Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 3

Last week, it was all about Seth. This week, it was only mostly about Seth.

For the Quickfire Challenge, Top Chef Just Desserts brought in cake maven Sylvia Weinstock to guest judge. The challenge itself - create a beautiful and tasty wedding cake with pre-made cakes. In 90 minutes. Panic ensues, as does a lot of cursing.

Seth, of course, has a problem with this - he doesn't do wedding cakes - so he plans to make a miniature version and call it an "engagement cake." Malika has also has issues - her cake won't stay together for her. (I'm guessing this is because she chose to make a custard filling that just might have been too soft/liquidy.) While her cake disaster is going on, she's shaking the table, which causes straight-guy Morgan to yell at her and call her "shaky." She then goes off on him and demands he address her by her name.

Whew. Drama queens.

After tasting, Malika and Seth are on the bottom, along with Eric, who as a professional baker should have had this challenge in the bag, dontcha think? On top are Erika, Morgan (douchy perhaps, but he made a lovely fondant-wrapped cake), and Heather H, whose cake was simple elegance. Sylvia Weinstock liked Erika's mocha cake best, which gives her immunity in the next challenge...

...which make treats for a bake sale. The pastrycheftestants break into two groups of five by drawing cookies from a cookie jar ( twee!). Seth's team is full of people who have had altercations with him in the past, so we know that's going to be a sweaty ball of drama. And then Top Chef turns into an episode of "Glee" when the St Monica's High School "Rainbow Riders" and "Mariners" come in singing and cheering, respectively. Both the Glee Club and the Pep Squad want to take special summer trips and the bake sale is a way for them to raise money. There will be 490 tickets, each worth $1, available to students and staff with which to buy baked goods. The team with the most tickets at the end of the sale is the winner, and the winners get $5000.

After deciding on who will create what tasty treat, the pastrycheftestants have two hours to work. Heather C wants to make whoopie pies but is shot down and told to make peanut butter cookies. In her anger, she bogarts all of the peanut butter, which Eric needs for his peanut butter krispie bars. Eric's teammate Morgan shows solidarity by stealing all of the butter.

Then Sue Sylvester comes in and tells Johnny Iuzzini that his hair resembles the Matterhorn after a freak aerial oil spill orchestrated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa.

And I'm dying to throw a slushie at somebody.

Later, back at the house, Malika ponders whether she wants to remain in the competition and tells her roommate that she's thinking of leaving. But the next day she shows up to sell her treats along with everyone else.

During the bake sale, Seth decides he doesn't want to deal with children so he hangs back and puts samples together while everyone else interacts. In the end, after an entirely too-lengthy segment of kids smearing cupcake icing on their faces (did we really need another supersized episode?) we get the tallys. The Glee Club team has raised $240 and the Pep Squad team has raised $250. However, Bravo generously offers to pay for both teams' camp events and gives an additional $5000 to St Monica's School.

Back at Judges' Table, the winning team is praised for their goodies. While Erika's chocolate chip cookie was "the ultimate," and Malika's toffee brownie scored high points for texture, it was Eric's peanut butter and Nutella krispie treats that won the challenge.

When the losing team comes out, there's all sorts of ugliness. Danielle immediately hurls Seth under the bus and runs back and forth over him a few times. The rest of the team defends him, probably because they feel sorry for his ass. However, his financier is too fancy for a bake sale. Heather decides to pipe up that she really didn't want to make a cookie, but the team wouldn't let her do what she wanted, which raises more eyebrows and voices in the group. (I swear, it's like elementary school on this show with all of the snotty noses and finger pointing.) Zac's strawberry shortcake was not appropriate and his biscuits were too hard. Danielle's cupcake was dry. Yigit's pudding was too gingery. And Heather C's "I don't want to make this peanut butter cookie" was too pedestrian. Judge Dannielle Kyrillos says "you could taste the resentment in her cookie."

After all, she didn't even bother to make the traditional fork tines criss-cross pattern in the tops. Now that's resentment.

Back in the stew room, the festivities continue as Danielle calls Seth a "piece of shit." sweet. At this point I'm hoping ALL of them get sent home. Ultimately, however, Heather C's attitude and ordinary cookie gets her the boot.

So what did you think about this episode? Please tell us in the comments.

ATC Love to Chef Heather Chittum

Chef Chittum was ousted for making a tasty but pedestrian peanut butter cookie when she should have stuck to her guns and made the chocolate whoopie pie that she originally wanted to make. Because who doesn't like chocolate whoopie pies, apart from her team-mates?


Chef Chittum, we hope nothing but the best for you in the future. May many fine sugary treats be in your future.

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Chittum. If you have anything negative to say about her or her competition, please do so here.

Congratulations, Chef Eric Wolitzky!

It's pretty incredible that someone could win a culinary challenge by making a rice krispie treat, but never underestimate the power of Nutella! Although Eric had problems with the wedding cake challenge, he had a strong idea of what he wanted to do for the Elimination Challenge and despite having to fight for his share of the peanut butter, he created a treat that was popular with both the children and the judges.

Congratulations, Chef! May you continue to have success in this competition!

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Wolitzky. If you have anything negative to say about him or his competition, please do so here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 3 Previews

Is the competition already breaking down these sweet pastry chefs? While Malika struggles with her reasons for staying and considers throwing in the towel, she isn't the only chef feeling the pressure this week. Putting the chefs to the ultimate dessert test, chef'testants must create a wedding cake in record time. Will everyone feel love in this challenge or will the time constraint leave the chef's with incomplete confections?

Top Chef Just Desserts 9/29 @ 10/9c.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TC News and Information 9.28.10

Wondering why a few of your favorite "also-rans" won't be competing in the All-Star season of Top Chef? Season 6 finalist and Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie speaks out here.

Great profile of Gail Simmons and her evolution on the Top Chef franchise here.

Looking for food with a view? Check out this article and slideshow about Tom Collichio's new NYC restaurant, Riverpark.

Meanwhile, All-Star contestant Mike Isabella is opening a new restaurant, with fellow Season 6 chef Bryan Voltaggio as an investor, according to this item.

And if you're wondering what All-Star competitor Marcel Vigneron from Season 2 is up to these days (or are just a fan of venison and carpaccio, as I am), check out this blog post - with great photos - of a meal he recently helped prepare.

