili, minced
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste

Korean Chili Miso Yogurt:
1 cup non fat yogurt
1/8 cup Gochujang
Salt, to taste

1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup pickled cilantro with stems
1/4 cup fried onions

Turkey Kalbi:
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat and sweat onions until translucent. Add sesame oil, sesame seeds and eggplant. Cook until tender. Then add garlic and ginger.
2. Deglaze with apple cider and add ground turkey. Mix in soy sauce, sambal, agave syrup and Korean chili miso. Cook on medium heat until ground turkey is cooked. Season with salt to taste.

Peach Kimchi:
1. Sweat onions, ginger, and garlic in sesame oil until translucent and aromatic over medium heat. Add white vinegar and agave syrup, kimchi and mix with white peaches.

Hot Sauce:
1. Roast garlic cloves and chili (both dry and fresh) until golden brown on low heat in oil. Add vinegar, agave, sampbal, and chilies and puree. Season with salt to taste.

Korean Chili Miso Yogurt:
1. Whisk Gochujang into non fat yogurt. Season with salt to taste

© 2012 PAUL QUI

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Chris Jones

Top Chef contestant Chris Jones talks about his experience on the Bravo show.

Chris is the Chef de Cuisine at moto restaurant and at iNG in Chicago.

Click here to visit the moto website.

Click below to listen to the podcast.
All Top Chef Interview with Chris Jones

Thank you Chef Chris!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Bravo Exit Interview - Chris Jones

Click here to view the video.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Chris Jones

While Chef Jones' version of chicken salad was indeed lighter than that of his competitor's, the judges felt that he missed the mark on flavor and probably shouldn't have made the sandwiches in advance. But kudos to Chris for staying true to himself and his innovative cooking style.

Top six isn't anything to sneeze at. Congrats on your achievements to this point, Chef, and best of luck in the future.

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Jones. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Congratulations, Chef Paul Qui!

Ok now, this is getting serious. Chef Paul Qui has won his umpteenth Elimination Challenge and another $15K for his bank account. His healthy version of kal bi, done as a ground turkey ssam, won him the most votes by the block party diners, and a big thumb's up from all the judges.

Top five, baby!

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Qui. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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Reactions to Top Chef Texas Episode 12

This week, the challenges seemed to get more complicated than necessary. For the Quickfire, the cheftestants were divided into three teams of two: Grayson and Chris, Ed and Paul, and Sarah and Lindsay. Each team was responsible for peeling umpteen shrimp, making fresh pasta, and shucking a large quantity of corn, with which they would then create a dish in whatever time they had left from forty minutes. Kinda like the relay races of seasons past, but not. Guest judge Cat Cora and regular judge Emeril decided that out of the three teams, they preferred the shrimp and bacon pasta created by Chris and Grayson, earning them each $5,000.

For the Elimination Challenge, rather than cooking as a team, each dynamic duo had to face each other in cooking their version of a single dish. The dishes would then be served at a block party for 200 people who would be responsible for choosing the winning dish from each pair. After the cheftestants chose the dish they wanted to make, Padma added a twist: they will have to create a lightened version of it for the challenge, to appease sponsor Healthy Choice.

Paul's turkey lettuce wrap version of kalbi beat out Ed's short rib version. Lindsay's Greek-ish lamb and veal meatball beat out Sarah's turkey version by a small margin. And Grayson's made-to-order chicken salad sandwiches beat out Chris' version made with tofu mayo. Once again, Paul wins the challenge - and gets another $15,000 for his growing wallet. It's looking like his partner, Ed, is going to bite the dust, but in a surprise ending, it's Chris who ends up being sent home.

So what did you think? Should Chris have gone home? Please leave a comment!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bravo's Next Food Reality Show!

Check out the preview, featuring "creator" Ed Lee!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Top Chef Texas Reunion

It sounds like there will really be a Reunion show this season. Bravo's website is inviting you to submit a question to: topchefreunion@gmail.com

We're down to six contestants as tonight's show starts. How many episodes do you think remain for TC Texas? Remember, a Last Chance Kitchen winner will be waiting in the wings . . .

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Top Chef Texas Episode 12 Previews

BRAVO’s Top Chef: Texas, Wednesday 1/25 @ 10/9c – These cheftestants may have survived last week’s wrath of the evil queen, but the competition is only getting harder. This week’s quickfire challenge is all about speed, with only 30 minutes to prep the meal, some chef’testants may be left without a dish when the clock runs out. And later, the chef’s go head-to-head with an opponent of their choosing. Each pair chooses one dish that they will both make, but the person who makes the dish the judges like least is at risk of being sent home for good.

