Monday, April 30, 2012

Video Monday - Tom and Padma Make Ravioli

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Top Chef Finalist Bryan Voltaggio on Cover of Bethesda Magazine

Check out this "behind the scenes" look at the Voltaggio photo shoot which is not awkward at all...

Click here for more information.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Top Chef Just Desserts Champion, Yigit Pura Prepares to Open "Tout Sweet"

Photo:  Deliciously Noted

Lucky diners who attended  Meals on Wheels Star Chefs & Vintners Gala dessert reception in San Francisco on April 22nd had a preview of Chef Pura's macarons.

Click here for a review of the event from Deliciously Noted.

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Top Chef Masters Champion, Marcus Samuelsson Talks Texas Food Festivals

Chef Samuelsson will be at the Austin Food & Wine Festival on Saturday April 28th.

 Gail Simmons, Tim Love, Jonathan Waxman and many other celebrity chefs will be appearing at the Festival.

  Click here for the full schedule.

  Click here for the full article.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Carla Hall and Art Smith Raise Funds for Common Threads

Click here for more information.

 Click here to learn more about Common Threads.

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"Trattoria" Movie Features cameos by Traci Des Jardins and Elizabeth Falkner

Click here for more information. Posted on

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A New Interview With Top Chef Sam Talbot

Click here for a new interview with Sam Talbot from

Click here to order Sam's cookbook, "The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who Wants to go to Los Angeles?

Click here for a review of Michael Voltaggio's Ink from Amateur Gourmet.

Sounds delicious!

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Check Out James Oseland's Kitchen at

Click here for a photo gallery.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Visit Yigit Pura's Kitchen

Top Chef Just Desserts Season 1 Champion, Yigit Pura offers a tour of his home kitchen and a fresh interview here.

Photo: The
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Los Angeles Top Chef Contestants Present "A Backyard Pig Roast"

Chefs Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire Restaurant and Chris Crary of Whist Restaurant announced Wednesday a "backyard" pig roast to help fight childhood hunger at a benefit to be hosted April 22 at Wilshire Restaurant.

The potluck-style lunch will also feature barbecue sides and desserts from Alex Reznik, Antonia LaFaso, Ilan Hall, Jamie Lauren, Sally Camacho, Marcel Vigneron, CJ Jacobson, Danielle Keene, Mark Peel, and Suzanne Tracht.

Click here for tickets.

Proceeds benefit Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation.

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Chef Eric Ripert Donates Leftover Food to City Harvest

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Top Chef: The Tour" Kicks off Thursday May 17th in Charlotte, NC

Click here for more information and the full schedule.
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Richard Blais: "Reinventing the Mea"l on Cooking Channel

If you missed this show, like I did, it repeats on Saturday April 14th at 9:00 AM.

Click here for more information.
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A New Interview with Floyd Cardoz

Chef Floyd talks to Downtown NYC magazine about his new restaurant, North End Grill.

Click here for the full story.

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Cooking With Top Chef Champion, Stephanie Izard

Photo: Hello Giggles

"Hello Giggles" blogger, Caitlin Fitzgibbons cooks Artichoke Fideos with Stephanie.

Click here for the story including the recipe.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Top Chef: The Tour 2012

This year's tour kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, May 17! Check below to see if they'll be in your city.

Charlotte, N.C. May 17
Staten Island May 19
Manhattan, N.Y. May 20
Boston, Mass. May 22 & 23
Long Island, N.Y. May 26 & 27
Philadelphia, Pa. May 30
Troy, Mich. June 2
Phoenix, Ariz. June 8
Seattle, Wash. June 13
San Francisco, Calif. June 16 & 17
Orange County, Calif. June 19
Los Angeles, Calif. June 20 & 21
Long Beach, Calif. June 24
San Diego, Calif. June 25
St. Louis, Mo. June 30

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Fabio Viviani Presents "The Perfect Italian Brunch"

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Cook Like a Top Chef - Edward Lee's Tomatillo Gazpacho

While lots of recipes from Top Chef seem like they might be delicious, not all of them are do-able at home. Sometimes the chef's directions aren't particularly clear. Other times the recipes are simply too complicated. But there's nothing complicated at all about Edward Lee's tomatillo gazpacho, which he prepared for the Quinceanera in episode 3 of Top Chef Texas.