Finally, although I think we're all glad Anthony Bourdain will be a permanent guest just on the upcoming All-Star season of Top Chef, apparently his wife is thankful he turned down an offer to appear on another reality competition show. Still, her comment got the folks at imagining what might have been. Check out their gallery of hilarious Bourdain - Dancing With the Stars mash-ups here. Just try not to spit coffee onto your keyboard like I did.
Mash-up by Raphael Brion /

Monday, September 27, 2010

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Just Desserts 2

This week, it was all about Seth. What did the blogosphere have to say about it?

Jordan Baker's haiku of the week: "Snow Queen, Big Mamma / Two nicknames/two episodes / Perhaps too many?"

Culturemob on the mysterious bandage: "Gail waits with guest judge Elizabeth Faulkner in front of a wall of candy. Heather C testifies that Faulkner is one of her idols, but I’m distracted because she has that odd bandage on her forehead again. It’s on in the kitchen, off in the confessionals. I ignored it last week, but I’m starting to feel like I need an explanation."

Creative Loafing on the bestest moment: "The absolute best moment during last night’s episode was Dexter’s (Seth) meltdown that lasted from the Quickfire into the beginning of the Elimination Challenge. It also made, 'The red hots are for my mommy!,' my favorite new catchphrase."

My Monkey Could Do That on Seth, the Drama Queen: "Seth had a certain cocktail in mind, with grapefruit juice, but there isn’t any grapefruit back there. He totally shuts down, even though everyone encourages him to think of something else to do. When his time is up, he yells at everyone for being against him. "

Popwatch with more on Seth: "Seth’s antics actually called to mind the lunacy that Kelly Bensimon brought to Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City. In the beginning, we thought, 'Wow! What a great, kooky addition to the cast.' Then we began to worry, 'This doesn’t seem right.' And finally, it devolved into, 'She should probably get off this show for her own good—and ours.'"

TWOP on the missing tuile: "Seth makes [more] an ass of himself by destroying Zac's chocolate squares [it was an accident, he swears! Wait, no, it wasn't him at all!] and then getting in Zac's way to the extent that Zac fails to tuile one dessert. One dessert that, of course, ends up in front of Gail. Who takes it personally and before anyone can stop her is wandering the Moors in her wedding dress moaning, 'Where's my tuile? Where's my tuile?' Zac tries to recover by introducing his dish as a Benedictine bomb, which sounds like a terrorist act but look delicious. The tuile had tarragon in it, but he doesn't want to talk about it. And neither does Gail."

OMG gives Johnny Iuzzini a new nickname: "Head judge Johnny, who we'll call Johnny Burns, notices that he's baking his custard with alcohol, and the chemistry of that might not work."

After Elton on the producers: "Faulkner mentions Seth’s earlier breakdown and asks him if he’s allowed to continue, can they be assured he won’t do that again? Seth thinks about it for a second and then says, “No. You can’t” Backstage, the Bravo producers all high-five each other. 'Yes! We’ve got a live one here! No way can we eliminate him now. Send Gail the message.'"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wish you were there? Minx does Volt

After booking a reservation 10 months in advance, The Minx did the 21-course tasting menu at TC Season 6 finalist Bryan Voltaggio's Volt and reports about it here.

If you live far from the cities TC tends to select its contestants from (as I do), you can salivate over this first-hand report. Especially since Volt's Table 21 is booked through 2011.

Congratulations to Chef Tiffany Derry!

Chef Derry won the hearts of viewers this season and took away the $10K Fan Favorite prize. Congrats, Chef! We're looking forward to seeing you get a second chance at the big prize starting December 1 on Top Chef 8: All Stars!

Bravo Exit Interview - Tim Nugent

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Find Out Who Wins Fan Favorite

The winner of the coveted Fan Favorite award for Top Chef DC will be announced tonight by Andy Cohen on a special Watch What Happens Live at 10/9C.

Who do you think wins it?

Congratulations, Chef Erika Davis

Congratulations to pastry chef Erika Davis on winning for her dessert interpretation of the classic alcoholic libation, the margarita. It was subtle. It was cocktail-y. Although she realized she was one dessert short when it came time to plate, her on-the-fly solution of slicing the existing desserts in half was a real winner - not only was the portion size appropriate, but the inner layers could be appreciated better that way.

We hope to see more great desserts from this pastrycheftestant in the future.

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Erika Davis. If you have anything negative to say about her or her competition, please do so here.

ATC Love to Chef Nugent

Chef Nugent quickly became the beloved "mamma" of the house, and just as quickly were ousted by the judges. Johnny Iuzzini seemed to take issue with Chef Nugent's second dessert served in a bowl, and although your flavors were great, the texture left a
lot to be desired.

Chef, we're sorry to see you go so soon, and I'm sure we're not the only ones.

This post is only for positive comments about Chef Tim Nugent. If you have anything negative to say about him or his competition, please do so here.

All Top Chef Interview with Tim Nugent

Just Desserts Chef Tim Nugent talks about his experience on the Bravo Show.

A highlight: Tim works with Top Chef Season Four contestant Jennifer Biesty.

Click here for the podcast.

Click here for Tim's restaurant.

Thank you Tim!

Your reactions to the TC double-header? And the All-Star S8 line-up

Wow, what a night - the TC Reunion show, plus announcement of the Season 8 All-Star contestants, followed by that supersized Top Chef: Just Desserts episode. Will be back this evening with more details and tributes to the deserving Just Desserts folks. I'm lovin' the cast and show of Top Chef: Just Desserts and don't want to give anyone short shrift.

Meanwhile, here are the All-Star Season 8 contestants. Gail commented that she couldn't have hand-picked a better cast herself, and I'm inclined to agree. Many are chefs I was rooting for, and disappointed not to see make it to the finish line. I'll be especially curious to see what they'll do coming back to the pressure cooker of TC competition and its goofy challenges, having already been there/done that, as well as how they've evolved since their stints on the show.

Tiffani Faison
Steven Aspirino
Elia Aboumrad
Marcel Vigneron
Dake Levitski
Casey Thompson
Tre Cox
Richard Blais
Dale Talde
Antonia Lafaso
Spike Mendelsohn
Fabio Viviani
Carla Hall
Jamie Lauren
Jennifer Carroll
Mike Isabella
Angelo Sosa
Tiffani Derry

The Season 7 Fan Favorite will be announced tonight on Watch What Happens.