Click here to see the first preview.
Click here to see the second preview.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Texas Episode 11

Minxeats on the Quickfire: "Padma (wearing the most hideous jumpsuit since the camel toe delight that Santino created for Kara Janx in season 2 of Project Runway) comes out with this week's guest judge, Eric Ripert, and tells the chefs that the conveyor belt will be part of the challenge. Various ingredients will be sent out on it and the cheftestants each must choose three to incorporate into a sophisticated dish. It's kind of like a DIY version of Chopped, in which the chefs will have to make do with combinations like Cream of Wheat, Neopolitan ice cream, and gefilte fish, or enoki mushrooms, canned peaches, and chilled monkey brains."

Jordan Baker on ze Frawnch accent: "On top, we have Sarah, whose dish was interesting and a 'sooprize,' Lindsay, and Beverly, who would’ve won by a mile if she’d gotten all the ingredients on the plate. And the 'weenair' is Lindsay, who had the most '‘armonious deesh'. She takes it as a backhanded compliment – though she won, her dish wasn’t really the best… but it’s still immunity. I’ll take 'Things You Shouldn’t Do To A Gift Horse' for a thousand, Alex."

My Monkey Could Do That on Bev's departure: "Everyone made good dishes, but someone has to go home. And that person is Beverly. Dammit. It’s telling that Bev turns to Grayson, who hugs her, while Sarah starts walking out of the room without her. And she could have had immunity! Damn Rice Krispies! She’s glad she showed people how strong she was, in addition to how well she cooks. According to Tom’s blog, it came down to the theme. Beverly just didn’t do as well fitting the theme as the other two."

A Just Recompense on Chris' Quickfire experience: "MotoChris is the star of the Elimination Challenge though: Chris vs The Lobsters. There’s a bucket of lobsters on the conveyor belt, but it eludes him. He waits for it to come around again. And it doesn’t. He finally realizes – they took it off the belt! F&#cking Bastards! He goes back to work on some other stuff, like foie gras and vanilla, cauliflower, and asparagus, and the lobster comes out again – he races over to the belt very slowly, not like a guy who needs to outrun those lobsters, and they disappear into the void again. And let’s do it one more time. He still doesn’t hurry, but he gets close enough to grab the bucket just as it heads through the carwash strips into oblivion – it resists him – he pulls – it keeps going – No, He Will Conquer! He tightens his grip and yanks, and it’s MotoChris with the Lobster! Unfortunately, it doesn’t do him much good. His butter poached lobster is in the bottom three. Padma says something about the cauliflower and vanilla bringing out chocolate notes, which doesn’t seem like a bad thing, but in the end, Eric says it never came together and the ingredients were not complimentary. No Kobayashi Maru for you, MotoChris."

Max the Girl on Tom: "Anyway, the most charming thing about this episode is how nerdy and tongue-tied Tom Colicchio gets around Charlize Theron. He keeps trying to make these clever little jokes and they keep backfiring. It’s funny to see a man who is sex symbol to many (including someone whose name rhymes with 'faxthewhirl') just totally lose his cool."

Eater offers this nifty animated gif of Chris and the elusive lobsters:

Padma Lakshmi for PopWatch on Charlize: "It was wonderful [working with Charlize Theron]. I had met Charlize years ago because she’s always been a fan of the show and I just ran into her – I can’t remember now, how – but she’s very funny and obviously very beautiful and very talented. She actually does an impression of me, which I never thought I was that interesting to do an impression of, but it’s funny. [Guests] usually tell us what they want to eat and what they don’t want to eat. Charlize was certainly game for anything."

Entertainment Weekly wonders: "I have to say, the dinner service, which took place in a Gothic-style dining room, was a little ridiculous. I don't know if the judges were drunk from the red wine or all that star power in the room. Charlize is A-list enough to make even the most celebrity-jaded person act a bit sycophantic, and I have to question whether the judges would have been as into the super-literal, over-the-top dishes if Charlize hadn't expressed such delight in them first. Just watching the judges laugh their asses off each time Charlize or anyone else made a lame Evil Queen pun -- and there were a lot of those -- was a little icky. It felt as though Padma and even Eric were thinking of things to do and say to make the only Oscar winner in the room laugh. Eric Ripert hanging a chicken leg from a chandelier -- really? He was like a child begging for attention. You can get kicked out of Le Bernardin for not wearing the right jacket."

