Thursday, November 29, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Chrissy Camba

Top Chef Seattle contestant, Chrissy Camba, talks about her experience on the show.

A highlight:  

ATC:  Tell us about your restaurant.

CC:  Bar Pastoral.  It's located in Lakeview in Chicago.  It's a 50-seat bar.  We have a cheese bar and a wine bar.  We also serve small and no-so-small plates.

ATC:  What is the most popular item on the menu?

CC:  As of yesterday, it was the Rush Creek Reserve Chicago Style.  Rush Creek Reserve is a seasonal cheese.  Kind of ooey gooey and wrapped in bark.  When I tasted it, it reminded me of a hot dog, so I did a play on the Chicago-style dog with the Rush Creek Reserve.

Click here for the full interview.

Click here to "Save Chef Chrissy."

Click here to visit the Bar Pastoral website.  

Posted on

ATC Love to Chefs Carla Pellegrino and Chrissy Camba

 From the top to the bottom in one episode, Chef Pellegrino certainly faced the rollercoaster of competition in an extremely short period of time. To be fair, squab is a difficult bird to cook properly, and the fact that she could not get into the grilling area and had to rely on the skills of others likely played a big part in her elimination. In the end, though, she had to take responsibility for the dish.

As for Chef Camba, her challenge was to recreate a salad that's been on the Canlis menu since the restaurant opened in 1950. Countless people have eaten it and know exactly how it was supposed to taste. In her case, she was not able to replicate the crispness of the greens or the flavor of the dressing. Her interpretation of the dish was limp from too much dressing and the dressing itself was not sufficiently seasoned with mint or lemon. No chef wants to go down for salad, but that was the unfortunate outcome in this case.

Posted on

Congratulations, Chef Kristen Kish!

Even though she was given the most basic dishes on the Canlis menu, Chef Kish made sure that she cooked those mushrooms and onion rings to the best of her ability and her efforts paid off. Tom felt that the mushrooms were one of the best items of the meal and everyone seemed to think the onion rings were light and crispy.

As the competition progresses, another chef pulls out a win. At this stage, no one is pulling ahead and anyone could take the prize.

Posted on

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode Four

After the Thanksgiving challenge, tensions were running high as John continued to badmouth his competitors. Only Stefan seemed immune to the negative energy, turning his flirtatious attentions on Kristen.

Back at the Top Chef Kitchen, Padma was joined by Top Chef alum Naomi Pomeroy for the Quickfire Challenge. This time, the chefs were presented with two enormous slabs of aged beef and asked to butcher and cook a meal in one hour. After lots of mad chopping and cooking, the dishes were tasted and judged. CJ hoped to best his rival John with his tartare, but John's tender oxtail dish won the day and gave him immunity.

For the Elimination Challenge, Mark and Brian Canlis of the famous Seattle restaurant Canlis opened the doors of their 62-year-old institution so the chefs could recreate the original menu from 1950. Since John had immunity, he volunteered to expedite. The chefs haggled over who would cook what, then ran to the restaurant to begin their dishes. Padma, Tom, Naomi, and the Canlis brothers were joined by Emeril and Hugh Acheson for judging.

Although Kristen was stuck with cooking the sides of mushrooms and onion rings, she executed both dishes perfectly and came away with the win. Meanwhile, Carla undercooked her squab and Chrissy overdressed her special salad so they were both sent packing.

What did you think of last night's episode? Leave a comment below.

Posted on

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top Chef Seattle Episode 4 Previews

Posted on

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Episode 3

A Just Recompense on Josie: "Josie makes Triple-Spiced turkey with cayenne. There’s nothing like hearing Emeril tell her to 'stuff that ass with butter' to make your day. 'I have immunity,' says Josie. So I can screw up the protein, which will rack up a loss for the team, and get someone else truly talented out of my way, she thinks. 'Oh, so you can push the envelope,' says naïve Emeril. Yeah, I’m sure that’s what she meant. Actually, I’m pretty sure that is what she meant, or it was a sincere offer to do whatever was riskiest, which usually means dessert."

Minxeats on babies: "Once the two teams are in the kitchen, Stefan immediately starts bitching that the Gray Team is taking up too much space and shoos them away from a piece of prime real estate that he wants. Then he and John Tesar get into a dick-measuring contest. 'You're a kindergartener!' shouts Stefan. 'No! You're the kindergartener!' shouts Tesar.