So what did you think of last night's festivities? Let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All-Star Rumors Confirmed

Rumored contestants according to

TV Guide and report that Top Chef Season 8 will indeed be an all-star season, premiering December 1. The 18 cast members are to be revealed during tonight’s reunion show. And Anthony Bourdain will be a regular judge, alternating with Gail Simmons!

Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 2 Previews

Top Chef DC Reunion Special Preview

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Just Desserts

Let's give a big hurrah! that Jordan Baker is recapping Just Desserts! Her first haiku of the season: "Poor Tania is out/Tania is the first one out/Not much to say. Mousse."

Culture Mob on Pastry Chefs: "After the brief intros, I can’t help but notice that pastry chefs seem to be, by and large, significantly more attractive than savory chefs. Not that I’m complaining."

What'ere Jane Eyre on the judges: "Joining Gail on the judging panel will be head judge Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller, and someone we've never seen on the panel before, a magazine editor named Dannielle Kyrillos (who unfortunately is introduced by telling someone that there's a party going on in her mouth)."

Popwatch on the Quick Fire: "Create a dessert that represents them. But wait! After already being sent into a tizzy for their very first task (and after Seth had run laps, nay, miles around the kitchen), Gail then broke the news that they’d have to turn their desserts into cupcakes. What?! America’s trendiest, happiest treat can be sinister? I just don’t want to believe it."

My Monkey Could Do That on the Elimination Challenge: "For the Elimination challenge, the contestants must use chocolate to create a 'luxurious' dessert. This dessert must impress Jacques Torres. Wow. I remember when he had a Food Network show about chocolate, and he would make showpieces and stuff. Gail calls him 'Mr. Chocolate' but that is really cheesy."

Mama Pop has a dirty mind: "Johnny and his pompadour make the rounds, sampling everyone’s cupcakes (or approximations thereof). He takes a bite of Zac’s cupcake (oh, the jokes I could make here) and marshmallow oozes from the corner of his mouth (I’m exercising serious restraint now). Then they banter — Johnny: 'I’m stuck.' Zac: 'Hopefully in a good way.' Johnny: 'That’s debatable.' Ouch!"

Television Without Pity on the denouement: "Judge Johnny delivers the verdicts: Morgan spread himself too thin; Danielle didn't think her dessert through, and Tania's mousse was nasty. Gail proudly announces this season's tag line: Tania, your dessert just didn't measure up. Please pack your tools and go. And she goes. In a flood of tears and a sprinkling of sugar. Never to bake again."

Recap Roundup: Top Chef DC Finale

And...finally...this interminable season of Top Chef is over! To wrap: Angelo got sick, Ed got Ilan, Kevin got $125,000. And we've got bloggers:

Jordan Baker with her final haiku: "Well, so that happened. / For fish, duck, and a fruit cup / Kevin is Top Chef?"

Cliffieland on what loses it for Ed: "Finally, it's time for the dessert course. Ed thinks Ilan could have gotten more intricate with his cake, which would be a decent dig if it was supposed to be Ilan's dessert. They serve."

My Monkey Could Do That on Angelo's plague-spreading ways: "Angelo doesn’t want to give up but he can’t even really move. They get a doctor, who says he can give him some drugs but it won’t make him get better faster. The doctor tells him he needs to get fluids and rest but only gives him a 20% chance of being able to cook tomorrow. If he’s got a stomach thing, he shouldn’t be anywhere around food for a while anyway. They have laws in England about that sort of thing."

Minx Eats with my sentiments exactly: "I have one word for the finale of Top Chef season 7: Bah. Actually, that's pretty much how I feel about the whole season."

Popwatch (EW) on the judge-shopping: "Tom Colicchio and Eric Ripert complicated matters by heading out into the Singapore markets in the early morning to choose the proteins in question. Avec Eric? Now there’s a show I would watch."

Serious Eats on Voltaggio's Food Network future: "Voltaggio, on the other hand, was busy scrutinizing prices like he was filming an episode of Money Saving Meals. 'These are $1.45, and those are only $.38,' he exclaimed while rifling through some onions. 'They're cheaper. I don't know how they'll taste, though.' Oh Michael. Sandra Lee would have been so proud."

Max the Girl on Kevin's randomness: "Season 7 of Top Chef will be remembered for many things. Tiffany’s late dominance (and shocking eviction). Kenny, the man of a thousand self-aggrandizing nicknames. Frenemies Angelo and Ed and their ongoing (sexual?) tension. Pea-Puree-gate and all its ramifications. One thing it won’t be remembered for? It’s eventual winner. With all due respect to Kevin, did anyone see this coming? Ever?"

What'ere, Jane Eyre drinks a lot: "Kevin discusses plating with Michael, who wonders what the other two competitors are going to do. "That's their problem," Kevin sniffs. "I'm not here to be nice." DRINK!"

Speakeasy (WSJ) on Ed's decision making: "Ed delegates Ilan to make the dessert course, because he can’t top those banana fritters, he says. (Did we hear that right? Because that makes no sense. Anyways.)"

Meal Ticket (Philly City Paper) on medical care in Singapore: "Angelo is so ill he can’t even get up; he deathbed-whispers instructions to Hung over the phone, and then a doctor comes and visits him and sticks him with an antibiotic ass injection the physician informs him has about a '3 percent chance' of working. OK I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure that dude just made that up. Watch how easy: When I leave work today, I have a '100 percent chance' of drinking whiskey. Alright bad example, that’s wholly accurate."

Best Week Ever on Seetoh's timely interjection: "As a final word of inspiration, Seetoh says, 'Sock it to me!' Singapore just got Laugh-In two weeks ago, it’s part of their new 'Must See Thursday' lineup along with The Shadow radio programme."

Monday, September 20, 2010

TC News and Information 9.20.10

We all have our opinions about Season 7. Executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves offer their own critique here.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of Season 7 finale parties and Just Desserts premiere parties last Wednesday. Zagat offers up a comparison of the Gail Simmons/Food & Wine finale bash at Craft (where Ed Cotton confirmed he will not be appearing in future TC’s – which presumably includes the all-but-certain All-Star Season 8) with the premiere party hosted by Johnny Iuzzini (at which no desserts were served).  