I'm a big fan of gazpacho - toss a bunch of raw veg in the blender and end up with a flavorful, nutritious soup. Doesn't get much easier than that. Ed's recipe is a bit more involved in that he cooks most of the vegetables before puréeing them and mixing them with cucumber purée. He included his poblano peppers in the cook pot, but I thought they might have more flavor if roasted first. I also tossed out his watermelon, jicama, and pork rind garnish because I didn't want to buy a bunch of extra stuff. I already had a daikon in the fridge and thought if I pickled it, it would cover the juicy, sweet, and crunchy bases covered by his original garnishes. I also didn't bother to strain the soup; after all, I wasn't being judged on its appearance. I thought it was pretty nonetheless, as pretty as something Army green can ever be. And it tasted good, too.

Tomatillo Gazpacho, adapted from Edward Lee

1.25 pounds tomatillos, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined, roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1 poblano peppers roasted, seeded and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
sour cream
ground cumin, to taste
cilantro, chopped, to taste

2" long piece of daikon, or 5 radishes, cut into tiny dice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons agave syrup

Place tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapenos, and vegetable stock into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.

When veg are cool, puree in a blender. Pour puree into a large bowl.

Place cucumbers in the blender with a handful of cilantro and puree. Stir into tomatillo puree in bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate until cold.

Serve in bowls. Garnish with dollop of sour cream, spoonful of daikon, and a bit of cilantro.

Makes about 2 quarts.

Garnish directions: place daikon or radishes, vinegar, agave, and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more so the vegetable pickles.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Chef Contestant, Lindsay Autry Offers "Pop-Up" Cooking Demonstration and Wine Dinner

Chef Lindsay's "in The Kitchen" event is Tuesday, April 17th at 6:30 PM at Gallery Square North in Tequesta, FL.

Click here for details.
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Top Chef Fans Visit Paul Qui's Uchiko

Lori Gardner from "Been There Eaten That" visits Uchiko in Austin.

Click here for the full review including lots of photos of the food!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Desserts Chef Eric Wolitsky New Pastry Chef at "Cakes & Ale" in Atlanta

Photo: Cakes & Ale and Green Olive Media

Wolitzky calls his new post at Cakes & Ale “the best of both worlds” because it allows him the opportunity to create plated desserts for the restaurant and an array of baked items for the bakery. He says, “everything got bigger and bolder. It’s all about flavor.”

Click here for more information.

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Tom Colicchio Hosts "Toast to the Children 2012" April 24th in NYC

"At Toast to the Children, guests sample signature dishes from some of New York’s finest restaurants and sip wines from around the world, as they mingle with celebrity chefs and fellow foodies. New York’s most celebrated chefs delight guests with samples from their menus."

This is a benefit event for the pediatric patients of Bellevue Hospital.

Click here for more information.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

A New Interview with Gail Simmons

Photo: Brett Gundlock for The Globe and Mail

Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons Dishes on her new book, life and cooking.

A highlight:

Slowly, though, she becomes the voice of her book – lively and spontaneous, that of a free-spirited 35-year-old navigating unplanned fame. On the subject of starting a family with her husband, Jeremy Abrams, an executive in the music industry, she deadpans, “It’s hard to make babies when you’re not in the same bed. Apparently, that’s how it happens.”

Click here for the full interview.

Top Chefs Invited to White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday

Paul Qui, Richard Blais,Bryan Voltaggio, and Carla Hall are on the guest list for Monday's 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll.

Click here for the full story.
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Top Chef Contestant Dale Talde on "Munchies."

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"The Fussy One" Visits Voltaggio's Ink

Photo: The Fussy One

Top Chef Season 6 winner, Michael Voltaggio and his restaurant, Ink, receive high marks from this critic.

Makes me want to try it!

Click here for the full review.

Click here for Ink's website.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Top Chef Texas Contestants, Ed Lee and Paul Qui Cook at Asia Nine in Washington DC

Click here for the full story from Guest of a Guest.

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Sunday Brunch Recipe From Mary Sue Milliken

Top Chef Masters Contestant, Mary Sue Milliken, offers this recipe suggestion for Easter.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 6 is Chef Paul Qui Day!

Congratulations, Chef Qui! It's a great day for Austin!

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Top Chef Just Desserts Judge, Johnny Iuzzini, Appointed to Macy's Culinary Council

Click here for the press release.