Cliffieland on truth: "Sarah should really reexamine how she makes risotto if every judge who's tasted hers has suggested it's not cooked properly."

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Top Chef Video Monday: Fabio Viviani + Kevin Gillespie, and Finale Filming Rumors

Fabio Viviani revisits the dish that got him kicked off Top Chef All-Stars – and still struggles to pronounce "hamburger" – in this episode of his Yahoo video series, Chow Ciao.

Season 6 finalist and Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie kicks off a series of great videos in support of International Year of Co-operatives here.

With six contestants left on Top Chef: Texas, Eater is reporting rumors the season finale was filmed recently in Vancouver, BC. Padma mentions to EW that she's back from the finale here, but doesn't disclose the filming location.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Beverly Kim

Top Chef Texas contestant, Beverly Kim talks about her experience on the show.

Beverly is the chef de cuisine at Aria in Chicago.

Click below to listen to the interview.

Thank you Beverly!

All Top Chef Interview with Beverly Kim

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Top Recipe - Paul Qui's Foie Gras with Bacon, Pumpernickel, Pickled Cherries and Beets

While this dish has a bazillion different elements, none of them seem particularly difficult to prepare.

Foie Gras with Bacon, Pumpernickel, Pickled Cherries and Beets

1 medium sized beet, with greens
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
Sugar, as needed
1/2 cup cherries, pitted
2 Serrano peppers, finely sliced
2 large shallots, julienned
1/2 cup strawberries, small as possible
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms
1/2 loaf pumpernickel bread
1/8 cup toasted walnuts
1/8 cup candied walnuts
8 ounces foie gras
6 slices of apple wood smoked bacon, render until crispy
2 cups apple cider
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 marigold blossoms, garnish

1. Roast beets for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit wrapped with foil and dressed with vinegar. Let rest, peel and reserve. Reserve beet stems for pickle.
2. Bring vinegar, water, and 1 cup sugar to a boil. Pour over cherries, peppers, beets, and shallots (separately). Let pickle.
3. Combine 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar and water and cure strawberries
4. Sauté mushrooms on medium heat until golden brown.
5. Toast pumpernickel in oven until dry and pulse in robo coup with walnuts.
6. Sear foie gras on high heat until golden brown on both sides and take off heat and let rest.
7. Reduce apple cider and red curry paste.
8. Render bacon in butter.
9. Mix everything together and season with salt and black pepper, garnish with marigold blossoms.

© 2012 PAUL QUI

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bravo Exit Interview - Beverly Kim

Click here for the video.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Beverly Kim

In a challenge where nobody seemed to do anything wrong, it was the little things that meant the most. And that little thing on Chef Kim's plate of perfectly cooked halibut and forbidden rice was a gummy sauce thickened with arrowroot. A trifling thing, but enough to get her sent home this week.

Beverly won last week's Elimination Challenge, so this was a big surprise to us all. Keep up the good work, Chef Kim! You are strong and talented and will have a successful culinary career!

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Kim. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Congratulations, Chef Paul Qui

Once again, Chef Paul Qui has come out victorious at the end of a, well, challenging Elimination Challenge. While everyone performed well this week, Chef Qui took the prize for his enchanted forest of myriad different items, and a bloody handprint to decorate the plate for White Queen Charlize Theron.

You are on a roll, Chef - we expect to see you in the final three!

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Qui. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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Reactions to Top Chef Texas Episode 11

This week, the chefs were sent back to San Antonio to do battle in their original kitchen where a mysterious conveyor belt has been installed. The chefs must choose three ingredients from the rather odd variety that will appear on the belt and use them in one dish. Guest judge Eric Ripert is on hand to help Padma taste the resulting combinations and choose a winner who receives immunity from elimination. And that winner is Lindsay for grabbing ingredients appropriate to a bouillabaisse-type concoction that pleases Chef Ripert.

On to the Elimination, which is to cook a macabre feast for guest Charlize Theron, who is starring in a new movie called Snow White and the Huntsman. So basically the whole episode is a promo for the movie, which looks to be pretty good, apart from the expressionless waif who plays Snow White. Anyhoo...each chef cooks a course for the dinner served to Chefs Ripert, Lagasse, and Colicchio, plus Padma and Charlize. Ed incorporates spiky fried fish scales and sauces representing good and evil, while Lindsay makes a witches' stew of short ribs and dragon beans. Grayson serves a black chicken leg with the claw still attached, and Sarah creates a blood-red risotto redolent of amarena wine and lamb heart. Paul wins the challenge with his multi-component "enchanted forest" decorated with a "bloody" handprint.