Gawker attended the F&W shindig, encountering a Padma “lost in the fog of forgetfulness,” then fled to watch the episode elsewhere, as no one in the party crowd seemed to care to watch it.  

DCist reports that viewing parties for the final S7 episode at Eric Ripert's West End Bistro, The Oval Room (where S7 contestant Tamesha Warren is the sous chef) and Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery were sparsely attended (but as someone who lives a long way from D.C., I still would have loved to be one of the few).

Just Desserts contestant Yigit Pura's restaurant, Taste, hosted a TC:JD viewing party, which definitely included desserts, which you can see more of here.

Kevin Sbraga reveals more details about the restaurant he hopes to open with the $125,000 he earned as Season 7 winner, while runner-up Ed Cotton says he would have sat on the money but still has aspirations for his own restaurant...

Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard has finally opened her new restaurant, Girl and the Goat, which Chicago Magazine offers an in-depth review of here. And Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg’s new food truck business gets a thumbs-up from his hometown paper in Boulder for its global cuisine here.

Heather H. (as in Hurlburt), winner of the Top Chef: Just Desserts Episode 1 Elimination Challenge, talks about TC:JD and her prior competitive cooking experience here.

And TC:JD contestant Zac “Gold Dust” Young will be adding fried whoopee pies, seasonal doughnuts, and a chocolate soufflé with salted peanut caramel and nougat ice cream to the menu at NYC’s Flex Mussels restaurant according to this report.

The charming and multi-talented Hubert Keller (he’s also apparently a kick-ass DJ), whose Top Chef judging experience goes back to Season 1 and who is fondly remembered by many for his resourcefulness in cooking pasta in a dorm-room shower on Top Chef Masters Season 1, returns as a judge on Just Desserts this week (he’s alternating with Dannielle Kyrillos of Daily Candy – anyone else heard of her? I hadn’t). In other news, Hubert’s Las Vegas outpost of his San Francisco-based Fleur de Lys has closed but will reopen as a tapas restaurant with a lower price point in December according to this report.

And finally, because he may be one of the most beloved Top Chef judges of all time, even if he wimped out on the snarkiness in his Season 7 appearance, a bit of Anthony Bourdain news. Tony is writing a “graphic novel” (aka comic book) about “ultraviolent food nerds.” In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I am a Bourdain-o-phile (yes, I actually plunked down $46.50 to see him live and wrote about it at length here). 

So that’s my inaugural post as a brand spankin’ new member of the ATC team. Any links you especially liked – or didn’t? Any news you’d like to see here that I’m missing? Please let me know in the comments or via email.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

All Top Chef Interview with Kevin Sbraga

Top Chef DC Champion, Kevin Sbraga talks about his experience on the Bravo show. A highlight: Kevin will use his winnings to open up a new restaurant.

Congratulations Kevin - and thank you!

Click here for the podcast.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

All Top Chef Interview with Chef Ed Cotton

Top Chef DC contestant, Ed Cotton talks about his experience on the Bravo show.

A highlight: The best thing about being on Top Chef? "Not having a blackberry..."

Click here for the podcast.

Click here for Ed's restaurant, Plein Sud.

Thank you Chef Ed!

Top Recipe - Top Chef DC Episode 14

Watch Michael Voltaggio prepare Top Chef Kevin Sbraga's "Singapore Sling 2010" here.

Find the printable version of the recipe here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Congratulations, Pastry Chef Heather Hurlbert!

Congratulations to Chef Heather Hurlbert for making a chocolate dessert that wowed even "Mr Chocolate," Jacques Torres. It was rich, it was decadent, it was obviously delicious. Winning the first Elimination Challenge is certainly a good start, and hopefully an indicator of success for the rest of the season.

This post is only for positive comments regarding Chef Heather Hurlbert. If you have anything negative to say about Chef Heather or her competition or anything else about this episode, please leave your comment here.

ATC Love to Pastry Chef Tania Peterson

Chef Tania, we didn't get to know you at all, and for that we are sorry. We're sure that under better circumstances, your chocolate dessert would have been magnificent and your citrus mousse, perfection.

But that's why being a pastry chef is trickier than being a non-pastry chef. Science.

We hope your future is full of successes, and that your cakes never fall.

This post is only for positive comments regarding Chef Peterson. If you have anything negative to say about her or her competition or anything about this episode, please leave your comment here.

Reactions to Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 1

Bravo gives us no time at all to savor (or rue) Chef Kevin Sbraga's win on Top Chef DC when they toss a whole new season of Top Chef our way, this time featuring pastry chefs. Hello, Top Chef Just Desserts! (Have I mentioned how much I dislike the font they chose for the logo? And the odd off-center placement of the wording? Maybe the knife in the main Top Chef logo should have been replaced with a whisk?)

The show starts off in Los Angeles with the various pastrycheftestants meeting at the airport and at the train station, where they are all picked up by their very own double decker bus. After all of the chefs have been gathered and they sit on the top level, working on their sunburns, hostess with the mostess Gail Simmons and head judge Johnny Iuzzini saunter on board and announce the very first Quickfire Challenge.

It's the pastrycheftestants' first chance to make a good impression and they are directed to show off their talent by creating their signature dessert.

After a mere 15 minutes of the allotted 90 minute cook time, Gail and Johnny enter the kitchen, bringing with them a twist - the pastrycheftestants must take their signature dish and turn it into a...cupcake! Everyone groans, but they get back to work, after all - immunity from elimination in the next challenge is at stake.

In the meantime, we're getting to know the new batch of chefs via confidentials. Apparently pastry chefs don't have any problem with telling the world their personal problems. One chef is going through a divorce, and another has been trying for three years to have babies. TMI, people!

Malika (who doesn't get to plate her dish), Tim (who makes semifreddo), and Zac don't please Johnny Iuzzini with their cupcakes. Tom, Seth, Tania, and Heather C. do. Seth (who was TC season 1 winner Harold Dieterle's pastry chef, once upon a time) takes the prize with his coconut cupcake with basil buttercream.