We know the show has a medic around, but how about someone who changes diapers?"

Reality Tea on kitchen drama: "C.J. and Stefan taste Carla's soup before it's seasoned and she loses her mind. C.J. raises his hands and says, 'I just tasted it!' Stefan annoys Carla further by calling her 'sweetie' and 'honey.' Carla yells, 'There will be no sweetie anymore!' Stefan laughs and shares, 'Why I left Europe… European women!' Much later, Carla and Stefan are still at it. Stefan admits that Carla freaks him out a little bit, especially since her ex-husand is rumored to be in the mafia. Carla just goes on and on and on about the 'honey' thing. She yells, 'Girls are honey, sweetie. The guys are chef. What the f***!'"

Atlanta Journal Constitution on big shots in the kitchen: "In the biggest shocker of the evening, Emeril’s decides to have his team make a creole-style Thanksgiving, while Tom’s team goes Italian. It was actually a nice change of pace to see Tom and Emeril mixing it up in the kitchen, both of them really seemed to come alive while they were working with their teams. It looked like they were really having fun with it. Sometimes it is easy to forget that those guys are chefs, first and foremost, and are most at home in the kitchen."

Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on language barriers: "From the winning red team, CJ, Carla and Lizzie are called back to decide the challenge victor. Padma commended their meal was 'near flawless.' Tom said he was confused by Carla's carrot soup as she had told him she was making cabbage soup. Lizzie chimes in, 'I think she said carrots, but it sounded like cabbage,' and Carla confesses, 'Sometimes I need a subtitle.'"

Posted on

Monday, November 26, 2012

Life After Top Chef Episode 8 Previews

Episode 8 airs this Wednesday, 11/28, at 9/8C.

Posted on

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Top Recipe - Carla Pellegrino's Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Carrot Soup:
5 pounds carrots, peeled and diced (large)
3 leeks, white parts only (sliced)
4 white onions (ciseler)
Bouquet Garni: thyme, bay leaves, parsely, black peppercorn
Half pound sweet butter
Salt and white pepper, to taste

2.5 pounds turkey, ground
Half cup Asiago cheese, ground
Half cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole eggs and 1 extra yolk
Salt and black pepper, to taste

To Make the Carrot Soup:
1.) Sweat leeks and onions for about 20 minutes in oil and butter.
2.) Add the carrots; let it sweat for another 20 minutes.
3.) Add cold water to 2 inches above the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are really soft.
4.) Puree in a blender, and pass through chinois.
5.) Thin it up with water if needed, and season to taste.

To Make the Meatballs:
1.) Mix all the ingredients well, and roll into 2-ounce balls. Fry in clarified butter, and place on paper towel to absorb any extra fat.
2.) Place two meatballs in a 8 inch bowl, then pour the soup over top.
3.) Serve with butter croutons.


Posted on

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Kuniko Yagi

Top Chef is starting to seem like Project Runway this season, "one week you're in, the next week, you're out." So it went for Chef Kuniko, who happened to win last week's Elimination Challenge. This week, she was so busy helping her teammates prepare their dishes, she ran out of time to make her own. Her potato pave was underseasoned and undercooked.

Chef Yagi - we're a little shocked to see you go so soon, but wish you the best for the future.

Posted on

Congratulations, Chef Carla Pellegrino!

Chef Pellegrino had her issues with her competition this week - particularly and not surprisingly Stefan - but in the end, her carrot soup with meatballs thrilled the judges and got her the win. Even if her team's mentor, Tom Colicchio, was expecting a cabbage soup instead.

Keep up the good work, Chef Carla, and hopefully the network's translator can keep up with you (the rest of the chefs, too).

Posted on

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode Three

This week, the cheftestants competed in two completely unrelated challenges. For the Quickfire, they had one hour to make a dumpling native to a particular country. There were momos, manto, pierogies, and more. Chefs unfamiliar with the dumpling they got stuck with could use an Amazon Kindle Fire to do research, but after that, they had to wing it. Josie's version of the Korean manto earned her the win, and immunity from elimination, which would serve her well in the next challenge, which was...


Yes, they filmed the season in the summer, but there they were, cooking turkeys and stuffing. Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse acted as mentors for two teams of chefs, each putting their own spin on the holiday. Tom's Red Team added an Italian flair to their dishes, while Emeril's Gray Team naturally went for the flavors of New Orleans, with a little Portuguese thrown in for good measure.