During dinner, only compliments are heard, but during the judging, nitpicking arises. Sarah's risotto is salty. A couple of Grayson's components are misplaced. But Beverly's gummy sauce sticks most in the judges' craw and they send her home.

So what did you think this week? Fun challenge? Please leave a comment!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Top Chef Texas Episode 11 Previews

Click here for the first preview.
Click here for the second preview.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Texas Episode 10

Jordan Baker on nerds: "Back. At the chefquarters at the Driskill, the chefs continue planning. Ponytail Chris calls this challenge 'The Kobayashi Maru' of Top Chef. Oh, lord Jesus. I can’t decide if I’m more embarrassed for him using that reference, or myself for knowing what it means even before he goes into his convoluted and super dorky explanation."

Minxeats on conspiracy theories: "The next day is the girls' turn. During prep, predictably, Sarah and Lindsay talk to Beverly like she's a child, and Bev - used to the abuse - just takes it. Oddly enough, Lindsay assigns the execution of her halibut dish to the hated Beverly, who has her own complicated dish to prepare. Why didn't Lindsay give her dish to Sarah or Grayson? Presumably it was because she wanted Beverly to fail, to screw things up for her, so she'd have someone to blame at Judges' Table. Just a theory."

David Dust on Team Estrogen's performance: "Now it’s the ladies’ turn. The gals seem to instantly be at each other’s throats, with Lindsay and Sarah talking to Beverly like a child who rides the shortbus. Also, their service is a mess – with people (including the judges) waiting to be seated and long wait times for each course. However, the judges seem really happy with the vast majority of their food."

Max the Girl on names: "'The bottom line, the food just didn’t wow us,' says Tom. 'All of you get an F here. Any one of you could go home for the mess that was Canteen.' (Huh. So maybe “Mess Hall” would’ve been a more appropriate name?)"

A Just Recompense on confusion: "We join the chefs as they enter the Palm Door. No, that’s not a typo, it’s how Texas spells Palme D’Or, which is why it’s such a good thing American textbook publishers gear everything they do to Texas (in the same way all bakeries used to kowtow to Pennsylvania). Later, Edward will refer to it as the Pink Avocado which will confuse the hell out of me (is he joking? Aphasic? On LSD? Seriously, a pink avocado is the sort of thing you’d see on LSD) until I discovered, thanks to google, that The Palm Door is a catering hall and the resident catering service is the Pink Avocado. Whew. Glad that’s solved."

Eater on nuts for coconuts: "Ed makes a great looking dessert, but he calls it an Almond Joy cake and infuriates Tom, apparently an Almond Joy super-fan. 'Where’s the coconut? You can’t call it an Almond Joy cake and not have coconut.' When Ed explains where the coconut is, it’s not enough for Tom. Future Top Chef contestants, take note: don’t deprive Tom Colicchio of his coconut. He loves the stuff."

Padma Lakshmi for PopWatch on women competitors: "A lot of times we’ve been accused of sexism because not that many women make it to the finale. The truth is — [though] Tom and I are not involved in this — we try really hard when we cast the show to have an even balance of men and women. If you look at the real professional food world, you will see a very uneven balance. So, we actually bend over backwards to make sure we find interesting, talented, and experienced women to be on the show and we were excited that there were enough women by the time restaurant wars came around that there was an even number. Then, of course, the women won."

Entertainment Weekly on Bully, Part II: "When Beverly pitched doing lamb ribs, Sarah said lamb ribs don't exist, basically. It was a completely BS argument, whatever it was. When Beverly suggested a beet dish, Sarah and her unclassifiable haircut (see photo) said there were too many beet dishes out there already, and how dare she bring another one into the world. 'Beets, beets, beets!' You know, just speaking as an enthusiastic restaurant-goer, I'd guess that there are, like, a billion brussels sprouts being served in New York City as I write this, but that doesn't stop Sarah from serving up an endless supply. Out of other ideas, Beverly finally brought up doing short ribs. Of course Sarah scrunched up her face and said, 'Again?' She was referring to Beverly's short ribs and edamame puree from a few weeks ago. Remember that just last week, Sarah heartily defended Heather for using Ed's cake recipe not once but twice. At this point it's pretty clear that Sarah will hate any of Beverly's ideas just because they're Beverly's and she's an easy target. It probably wouldn't occur to most people to badger a person just because she appears particularly easy to hurt, but that's apparently what Sarah does. I don't like throwing the B word around, but like Heather, Sarah is a bully."