For the Elimination Challenge, the pastrycheftestants have to create the most luxurious chocolate dessert EVAR, to serve to 50 chocolate connoisseurs including "Mr Chocolate" himself, Jacques Torres. But first - they get to check out their new digs and get a good night's sleep.

At the loft, the two lone straight males attempt to exert their dominance by claiming to be an insomniac and potentially needing the best bed (Seth) and requiring the thermostat to be turned down (Morgan). Zac chimes in with a request for his own bathroom because he "has bathroom issues."

Nobody is shy in this group, that's for sure.

The next day, the pastrycheftestants have four hours to bake in the TCJD kitchen, and an hour to plate and serve in the TCJD dining room. Gail and Johnny enter with permanent judge Dannielle Kyrillos of Daily Candy, and Jacques Torres (who looks to have been tasting a lot of chocolate recently). After tasting all of the pastrycheftestants' wares, they retire to Judges' Table.

It seems odd to see Gail going back to the stew to request the presence of Seth, Heather H., and Zac. She doesn't even try to match Padma's funereal announcement style, perhaps because she's just ingested several pounds of sugar and is feeling rather perky.

Zac is all emotional in front of the judges, saying that making dessert is like giving birth. Jacques scolds him for having blown his "disco dust" on his dessert rather than sprinkling it. (And doesn't "disco dust" sound like something that should be inhaled?) The judges also like Seth's unusual combo of curry and chocolate, but give the win to Heather H.'s dessert, which embodied chocolate decadence.

The bottom three are Danielle, Tania, and Morgan. While Danielle's sablé was too tough, and Morgan's milk chocolate flan separated and didn't work with his turnover, it was the texture of Tania's citrus mousse that the judges found to be most offensive. Gail gives her the first "please pack your tools and go" of the season, and thus concludes episode one of "Drama Queens Make Cake."

What did you think of Top Chef Just Desserts? Did it make you want to run to the kitchen and bake up a batch of brownies? Please let us know your opinions in the comments.

Congratulations, Top Chef Kevin Sbraga!

Congratulations to Chef Kevin Sbraga, who last night was crowned Top Chef. A bit of a dark horse throughout the season, Chef Sbraga really delivered during the finale, with perfectly cooked duck and fantastic duck ravioili, excellent seared rouget, and an updated version of the Singapore sling that absolutely wowed the judges:

Gail described Kevin's meal as starting out subtle, but building to an absolute punch at dessert. For that, he won the coveted title of Top Chef and all the riches and fame that go along with that.

This post is only for positive comments regarding Chef Sbraga. If you have anything negative to say about Chef Sbraga or this episode, please leave your comment here.

Reactions to Top Chef DC Finale

The finale. Finally! FINALLY!

Last week on Top Chef: everyone sweats in Singapore and Kelly goes home.

The show opens with a reminder of who's still standing: Angelo, who's practically Asian; Kevin, who is apparently into bloodshed; and Ed, who's won a bunch recently.

Everybody's tired, but not surprised when Padma calls them back to Judge's Table, so they're probably relieved when she tells them that she just wants them to have as much time to plan their final meal as possible.

For the final, the first course is a vegetable course, second is fish, third is meat (proteins chosen by Tom and Ripert) and the fourth course is dessert (nice tie-in with TC Desserts, Gail).

Then, in roll the "helpers" - Michael Voltaggio, Hung, and Ilan. Kevin used to work with Voltaggio and they're friends, so he's hoping for him. Angelo fancies himself a bit of a Hung, so he's hoping for him. And Ed picks first and has to be disappointed when he chooses Ilan. I mean, come on - Ilan vs. Voltaggio.

Ed graciously says there's no reason NOT to respect Ilan. Whew. Big praise.
Everybody else gets their wish, with Hung joining Angelo and Kevin choosing Michael.

Ed's feeling cocky, Kevin says its about his family, including his mom who passed away, and Angelo is sick. Like really sick. Which maybe means that all that sweat was fever, not just Angelo. He "feels like somebody's stabbing him in the stomach" and for the first time in Top Chef history, we see an actual doctor's visit. The doctor gives him a 20% chance of cooking the next day.

And...he's not. But Hung's there and he gets direction from Angelo about what to do in the kitchen. Ed's not impressed that Angelo's body won't listen to $125,000, but I kind of sympathize. Has Ed ever had the stomach flu? Does he really want to cook in a kitchen with somebody who does?

Ripert and his accent deliver the fishy proteins: red mullet (rouget), cuttlefish, cockles and slipper lobsters. Tom follows up (sans accent) with: a whole duck, and pork belly. The first course is to be vegetables, the second is the red mullet and the third is the duck, but the other proteins must be incorporated.

Next up: shopping with the sous chefs, in which Ed has to remind Ilan that he's not in charge, Ilan talks like a blogger ("whatevs") and Kevin lets Michael take the reigns (smart). Angelo delivers his list from bed, but he's got Hung on it, so he's not really that concerned.

Back in the kitchen, minor drama ensues when Hung grabs the whole loaf of foie gras for Angelo, leaving none for Ed. Kevin's still whining about Angelo not being around, saying he "wants to compete with the best." I'm not so sure he should want that, but to each his own.

The dishes:
Kevin's first course is an eggplant, zucchini and roasted red pepper terrine. His second is pan-seared routet with cuttlefish "noodles." The third is roasted duck with duck dumplings and his dessert is a "Singapore sling" with coconut panna cotta.

Ed's first is a chilled summer corn veloute and his second is stuffed rouget with bacon-wrapped slipper lobster and char-grilled cuttlefish. Third is a duck duo with a roasted breast and a stuffed neck. The fourth course, which will be on Ilan, is a sticky toffee date cake.

And we don't find out about Angelo's yet because, well, Angelo's still in bed.

Everybody's got crazy respect for Hung and he's showing off exactly why Angelo is so lucky to have him as a sous - could anybody else have worked that fast and gotten that much accomplished? He's still a machine.

Back at the house, Angelo's still a mess with a migraine, so he lets the doctor administer him antibiotics in the hiney.

Finally, on the third day, Angelo's given the greenlight to cook. Ed's not that psyched about it, as he thinks Angelo's the one to beat, but Angelo is pretty happy. He knows he's behind but seriously: how lucky is he to have Hung?