After a bit of time with the mentors, the chefs were left on their own to finish cooking at Fare Start, a company offering culinary training to struggling and homeless people. The meal was served to Emeril, Tom, Padma, Fare Start's Megan Karch, Food & Wine's Dana Cowin, and local chef (by way of France) Thierry Rautureau. After tasting both teams' dishes, Team Tom won by unanimous decision of Thierry, Megan, Dana, and Padma. They loved CJ's beautifully-basted turkey and Lizzie's half-butter, half-potato mash, but the win went to Carla Pellegrino for her carrot soup with meatballs.

There were lots of problematic dishes on the Gray Team's side, and Tom sorely wished he could send Josie home for her undercooked turkey, but she did have immunity. Instead, Kuniko was sent home for her undercooked potatoes. Surprising, since she had done so well in the competition last week.

What did you think about this week's episode? Please leave a comment.

Posted on

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top Chef Seattle Episode 3 Previews

Carla is pushed to the edge in this week’s Quickfire, when she thinks her teammates are making sexist remarks and poking fun at her dish. Later on, Chef’s Tom and Emeril step away from the judging table and into the kitchen as they lead their own teams in an epic Thanksgiving cook-off.

Posted on

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Episode Two

Mary Alice of Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on Mr Irritating: "Dear John Tesar, either wear your glasses, get some Croakies or take them off. Don’t prop them on your forehead. Is that your haute cuisine take on Guy Fieri’s backwards sunglasses? Because it’s just as irritating. Especially in front of the judges."

Minxeats on sky high: "For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs get to cook for Seattle restaurateur extraordinaire, Tom Douglas. They will get 47 minutes to cook. Why such a weird amount of time? Well, they'll be cooking in the kitchen atop the Space Needle, and it takes 47 minutes for that thing to make one revolution. 'There's a kitchen up there?' you ask. Yes, a whole restaurant, called Sky City. And the prices are sky high. I suppose they figure that if you've spent $19 to get up there to begin with, you might not be averse to forking over more money for dinner. Maybe the change in altitude will make you light-headed enough to pay $38 for pear and brie agnolotti. Or $56 for lamb chops. And if you think, 'oh, I can just make a meal out of a couple of appetizers, or an $11 salad and $9 soup,' you're wrong. The minimum charge per person is $35 - it says so right on the menu."

A Just Recompense on Belgian influence: "“In Belgium, we’ve been conquered so many times, we just keep everything from everyone who’s conquered us.” Dang, he’s right: The Romans (57 BC), the Franks (5th century AD), Austria (1477), Spain (1566), Austria again (1714), France (1794), Holland (1815), and Germany in both world wars. And Belgium is still there. That’s flexibility."

Atlanta Journal Constitution on the Quickfire: "The teams have a very short 20 minutes to prepare some form of local shellfish – complete with many jokes about everyone’s favorite phallic bivalve, the geoduck. The orange team looks like the clear favorite to crash and burn, due mostly to the fact that Carla is one part diva, one part Real Housewife, and two parts nutcase. What else is there to want in life than to 'be a James Beard and have a nice ass'?"

Reality Tea on the cheftestants' reaction to the twist: "Padma announces that Stefan, Josie, and C.J. will join Top Chef Seattle as competitors. The kitchen is full of nervous laughter and fake smiles. Tyler adds, 'Bullshit!' Josh whispers to Danyele and Eliza, 'It's gonna suck. I'm gonna get into fights, I'm sure, now.' To us, he says, 'F*** them. I hate them all." Micah shares, 'I'd love to whip their asses. Bring it on.'"

Grub Street on getting to know you: "Then the gang goes to a place called Olive 8, which sounds like a sexy robot superspy but is actually a hotel. They proceed to drink and chat and get to know each other. Jeffrey talks about coming out to his family and his relationship with his fiancé Jim. The new crop of chefs ask Josie, 'Why are you here again?' with unconcealed contempt. She says she wants to win as the 'global soul chef.' She adds, cryptically: 'Ride on and rock on, rock stars.'"

Hit Fix on Stefan: "Chrissy declares that Stefan looks like a thumb, and he's an evil villain. I now want to hear everything Chrissy has to say, because Stefan really does look like a thumb and that's a little bit brilliant.