Cliffieland on giving praise where it's not necessarily due: "... the women win and it's Beverly who's awarded the prize of the night's top dish.

This, naturally, galls Sarah and Lindsey soooo much that, once back in the kitchen, Sarah suggests that they all bow down and kiss Linsey's feet for actually having been responsible for the win. (If I have to concoct a way that that makes a lick of sense, I can only imagine that she was suggesting that Lindsey deserves credit for, unlike the men's team, having had the foresight to hide the kitchen from the judges' view so they couldn't see the raging bitchfest that was happening back there.)"

Foodie Buddha once again offers up this week's culinary terms.

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Top Recipe - Beverly Kim's Braised Short Rib over Thai Basil Potato Puree, Appleslaw

This is a recipe for 100, so reduce amounts accordingly. :)
Braised Short Rib over Thai Basil Potato Puree, Appleslaw

Short Ribs:
35 pounds short ribs
Canola oil, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 onions, medium diced
2 bunches celery, medium diced
8 carrots, medium diced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 white lemongrass stalks, thin sliced
5 dried Thai chilies
4 cans tomato paste
1 bottle red wine
1 cup soy
1 large ginger cluster, thin sliced
4 kiwis, peeled
5 boxes beef stock

Curry Sauce:
5 whole peeled shallots, thin sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and miced
1 ginger cluster
5 white lemongrass stalks, thin sliced
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup tamarind paste
1/2 cup red curry paste
4 cans coconut milk
2 whole guajillo chilies

Potato Basil Puree:
15 pounds Yukon potatoes, peeled
2 quarts Thai basil, leaves plucked
2 quarts heavy cream
4 pounds butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch shallots

Green Apple Kimchi:
6 green apples
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
Salt, to taste

Bok Choy:
Bok choy, stems removed
Olive oil, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Spicy Chili Peanuts:
2 pounds peanuts
Sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons Thai chili garlic paste
Salt, to taste

Short Ribs:
1. Trim beef off the bone and cut into neat squares.
2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
3. Sear on both sides on the hot flattop grill with canola oil.
4. In a rondeau, caramelize onion, celery, carrot, 5 cloves garlic, lemongrass and dried Thai chilies. Add tomato paste and caramelize further. Deglaze with red wine. Pour into pressure cookers, reserving a 1/5 of liquid for red curry sauce.
5. Puree soy, ginger, rest of garlic, and kiwi.
6. Add ribs to pressure cookers. Top off with beef stock and the puree. Put lids on top and let it start to whistle on high heat. Lower the flame and let cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender, leave braising liquid. Glaze in red curry sauce.

Curry Sauce:
1. In a medium saucepan, caramelize sliced shallots, ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Deglaze with red wine – stock mixture. Add red curry paste, tamarind paste, fish sauce and coconut milk and simmer to marry flavors for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, soak 2 whole guajillo chilies in hot water. Puree the soaked chilies, taking out the seeds, with the curry base and strain through a chinois.

Potato Basil Puree:
1. Cover the Yukon gold potatoes with cold water and bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile sauté Thai basil leaves and sliced shallots. Puree with heavy cream, warm on the stove. Keep the butter out at room temperature. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain potatoes. Let steam for 2 minutes. Pass through a food mill with butter. Fold in hot heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Green Apple Kimchi:
1. Shave apple through mandolin. Juice limes over apple, and add salt and Korean chili flakes.

Bok Choy:
1. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spicy Chili Peanuts:
1. Fry peanuts in fryer. When golden, toss in chili garlic paste, salt and sugar.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Ty-Lör Boring

Top Chef Texas Contestant, Ty-Lör Boring talks about his experience on the show.

A highlight: Ty-Lör is opening a pop-up restaurant in Nolita for Fashion Week in February and also plans to open a Kansas City-Style Barbecue Restaurant with his brother.

Click below to listen to the podcast.

Thank you Chef Ty-Lör!