We finally get to find out what Angelo's serving - and that he drew out diagrams of his dishes while at home in bed. Good for him (I'm feeling sorry for him now). His first course is royale mushrooms with noodles, pork belly and watermelon tea. Second is Asian bouillabaise. Third is a duck and foie marshmellow. And dessert is a "Thai jewel" - shaved ice and coconut milk.

Back in the kitchen, Angelo and Kevin say Ed overcomplicates things, while he thinks their dishes might be pretty but don't always taste good. And everybody's still sweating.

The judges arrive and as the chefs head out to judge's table, they're blinded by the star power, which includes David Chang and Dana Cowin. The chefs introduce their first dishes - the vegetables - and return to the kitchen. We hear that Angelo's flavors are spot on, but his dish needs work. Kevin's dish either doesn't have enough oomph, or it's great. And Ripert thinks Ed's is the best. Tom notes that everything shows a lot of restraint and, well, it's good.

Angelo's concerned about getting dehydrated...and now I'm starting to feel like he's whining.

It's second course time. Kevin's dish is interesting and nicely cooked and the pork belly is good. Ed's is very complicated - it obviously took a lot of effort. Angelo's dish is the one to remember.

The duck course comes out and it is most certainly dressed with the sweat of the chefs. The judges have to know that, too. I'm sure they're all happy that Angelo took those antibiotics.

Kevin's ravioli has good textural contrast and it's cooked really nicely. Angelo's is excellent, though the little drink is extraneous. Padma loves Ed's flavors with the contrast between the greens and duck neck - it has layers of flavors and much attention was paid to the details.

Just before the dessert, Ed realizes he shouldn't have tasked Ilan with dessert. Well, yeah.

So dessert, then: there's more to Kevin's than meets the eye, and it could well be a national dessert. Angelo's is tasty and comforting, but almost savory. And Ed's is good, but lacks a twist. The salty cream is maybe a yes, maybe a no.

Gail's impressed with the desserts overall, saying they might have broken the Top Chef dessert curse because they were all legitimately good. So good for them.

But then...judge's table. As usual for the finale, the judges are a little nicer to start, saying that the meal was amazing. It's a bit of a love fest, except:

Angelo's dishes come with too much instruction. His first course didn't really feel vegetarian, either.

Ed's dessert was something Tom could've eaten at home. His fish protein was confusing and didn't really feature the rouget, which was the assignment. Also, his duck was slightly overcooked.

Kevin's vegetables lacked a little salt and spice - it wasn't really exciting.

Once the chefs are packed back off to the stew room, Gail says she thinks this was "one of our best finales" - which seems like a nice way to say that it's not the best. At some point during this period, Ed and Angelo also realize that Kevin actually might win this thing because the food he cooked was just really good. It is not a welcome revelation.

Back at judges table, Tom says everyone delivered a great meal, but the Top Chef took the most risks and cooked the best meal...and it's Kevin!

One final note: I really wish we'd heard more from the judges about the roles of the sous chefs. In past seasons, that's been a big deal - what the sous did or did not do, how they did or did not contribute. It seems that this year, that might have been relevant. Or not. I just wish I knew.

So...what did you think? Did Kevin deserve it? Should Angelo have stayed in bed? Are you just glad the season's over? Please leave a comment with your thoughts...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top Chef Just Desserts Premieres TONIGHT!

While all the pastries and sweets might give the judges and viewers a sugar high, to the newest chef'testants this is serious business. For the first elimination challenge the chefs must take on a popular, yet temperamental ingredient, the one-and-only chocolate. Will the chefs be able to impress the king of chocolate and Week 1 judge Jacques Torres, or will the tricky ingredient be too much too handle at the beginning of the competition? Find out on the premiere of BRAVO's Top Chef Just Desserts 9/15 @ 11/10c.

Top Chef DC Finale Preview

Fresh off that Emmy high is the season finale of Top Chef DC! The Final 3 chefs have been sharpening their knives to battle it out in Singapore as the season culminates in a fight to the finish and some very special Top Chef Alums are thrown into the mix to help execute these finalists' visions. But when Angelo falls ill in the very last throws of his Top Chef journey, will he muster up the strength to pull it all together? Or will it be Ed or Kevin that wins the title? Tune in to find out who will be named "Top Chef” on the *Finale Part 2* this Wednesday 9/15 @ 10/9c followed by Top Chef Just Desserts at 11pm.

And chat with cheftestants, judges and fans during the episode at the LIVE Finale Talk Bubble Event! Details here:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poll Results - Who Will Be Top Chef?

According to our poll, 2/3 of voters chose Chef Ed Cotton as the winner of this season's Top Chef! Tune in tomorrow to see if they were right....

Recap Roundup: Top Chef DC Episode 13

Thirteen down, one to go. This week, Top Chef takes us abroad for the very first time ever. To hot, sweaty, hot, sweaty Singapore. So how did the bloggers feel about that?

Jordan Baker haikus: "Oh, Kelly Liken / Singapore is not for you / Go take a smoke break."

Single Guy Chef on saying goodbye: "Kelly says she just made one tiny mistake, which I’m not really sure if it really was just one. I just think maybe her food wasn’t Asian enough. But now it’s a long boat ride home for her."

Minx Eats on the food: "Tom says this was the best food all season, which isn't really saying much. But then come the complaints. Inigo's soup was too thick and too intense. The fish in Kelly's soup was unnecessary and too 'rough.' They wanted more texture in Kevin's congee. However, Ed's food received nothing but praise; the judges claimed mouthgasms over his banana fritters."

Cliffieland on Bravo's thought process: "So, they looked at a map of the world and thought, 'We know the one thing that folks value most in this show and we plan to deliver this. So, let's do it up right! Now, what's the one place on the planet that's more humid than DC in August? ... Ah, yes! 'Welcome to Singapore!'"

Serious Eats on the obvious: "Seetoh introduced them to a noodle master, and said the guy had been 'frying that same dish of noodles for the last 40 years.' Wow. 40 years ago. That's about when this season of Top Chef started. AMIRIGHT?"

My Monkey Could Do That on Kevin, the wokless wonder: "Kevin admits he’s never used a wok before, and Padma is like 'What is wrong with you? You knew you were coming to Singapore!' Yeah, good point."