Eater on Padma's first appearance this season: "During last week's premiere, Padma Lakshmi was heard and not seen and I began to worry that maybe she'd had an accident of some kind, that she was just a brain in a jar somewhere recording monotone voice-overs and appearing on QVC to sell jewelry and spice mixes. But to my great relief last night she arrives to greet the fifteen contestants in the Top Chef Kitchen, wearing an outfit, as she often does. Padma's clothes are very confusing. She is a television personality and former model, and basically a brand at this point. But if on average she wears two outfits an episode, for 13 episodes a season, and now this is her 9th season, has she run out of normal clothes? Do you think she buys off the rack? I do not know. She is gorgeous but she dresses like a mean rich aunt who invites you to dinner then clucks her tongue when you wear jeans, and you're like, 'it's a weeknight, so relax,' and she's all, 'wouldn't it be fun if I took you shopping?' and, uh, no it wouldn't, because most people who shop where you do have dentures and see-through hands. Here is Padma a few weeks ago at a Halloween party at the Hard Rock Hotel."

Posted on

Monday, November 19, 2012

Life After Top Chef Episode 7 Previews

Disaster strikes minutes before the openings of both Richard and Jen’s new restaurants! Richard realizes the prices are misprinted on the new menus, causing him thousands in lost revenue. Later on, Jen learns her pop-up restaurant is severely understaffed, and she has to run around buying wine glasses instead of cooking for her opening. To add insult to injury, she doesn’t make reservations for the investors which could mean her pop-up dreams going belly up.

Posted on

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just Desserts' Chris Hanmer's Holiday Baking Secrets

So what has Chris Hamner been doing since he won season two of Top Chef Just Desserts? One of hopefully many things is partnering with Sams's Club as part of their Simply Delicious Chef Brigade.

Using quality ingredients sourced from Sam’s Club, Chef Hanmer unveils three straightforward recipes: His Crispy Holiday Vanilla Cookie makes a great DIY gift; Roasted Honeycrisp Apple Crème Brûlée with fresh fruit is deceptively simple to bake; and Chef’s Heavenly Holiday Chocolate Almond Cake will satisfy guests with each bite.

The creme brulee recipe comes later in this post; find the other two recipes at But first...baking secrets:

Chris Hanmer’s Holiday Baking Secrets

1. Measure out all the ingredients for any given recipe before you begin baking or cooking. In professional kitchens, we call this mise en place. It saves time and allows for faster prep and cooking.

2. To enhance flavor, brown plain butter in a pan before adding to a recipe for a great, easy way to infuse a rich, toasty flavor into baked goods.

3. Double or triple cookie recipes and freeze them. Make the cookie dough, scoop into balls and freeze. When it comes time to bake, just remove from the freezer and bake as directed. Should any holiday guests drop by unexpectedly, you'll be ready for them!

4. Baked goods make great, thoughtful gifts and are wonderful for sharing. Pre-pack "goody bags" with your favorite cookies or treats along with a recipe card for friends and family.

5. For holiday dinners, be sure to pick a dessert that can be made in advance, in part or in full, or save time by purchasing readymade desserts like fresh pies and rich cheesecakes at Sam’s Club. This way you'll have more time to spend with loved ones and require less time in the kitchen.

Chris Hanmer’s Roasted Honeycrisp Apple Crème Brulee
4 Servings
Warm the soul with this crème brulee dish. Taste buds will tingle as the seasonal flavors of honeycrisp apples and spiced walnuts mingle in your mouth.

Roasted Honeycrisp Apples
• 2 Honeycrisp Apples
• ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
• ¼ cup Unsalted Butter
• ½ tsp Salt
• ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Crème Brulee
• ¾ cup Whole Milk
• ¾ cup Cream
• 6 Egg Yolks
• 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
• 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar

Spice Crunch Walnuts
• ¾ cup Whole Walnuts
• 1 tbs Egg Whites
• 2 tbs Granulated Sugar
• ¼ tsp 5 spice blend

Roasted Honeycrisp Apples
1. Peel, core and slice the apples into ½ inch cubes. Cut the butter into cubes about the same size.
2. In a mixing bowl, toss the apples with the cubed butter, sugar, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
3. Place on a baking sheet. Roast the apples at 350°F for about 15- 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Crème Brulee
1. Preheat over to 200°F.
2. Warm the milk with ½ the sugar in a saucepot. Add the remaining sugar with the egg yolks, mixing well with a whisk.
3. Mix the cold cream and vanilla extract into the warm egg milk mixture.
4. Divide the apples evenly on the bottom of four 4 oz oven safe dishes. Pour the custard mixture into the dish to just cover the apples. Bake for 1 hour or until set.
5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the refrigerator about 2 hours. This can also be made 1 day ahead.

