Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TC News and Information 4.6.11 - Top Chef Masters Edition!

In case you missed this on our facebook page (or elsewhere), congratulations to TC Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard for being named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2011! George Mendes, a competitor on Top Chef Masters 3, premiering tonight, also takes a spot among the magazine's 10 chefs earning this honor!

TC Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle picks up another win for his new restaurant Kin Shop, in Time-Out New York's Food and Drink 2011 Critic's Picks, in the quirkily named category of "Pretty Thai for a White Guy."

Okay, Steph and Harold may not be TC Masters contestants (yet), but they will always be masters in our Top Chef-lovin' hearts, right?

The New York Times weighs in with its take on the Top Chef Masters Season 3 premiere here.

On to more about the chefs who will be gracing the Bravo airwaves starting tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern (after the All-Stars Reunion Show at 10:00). spotlights Sue Zemanick, chef of Gautreau’s in New Orleans, along with New Orleans native John Currence, of City Grocery in Oxford, MS (do you remember Clay Bowen from TC Season 3, who worked for him?). Click through to read what judges Ruth Reichl and James Oseland have to say about Masters with a Southern flavor brought by a number of contestants this season.

Canadian-born Hugh Acheson has embraced the American South, with restaurants like Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia, and Empire State South in Atlanta, which Atlanta Magazine describes as "countrypolitan." The dude also has a blog. And tats. This piece suggests his strengths may be in under-promising and over-delivering.

Here's a great interview with contestant Mary Sue Milliken, long-time business partner of previous Master Susan Feniger, who talks more about their collaboration in this fascinating piece from the Huffington Post. Two Hot Tamales indeed!

Celina Tio, of Kansas City, may be one of the more well-known names among this TCM cast, thanks to her turn on Next Iron Chef. For descriptions of a couple of the dishes from her KC restaurant Julian that will make you salivate, click here and scroll down to read about her Crispy Pork Shoulder and House-Smoked Salmon.

Traci Des Jardins not only competed on Next Iron Chef, she faced off against Mario Batali on (real) Iron Chef - and beat him. She's kicking things up a notch with viewing parties at one of her SF restaurants, The Public House, to benefit La Cocina, the same charity she's competing for on TC Masters.

Alex Stratta will also be holding viewing parties at his namesake restaurant at the Wynn in Las Vegas, which features rustic Italian-American food. Plus, he'll appear at the upcoming Vegas Uncork'd

John Rivera Sedlar, of LA's Rivera and Playa, who specializes in modern Southwestern cuisine, recently went up against Morimoto in Battle Quail on Iron Chef. Eater can refresh your memory of his, er, interesting presentation techniques, including spelling out the word "Caution" and picturing a gas mask on some of his plates.

Find out more about Naomi Pomeroy, of Portland's Beast, and her love of heritage meats, here.

And here's a chat with Floyd Cardoz, of the recently closed Tabla, a proponent of New Indian cuisine.

Also bringing Indian flavors to the table is Suvir Saran, whose Manhattan restaurant Devi is the only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in America, says AfterElton, and who owns an upstate NY farm called American Masala, according to this item.

Sounds to me like an interesting melting pot of contestants for TCM 3. Whether the show's challenges give them a chance to showcase what they can do with their chosen cuisines is another matter.

Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments. And stop back tomorrow to share your reactions to the All-Stars reunion and Masters premiere.

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