Max the Girl on the bromance: "All this time, I was focusing on Ed and Tiffany (and to a lesser extent, Angelo and and his mail order bride) when I clearly should’ve been focusing on Ed and Angelo. Theirs is a bromance that dare not speak its name. All they do is fight, makeup, and obsess over each other. It’s totally hot."

What'ere, Jane Eyre does not like the Quickfire twist: "For the first time this late in the competition, the winner of the Quickfire will receive immunity in the Elimination Challenge. That... Is fucking stupid. Why is this advantage offered? To what end? I know they like throwing the chefs for a loop, but this really has no benefit for the audience. Naturally, the chefs are happier about it than I am."

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 15th is Top Chef Just Desserts Day!


Locations Will Be Revealed On Sept. 15 Only Via Twitter And Facebook

NEW YORK - September 7, 2010 - Craving something sweet? Get a free dessert on September 15th when Bravo declares the first-ever "Top Chef Just Desserts Day" - a national event offering free desserts through various outlets across the country in honor of the premiere of Bravo's sweetest new series, "Top Chef Just Desserts." Consumers will be able to sample free desserts at local participating bakeries and retailers, from "Top Chef Just Desserts" branded trucks in certain cities and through a special partnership with The twist is that all times and locations will be announced only via Twitter @ BravoTV - and Facebook -- on the morning of September 15th - so, follow us to find out and sign up to eat up.

Where "Top Chef Just Desserts" will be serving free desserts:

· -Diners who make reservations using for dinner only on September 15th will get a free dessert, courtesy of "Top Chef Just Desserts," per reservation at over 800 participating restaurants. Bravo will donate $1.00 to City Harvest in New York for each reservation made through

· Local Bakeries and Retailers - Over 200 locations in 20 markets will be sampling free desserts for fans to gear up to watch the premiere that evening.

· Top Chef Just Desserts Trucks - New York, Los Angeles and Chicago will see these delicious trucks popping up in spots all over the respective cities throughout the day on September 15. Breyers and Extra Dessert Delights Gum will be among many of the sweets aboard the trucks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Top Recipe - Top Chef DC Episode 13

To see Michael Voltaggio prepare Ed Cotton's banana fritter, click here.

For a printable version of the recipe, click here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

TC News & Information 9.10.10

Joel Keller of TV Squad thinks Eric Ripert isn't such a great judge. (I'm inclined to agree - he's a bit of a complainer.)

Win a cooking class with Bryan Voltaggio by supporting Frederick Maryland’s Premier Food and Wine Charity Gala, An Evening on the Riviera. All proceeds from the raffle go to support the charities benefiting from the event, which this year are The Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County and the Women’s Giving Circle. Purchase your tickets here.

Season 7's Jennifer Carroll is the latest chef rumored to be taking part in the Top Chef All-Stars season. Also rumored is that the show will start around Thanksgiving, after Top Chef Just Desserts comes to an end. And if you don't want spoilers about the end of this season of Top Chef, then by all means DO NOT READ THIS POST at

Bravo Exit Interview - Kelly Liken

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Top Chef 7 Finale Poll

ATC Love to Chef Kelly Liken

At this stage of the game, it's not a matter of eliminating a chef who is unworthy, but rather narrowing down the best of the best. In that regard, Chef Kelly Liken certainly proved that she had what it took to be a top contender and can hold her head high.

All of Chef Kelly's dishes during this round were considered good by the judges. In the Quickfire, her Chinese noodles with lobster, cockles, bean sprouts, and Chinese broccoli was praised by K.F. Seetoh as having captured "the essence of the ocean." In the Elimination Challenge, her cucumber yogurt soup and her prawn curry were both well received, but the devil is in the details and there were some elements in the dishes which were deemed lacking. So close to the final round, even minor issues can cost dearly.

Although we will miss Chef Kelly in the final round, we are sure to her more from her in the future. This post is only for positive comments regarding Chef Kelly Liken. If you have anything negative to say about Chef Kelly Liken or this episode, please leave your comment here.

Congratulations Chef Ed Cotton!

Chef Ed scored another big win! While Angelo was seen to have an advantage with this all-Asian episode, Chef Ed appeared to breeze through both challenges not only producing fine dishes but taking charge of expediting during the elimination challenge.

He had immunity from elimination thanks to his stir fry noodles with black pepper sauce, lobster and gai lan, but Chef Ed was determined to win and show the judges he had what it takes to be Top Chef. He certainly did that with crispy rice and potato cakes, sweet and sour pork, kai lan, but it was his banana fritters with red chilli paste that really wowed the judges. The usually reserved Tom Colicchio said he "loved" the fritters and deemed them perfect stoner food. As they say, it's not how you start but how you finish, and Chef Ed is poised to finish strong.

This post is only for positive comments regarding Chef Ed Cotton. If you have anything negative to say about Chef Ed Cotton or this episode, please leave your comment here.

Reactions to Top Chef DC Episode 13

We're not in DC anymore, Toto! We're in Singapore where the final four cheftestants embark on their bid to win the title of Top Chef. We first see Ed strolling through a Singapore food market where he meets up with Kelly. Kevin and Angelo soon follow as we listen to voice overs of the chefs trash talking each other. That's soon brought to an end when Tom arrives and introduces K.F. Seetoh, a Singapore Hawker Stall Expert. Seetoh takes the four finalists on a tour of the food market to show them how the food stalls operate and the wide range of cuisine they produce.

The fun and games end when Padma arrives to announce the Quickfire Challenge: create your own version of street food with a wok as your only cooking vessel. Unlike the past final Quickfires, the winner of this one gets immunity. With only 30 minutes to cook, the chefs scramble to their cramped stations and start wokking. Kelly is inspired to make a shell fish broth of lobster and cockles with noodles, bean sprouts, and Chinese broccoli, while Ed opts for stir-fried noodles in a black pepper sauce with lobster and gai lan. Angelo starts to make chilli crab, a Singapore staple, but runs out of time and changes to chilli frogs legs with pineapple and rambutan salsa. Unfamiliar with Asian ingredients and a novice with a wok, Kevin decides to mash all his influences from the day into a seafood stew (with lobster, of course).