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Chef Hubert Keller Book Signing in Columbus, OH May 3

Chef Keller will be signing copies of Burger Bar: Build Your Ultimate Burgers.

Click here for details.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lindsay Autry at The Downtown Food and Wine Festival in Orlando

Click here for more.

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Bravo Announces New Show: "Life After Top Chef"

From the Press Release:

“Life After Top Chef”
For the first time cameras are taken outside of the Top Chef kitchen and into the lives of Bravo’s most beloved former cheftestants as they reach milestones in their personal lives and culinary careers. From opening their own restaurants to expanding their growing franchises, viewers will follow Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, Richard Blais in Atlanta, Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles, and Spike Mendelsohn in D.C.


Healthy Choice Top Chef Meals

The things I do for my art.

I thought it might be an interesting idea for Mr Minx and I to do a taste test on a couple of those Healthy Choice Top Chef meals. Top Chef viewers will recall that we were subjected to the commercials for this product during every one of the eighteen episodes (e i g h t e e n episodes) of the never-ending season 9, and former cheftestants Casey Thompson and Ryan Scott made them seem pretty good. Or at least not horrible.

But they lied. Oh how they lied.

We chose two of the three varieties carried by our local Safeway, the Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with Rice and the Chicken Margherita with Balsamic. 

I popped mine in the microwave first. After a few minutes, the combination of odors that make me loathe diet frozen meals so much started to fill the air: broccoli, bell pepper, and onion powder. I was starting to dread dinner.

After four minutes, I removed the plastic bowl from the oven, tore off the plastic, and lifted the steamer basket holding the dry ingredients off of the pool of congealed-looking sauce in the bottom bowl. Mr Minx took one look and began to laugh so hard, he pulled a muscle in his side. "That's just a bowl of sad," he said, as I flipped the basket, stirred up the mess, and put it aside while I put his dinner in the microwave.

While his pasta was cooking, I took a taste of my dish. He was right. It tasted of sadness.

This "grilled vegetables Mediterranean" was truly horrendous. Both the broccoli and bell peppers had the typical water-logged, raw, texture that they usually have after being frozen and then not cooked long enough. But they were the only things that had any sort of flavor whatsoever, apart from the onion powder. It took a few tastes (which is about all I wanted to take) to realize that the soggy and somewhat crunchy brown blobs were barely-cooked eggplant, and I assume the burnt-looking brown buggy things were barley. There were also some undercooked chickpeas which I pushed to the side. I really didn't want to finish this mess because it was making me angry, but I found that a bit of vitriol - and lashings of Sriracha - helped me to finish. Thankfully, it was a very very small portion with only 230 calories. (I supplemented the meal with a huge piece of thickly buttered fresh whole wheat bread.)

Mr Minx's chicken and pasta dish was at least 1000% better. There was no broccoli, no bell peppers, and no onion powder stench. Actually, the dish gave off a somewhat pleasant toasty/grilled smell. The chicken was very tender and tasted of...chicken. The sauce, however, was oddly sweet. Odd, because it contained balsamic vinegar, and vinegar is...sour. In any case, it was pretty good for what it was.

So we had one minor hit and one huge fail. Honestly, Bravo should be embarrassed to have the name Top Chef put on either of the dishes, but I guess when Healthy Choice ponies up the big prize money for the season, you do what you gotta do.

Have you tried any of these meals? What did you think?

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rick Bayless's Chicago Show, "Cascabel," Gets Good Reviews!

Photo: Chicago On The Aisle

The Rick Bayless production, "Cascabel" sounds like a lot of fun.

Click here for a review from Chicago On The Aisle...

And click here for a review from The Chicago Sun-Times.

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Top Chef Texas Contestant, Dakota Weiss Offers Cooking Classes in L.A.

The W Hotel in Los Angeles is offering cooking classes with Chef Dakota.

Click here for more information.

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Top Chef Texas Winner, Paul Qui, Talks About His Win

Click here for more.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Top Chef Season 3 Champion, Hung Huyng on Fox & Friends

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Top Chef Texas Champion, Paul Qui on "Last Call with Carson Daly"

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Top Chef Video Monday: Moto Style

Dim Sum Moto Style, with Top Chef Season 9's Richie Farina. You just never know what those Moto Boys will be up to next. Check it!

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