Spice Crunch Walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Putting it all together: Dust the top of each Crème Brûlée with granulated sugar and caramelize with a torch. Top the dish with a few spiced walnuts and serve.

Posted on

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Top Recipe - Chili Oil Poached Cod with Dashi, Spot Prawn Shabu Shabu

Yay - Top Recipe is back, and this time Michael Voltaggio is doing the demos....

Chili Oil Poached Cod with Dashi, Spot Prawn Shabu Shabu

Serves 4

Chili oil, 4 cups
Fresh chili, 1each
Cilantro stems, 1 bunch
Ginger (chopped ruff) tablespoons
Green onion (ruff chopped) 1 bunch
Celery stalk 1 each
Shallot, half each
Morels, half handful, well rinsed, chopped
Turnips, 4 each, sliced
Heirloom baby carrots, 2 each, sliced
Spot prawns, 4 each
Ling cod filet sliced to 3 ounces per portion
2 cups Dashi
Salt to taste

2 ounces Kombu
4 ounces bonito flake
1 quart water
Cod bones, cleaned
Shrimp shells

1) Add all the ingredients to chili oil in a pot; temperature of the oil should be 110 degrees F.

2) Drop the filet in oil, cook about 6 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, cook morel and carrot in dashi (do not overcook it!). Clean the shrimp, and cut each bite size (basically four pieces from 1 shrimp)

4) Place prawns, morel, and carrots in a bowl. Place cooked fish on top, pour dashi over top. Season fish with fleur de sel on top, if needed.

To Make the Dashi:

Place water, cod bones and shrimp shells in pot over medium high heat. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through chinois into a clean sauce pot. Place kombu into stock and bring to soft boil. Remove from heat, add bonito flake and let steep for 10 minutes, Strain through chinois.

Posted on

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Jeffrey Jew

The first team challenge is often the most difficult because the chefs do not know each others' strengths and weaknesses at this point. Such was the case of the Gray Team. However, it was Jeffrey's task alone to cook the fish, and it was done a bit more than the judges' liking. It was bad enough to get him sent home - the first casualty of the season.

Last week, I rather hoped Chef Jew would be a bit annoying and stick around for a while so there'd be someone to hate. Instead, he turned out to be a sweet guy who was eliminated in the first episode. All Top Chef is sorry to see him go, and wish him much success in the future.

Posted on

Congratulations, Chef Kuniko Yagi!

Although Chef Yagi claimed not to have a command of the English language, she certainly seems to be able to find her way around a rotating kitchen just fine. Her idea of poaching cod in a chile oil impressed her teammates, and the flavor and doneness impressed the judges enough to earn her the first win of the season.

Congrats, Chef Yagi - we hope you'll be around for many weeks to come

Posted on

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 2

On the first real episode of the season (I don't count last week's episode as anything but filler), we start off with two team challenges. In the Quickfire, the chefs must get into teams of three and cook some local Pacific Northwest shellfish for special guest judges Josie Smith-Malave, Stefan Richter, and CJ Jacobsen, all of whom had competed on Top Chef in the past.

Some teams get along better than others, and the team that seems to have the most similar styles and the most respect for each other - the blue team of John, Kuniko, and Sheldon - get the win for their geoduck sashimi. They draw knives to decide which of the three gets immunity, and that goes to the most hated chef in Dallas (as he is sure to remind us repeatedly through the season), John Tesar.

Before the Elimination Challenge begins, there's a twist. A big one.

Suddenly, the former cheftestants are new cheftestants, as Josie, Stefan, and CJ don Top Chef jackets and join the scrum. What the what?

Amid speculation that these three had an unfair advantage, the chefs are told that they will be cooking for Seattle superstar Tom Douglas on the top of the Space Needle. Each team of three - including the newbies - will get 47 minutes to make a dish using ingredients scrounged from the Top Chef pantry.

Two teams work at a time and present their dishes to the judging panel, which includes Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Tom Douglas, and of course Tom and Padma. All the dishes are pretty impressive, but the team win goes once again to the Blue Team of Kuniko, John, and Sheldon. Since it was Kuniko's clever idea to poach their fish in chile oil, she gets the individual win.