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Bravo Exit Interview - Ty-Lor Boring

Click here for the video.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Ty-Lor Boring

Restaurant Wars has to have a losing team with someone sent home, and unfortunately this week it was Ty-Lor, who didn't wow the judges with either of his dishes, both of which suffered from a lack of seasoning.

Chef Boring, we're so sorry to see you leave the competition at this point. You've really shown that you are a terrific chef and we're certain you have a great career ahead of you.

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Boring. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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Congratulations, Chef Beverly Kim!

Restaurant Wars is arguably the most difficult contest in the competition and it takes its toll on cheftestants. But despite being treated rather poorly by some of the other chefs on her team, Beverly managed to pull together a delicious dish that the judges and guests enjoyed. A very well-deserved win.

Congrats, Chef Kim! You've shown that you belong in the top seven!

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Kim. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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Reactions to Top Chef Texas Episode 10

This week, the Quickfire round was out the window because it was time for Restaurant Wars!

The eight remaining cheftestants arrived at the Palm Door restaurant to be briefed by Padma and Hugh Acheson on the ground rules. This time around, it would be the boys against the girls. Each team would have the run of the restaurant for one entire evening and serve 100 people. They had to come up with a complete restaurant concept, including the decor. With a total budget of $11,500, each team had to buy furnishings as well as enough food to create six dishes (two choices for each course).

With 45 minutes to plan, the boys came up with the name Canteen and named Ed as the front-of-the-house man. The women decided on a rustic theme called Half Bushel and Lindsay was put out front. Then it was a mad shopping spree to find furniture, dishes, candles, and food.

The next day, the male chefs spent five hours setting up their new restaurant. While Ed handled the front of the room ably, the chefs forgot to appoint someone to expedite, creating some real confusion in the kitchen. It didn't help that the judges, who included Hugh Acheson and Emeril Lagasse, thought the food was lacking in flavor.

Twenty-four hours later, it was the ladies' chance. Obsessed with monitoring the kitchen and her halibut dish, Lindsay lost sight of her job as the greeter, causing major delays with the seating of guests. Sarah appeared to be more preoccupied with beating up on Beverly than cooking the food, so the whole process broke down pretty quickly. Despite the rough sailing, the judges preferred the women's food over the men's. In the end, the food was what gave the women's team the win over the men. For the winning dish, Beverly's braised short ribs won out.

The fellas had to face the music. Although Ed's dessert was deemed the best of the bunch, it was woefully lacking in coconut for a dish named Almond Joy. The biggest offender, however, was Ty-Lor who made a timid Thai-inspired shrimp and crab dish. For his fear of seasoning, Ty-Lor was sent packing.

What did you think about this episode? Please leave a comment!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top Chef Texas Episode 10 Previews

BRAVO’s Top Chef Wednesday 1/11 @ 10/9c – It’s time for restaurant wars! The boys and girls are pitted against each other, but when neither team can pull off a seamless night, the judges are left to wonder if they have chosen the right chefs for this job. The girls’ team is having issues inside the kitchen, while the boys’ team is having problems with the servers outside of the kitchen. The pressure is on and as the girls start to turn on one another, the boys use teamwork to try and save their restaurant. Will either team be able to pull it together, or does this war end without a winner?

Click here for preview one.
Click here for preview two.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Texas Episode 9

Jordan Baker on "modern" according to Chris Crary: "Handsome Chris thinks he’s a Modern person, because he paints a lot of pop-art-esque naked ladies and has a 'Modern' apartment. This is dude-bro code for 'owns a lot of IKEA furniture that he had the delivery guys assemble rather than putting it together himself'."

A Just Recompense on Beverly: "We haven’t heard from Beverly in a while, what’s she up to? I bet she’s doing something cute and socially awkward – why, yes, she is! She’s burning down a trailer with four-foot flames (under a five-foot ceiling) from a pot of blazing bourbon! And when she sets off the smoke alarm she carries the pan out of the trailer and puts it down on the (very dry) grass and goes back to disable the smoke alarm! Tee-hee! That silly socially awkward girl! Someone comes along and puts a pan on top of the flames to douse the fire. MalibuChris says, 'She’s book smart but missing a few chapters when it comes to common sense.'"

Minxeats on premature ejaculation: "After 45 minutes of cooking, the cheftestants put down the liquid nitrogen and Padma and Myhrvold go a-tasting. The first person they visit is Beverly, who has made a curry foam which she immediately propels out of the canister and onto Padma's dress and Nathan's pants, making them look like they just got back from a quickie in the walk-in. (Speaking of Padma's dress, it appears that she was one of the few people able to purchase something from the Missoni collection at Target in the 13.5 minutes before it sold out.)"