Seetoh tastes all the dishes and passes judgment. Angelo's flavors were robust, Kelly captured "the essence of the ocean," Kevin's flavors were sophisticated and complex, and Ed expertly captured the street food experience. In the end, Ed is declared the winner, much to the chagrin of Angelo who is beaten in a cuisine he should have nailed.

The Elimination Challenge turns out to be another team challenge with all four chefs working as one to provide a menu for 80 guests at a Food and Wine Magazine event hosted by Dana Cowin at the Tanjong Beach Club. The proteins will be provided and each chef is given $200 to purchase spices and dry goods. The catch is that each dish must be prepared "a la minute," or made to order, so the menu must be prepared with that in mind. At the Hilton Hotel, the four finalists look over the list of proteins available and formulate possible dishes. Because each dish has to be made to order, they all agree to create one dish each, although Ed has a glint in his eye.

With menus in hand, they head to the market to spend their $200. Kelly seems a bit lost as to what to get while Ed is coolly shopping. Although he has immunity and could "serve cilantro on a plate" as Angelo says, Ed wants to do well and win. After shopping, the chefs go to an unidentified kitchen to spend one hour prepping. During this time, Tom arrives and expresses his surprise that they all decided to do just one dish each. Tom strongly suggests that they all do at least two dishes, to which Ed declares that he planned to do two all along. The others are stunned at his strategery, but quickly knuckle down to come up with a second dish.

After a night of prawn fishing, the chefs go to the Tanjong Beach Club to begin their service. Everyone is unsure about how to expedite, so Ed takes charge in briefing the wait staff and organizing the kitchen. Along the way, he also messes with Angelo who is having one of his usual meltdowns. Soon, service begins and the judges arrive at Dana Cowin's table: Tom, Padma, Gail Simmons, and K.F. Seetoh. Tom orders five of everything for the table and the tasting commences.

Among the comments, Kelly's cucumber yogurt soup with bitter melon salad was good but a bit gritty and her seared prawns with red coconut curry was not spicy enough. Angelo's lamb tartare was well executed, but his spicy shrimp broth was too thick and overpowering. Kevin's clam chowder was cited for lack of heat, but his congee using tapioca and a 63-degree egg on top was perfectly cooked. Ed's sweet and sour pork with crispy rice and potato cakes was well received, but his banana fritters with red chilli paste were the huge hit of the meal.

All of these criticisms were expressed to the chefs at Judges' Table. With nothing negative to say about Ed's dishes, he was declared the winner. On the other hand, Kelly's shortcomings earned her the elimination. While everyone did well, someone had to go and Kelly felt she had learned a great deal from the experience.

Okay, next week is the big finale. Who do you think is Top Chef?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ATC Interview with Chef Tiffany Derry

ATC: We were really sorry to see you go this week, and a lot of our readers were pegging you for the win. In retrospect, what would you have done differently for this final DC challenge that might have changed the results for you?

TD: I would have used another refrigerator that I know wouldn't freeze my food. My mussels, herbs and tomatoes froze. It was a great dish that I felt all the flavors were great. I am happy with the dish just not excited about my time left to plate my dish. It looked messy but I was out of time.

ATC: You and Ed seemed pretty close - did you borrow his clothes, too? :) Who were your other friends in the competition?

TD: HaHa no I did no wear his clothes. He was my closest friend on the show but I really hung with a few others toward the middle to end of of show. Kevin, Kenny, Kelly and I bonded a lot but I really enjoyed all of them - Arnold, Tamesha - but they were off earlier.

ATC: What was your favorite challenge this season and why?

TD: I loved the Embassador Challenge I have a true love for Mexican food

ATC: Did you watch past seasons of Top Chef? What was your favorite and who was your favorite competitor?

TD: I watched a few episodes of a few seasons but not like I do now. I absolutely loved Carla and I thought Jen and Kevin from season 6 were awesome cooks.

ATC: You are still young, amazingly talented, and obviously have a great career ahead of you. What made you want to be on Top Chef?

I never really thought about going they actually called me out of the blue and I was hesistant but I thought about it and why not? I have nothing to lose in my opinion, just gaining.

ATC: Who was your favorite judge and why?

TD: I love Anthony Bourdain - he made me a little shy. I love his honesty no matter what.

ATC: Congratulations on your recent marriage. Did you use the trip to Paris as part of your honeymoon?

TD: I plan on going to Paris early next year and my wedding was phenomenal in Costa Rica. Tamesha and Arnold came as well.

ATC: What are your plans for the next five to ten years?

TD: I really want a couple of cooking shows. I love cooking, demonstrating, and interacting with people. It is my true passion and I want to share with others and help them find their inner chef.(lol)

Top Chef DC Finale Part 1 Preview

The final four cheftestants head to Singapore in the first-ever Internationally-based Top Chef Finale to compete in the penultimate challenge. The chefs seem to have it made with access to Singapore’s rich culinary landscape, but when they must step up their game to deliver a perfect meal for Food & Wine’s most prestigious crowd, the pressure is ON. Who will deliver and make it to the final round to compete for the title of “Top Chef”? Find out tonight, 9/8, @ 10/9c on the TOP CHEF D.C. *Finale Part 1*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Meet the Pastry Chefs - Danielle Keene

AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, Calif – currently resides in South Pasadena, Calif.
PROFESSION: Pastry Chef and Owner, Bittersweet
CULINARY EDUCATION: Los Angeles Culinary Institute.
FAVORITE SIMPLE FALL DESSERT RECIPE: Roasted pears, cinnamon ice cream, almond brittle and creme fraiche.

For Danielle Keene, creating gourmet desserts has been a passion, career and tradition. Coming from a dessert loving home, her first baking memory was cracking fresh walnuts for the oatmeal cookies she baked with her mom. After training at Water Grill, Campanile, and A.O.C. in Los Angeles, she became the opening Pastry Chef at Wilshire restaurant where her "Ice Cream Shoppe Night" received accolades from the Los Angeles Times. In early 2009, Danielle started her online business Bittersweet. Using the finest local ingredients, producing every item from scratch and combining unique flavors, Bittersweet represents Danielle's childhood favorites and modern classics. Danielle hopes to one day open a retro soda fountain with a selection of ice cream and baked goods.