David Dust on Modernist Cuisine: "Chefs study books, go to bed, and then head to the Top Chef kitchen. The author of the book is there. He is a huge nerd. Blah blah blah Molecular Gastronomy blah blah blah Modernist blah techniques blah blah."

Carol Blymire on Sarah's health issues: "This is clearly not a one-stitch situation. I’m generally pretty tough on cheftestants when I think they’re wussing out over a tiny finger cut, but heart rate and blood pressure are not something you mess around with. No one will bleed out and die if they don’t get that one stitch. But having your cardiopulmonary system go out of whack? That’s not something you can or should ever just 'push through.'"

Max the Girl on the Bravo interns strike again: "Anyhoo, it’s getting late—3:28 p.m. is dramatically flashed across the screen (pretty sure you mean, a.m. there, Bravo)—and everyone is loopy, especially Grayson (all nighters serve as a kind of truth serum for her.)
“You’re going to love it,” she says to Tom C. when he comes to check out everyone’s progress. “It’s going to be like sex in your mouth.” (Really.)"

Eater on smarts: "Myhrvold is this week's Quickfire judge. Chris Jones, a molecular gastronomist himself, is in awe of him. 'If I was 1/10th as smart as him, I could rule a continent.' What continent? Like, Australia, because I feel that I could pull that off. Also, why not start smaller, like with a state? From what I can tell you rule nothing. Also, Chef Myhrvold is as smart as himself, and he is not in charge of anything."

Gail Simmons for PopWatch on the difference between grilling and barbecue: "The difference between grilling and barbecuing is really, really important. Everyone can put a burger or steak on a grill. That’s not barbecuing. Barbecuing [involves] smoke, [cooking on] low heat for a really long time, and very specific cuts of meat that lend themselves best to that kind of cooking. Every kind of region has their own specialties. Ribs are certainly one, and brisket in Texas is sort of the ultimate thing to barbecue."

Entertainment Weekly on Malibu: "The judges debated whether the texture of the meat or the seasoning was the bigger problem, and ultimately they decided most of the blame lay on Chris Crary for making the ribs inedibly salty and coming up with an uninspired Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. I was just starting to appreciate Chris Crary. I found him slightly unsettling since the beginning, with his pitch-black eyes and weirdly expressionless face. I wasn't the least bit surprised to learn that he painted nudes and hung them around his house. Still, I was inspired by his story of going from chubster to 'Malibu' Chris (that nickname is terrible), and now we can debate who the most handsome remaining male is. That's a toughie."

Cliffieland on overnighters: "Soon, the chefs are starting their marathon all-night cooking session (their second of the season). We have a 'crisis' at the middle-of-the-night time of 3 p.m. (at least according to the on-screen chyron) where Team Blue's meat falls off the racks in the smoker. We have footage of Pretty Chris phallically peeling carrots. And we have the 'crisis' of Beverly setting fire to a pot of bourbon and starting the famous wildfires which raged across Texas all summer."

Foodie Buddha brings us this week's culinary terms.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Top Recipe - Ty-Lor Boring's Watermelon with Vanilla Bean Honey, Saffron and Salted Olive Oil Powder

Watermelon with Vanilla Bean Honey, Saffron and Salted Olive Oil Powder

1 watermelon, cubed 2- inches x 2- inches
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 ounce honey nectar
1/4 ounce vanilla bean extract
1/4 ounce olive oil
1/4 ounce N-Zorbit tapioca maltodextrin

1. Combine honey nectar and vanilla bean extract and drizzle over watermelon
2. Mix tapioca, olive oil, and salt and garnish over watermelon.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Chris Crary

Top Chef Texas contestant, Chris Crary talks about his experience on the show.

Click here to learn more about Whist restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.

Click below to play the podcast.

Thank you Chef Chris!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

Bravo Exit Interview - Chris Crary

Click here for the interview.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Congratulations, Blue Team!

This week's Elimination Challenge was a tough one - make three barbecue classics: pork ribs, beef brisket, and chicken, plus two sides, for 300 people. The Blue Team, creatively changing things up with Asian flavors, rose to the occasion and wowed both the judges and the guests. While it was hot and sweaty work, the bonus $15,000 might have made it worth their while.

The competition is getting tighter, and it looks like these three chefs have what it takes to make it to the top.
This post is only for positive comments about Chefs Schmitz, Qui, and Autry. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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ATC Love to Chef Chris Crary

It was a difficult challenge this week, cooking so much barbecue - the right way, not just grilling - for 300 people. While six chefs ended up on the bottom, Chef Chris Crary was sent home because of some salty dry rub that he made for his team's batch of pork ribs.

Everyone seemed genuinely sad to say goodbye to Malibu Chris, but now he can get back to his second love - painting nudes. ;) Think Padma will miss him, too? And will she pose for him someday?

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Crary. If you have anything negative to say, please do so on our Reactions post.

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Reactions to Top Chef Texas Episode 9

This week's challenges were all over the place. First off, they were joined by guest judge Nathan Myhrvold, author of the multi-volume tome, Modernist Cuisine. The Quickfire Challenge predictably involved putting a modernist twist on a dish, aka using what is popularly known as "molecular gastronomy." Some folks played with food chemicals, some did not, and the simplest dish - Ty's watermelon with tapioca maltodextrin olive oil - won the challenge. And scored Ty some much-needed immunity.

For the Elimination, the chefs went to famous bbq joint The Salt Lick to learn some real 'que techniques. The nine chefs comprised three teams that were each responsible for chicken, pork ribs, and brisket, plus two sides. After another all-nighter of cooking over hot fires in hot weather, Sarah got woozy and had to be sent to the hospital. Meanwhile, this left her team of Ed and Ty in the lurch, so they did the best they could without her. Unfortunately, they ended up on the bottom for their efforts, along with the team that included both Chrises and Beverly.

The three remaining chefs - Paul, Grayson, and Lindsay - chose to use Asian flavors on their barbecue, making it quite non-authentic but also quite delicious. They won the challenge and a cool $15K to split between them.

After some lengthy discussion during which it seemed Tom hated *everything* the other two teams presented, the judges declared that Chris Crary needed to go home for his sin of making a too-salty dry rub for his team's pork ribs.

What did you think about that? Did he deserve to go home? Please leave a comment!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top Chef Texas Episode 9 Previews

Watch the first preview here.
Watch the second preview here.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Chef’s Brian Malarkey Plans 74 Restaurants, Tiffani Faison’s New BBQ Joint, and Tiffany Derry’s New TV Show

On the heels of his current Southern California restaurants, Searsucker and Burlap, and after the opening of Herringbone and Gingham, the San Diego Reader reports that Season 3’s Brian Malarkey plans to open Spandex, featuring deep-fried foods, and is eyeing 74(!) fabric-themed restaurants nationwide “from Fishnet to Velour.”

Season 1 Finalist and All-Star Tiffani Faison has her new BBQ restaurant, Sweet Cheeks, up and running. Click to read what Serious Eats and the Boston Herald have to say about it.

Tiffany Derry of Season 7 and All-Stars reveals to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that she’s filming “her own yet-to-be-named reality TV series that focuses on the rigors of being a chef” and told Eater LA she would like to open “a breakfast and lunch spot in her hometown of Beaumont (that Derry promises ‘will not be called Breakfast at Tiffany’s’)” and is considering LA, New Orleans, and DC for future restaurant endeavors.

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Congrats to Kevin Gillespie, and Mark Your Top Chef 2012 Calendars!

Photo by Fredrik Brauer in Forbes

Season 4 Finalist and Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie made Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List for food and wine. Click here for a video interview where he shares his reaction to the honor. If that wasn’t sweet enough, Kevin will also be cooking on a “Wine, Dine, and Jazz” cruise in French Polynesia in September.

Top Chef Texas contestant Chris Crary cooks a game dinner this Thursday at Whist in Santa Monica, featuring such dishes as Roasted Rabbit with Carrot Panna Cotta, Venison Neck with Coffee and Huckleberry Mustard, and Antelope Osso Buco. Check out the whole menu here. Chris will also be appearing with Sara Moulton at the 2012 Food + Wine Festival in Palm Desert March 23-35.

Another TC Texas contender, Sarah Greuneberg, faces off against her boss and mentor, Tony Mantuano, in a "quickfire" challenge/tasting on January 21 at Spiaggia in Chicago. And here's a nice interview with Tony from AV Club, where he reveals more about how both of them decided to go on Top Chef.

Got a Top Chef news tip for us? Email us at alltopchef@gmail.com.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

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