Less-impressive dishes were created by the Gray Team and the Team of Old Timers. Stefan had overcooked their quail, and Jeffrey had overcooked his team's cod. It was looking like Stefan would get the boot, but the judges decided that Jeffrey's sin was the more egregious.

So...what did you think of the twist? Is it fair? Please leave a comment.

Posted on

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Chef Seattle Episode Two Previews

Posted on

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Ep 1

A Just Recompense on the episode in a nutshell: "But we start the season with an Audition Round, a variation on what they did last season: teams of 5 or 6 chefs meet one of 4 judges at their respective restaurants to perform a task under scrutiny. Some will get a jacket and move on to Seattle; some will go home and forever more (or at least for the next couple of months) be known as the chef who almost was on Top Chef. But don’t get your hopes up: I’ll tell you right now, there’s no Stone… Chef Tyler Stone… (who, for all his self-promotion, lasted all of two minutes) in this episode. But there is a Belgian knight. And the Most Hated Chef in Dallas."

Minxeats on facial hair: "You know, this season could have been great. It could have been the season of the Mustache. Sure, only two of the competitors have mustaches, but both are impressive. The other dude not only had the lip toupee, but he was also named Jorel. Yeah, like Superman's dad. Only skinny and pale and not played by Marlon Brando. I could have had fun spelling his name differently every week, as I did with fellow Kryptonian Ty-Lor last season. I might have even called Jorel 'Ty-Lor' just to see if you were paying attention."

Grub Street on Blessed are the Soup Makers: "Jeffrey, meanwhile, prays his gazpacho will be cold enough in time for the tasting. It’s kind of crazy, when you think about it: One guy is worried his soup is too hot, and the other guy is worried his soup is too cold. It reminds me of a famous story called 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears,' a bone-chilling tale about ursine obsessive-compulsive disorder."

Atlanta Journal Constitution on better than last season: "Much like Texas, we start off this season in the last phase of tryouts, with some more fat to trim before we have our final line up. Fortunately, instead of starting with a small army of cheftetants and wasting two episodes on their mass eliminations, we have 21 chefs split into 4 groups, their fate in the hands of one of the four celebrity chef/judges."

Reality Tea on The Ego: "John pimps himself as the 'most hated chef in Dallas.' Then, in case we're too dim to realize, he tells us that 'hated' basically means "awesome." John says he has a natural talent, and he's the best. Well, there you have it, Top Chef fans. Should we just call it a season and crown him the winner now? Eh, what fun would that be?"

Hit Fix has an interesting idea: "Josh also has a silly mustache, though somewhat less silly than Jorel's. I guess that hipster trend has infiltrated the food world, though I kind of hope these guys wear little tiny hair nets on their facial hair."

Mary Alice of Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on The Ego, Part II: "John Tesar begins our introductions with a fabulously arrogant start: He declares he's been given a 'natural talent' and 'Anthony Bourdain says I'm probably the best natural chef he's ever worked with.' I think I speak for everyone when I say: BARF. Anthony Bourdain hates name dropping sycophants and I think you're one, John."

Eater on Puck's Challenge: "Chef Wolfgang Puck auditions his pack of young bucks at his restaurant Cut in Beverly Hills to see who makes the 'cut.' Oh man, that is extremely clever, but I am afraid I cannot take credit for that. Bravo is responsible for that graceful and subtle bit of juxtaposition. I was excited by Chef Puck's challenge, as he asks everyone to make an omelet, and you always hear how many great chefs consider a well-made omelet the mark of a worthy cook. I make some pretty solid eggs, and I was eager to see how these presumably professional chefs tackled the challenge. The answer is terribly. All of these bozos make a bunch of clown omelets. Their omelets look like compost piles. 'My dish is finished with a touch of coffee grinds and garnished with pieces of shell.' Compared to how slick the competition looked for Tom and Emeril, these guys are an embarrassment."

Entertainment Weekly on miscast? "Carla Pellegrino, ex-wife of Frank Pellegrino and chef/owner of Bacio, looked as though she took a wrong turn in the Bravo offices on the way to a Real Housewives of New Jersey audition. She declared out of her puckered mouth, 'I am loud. I'm pretty sure if you ask some people they would call me a bitch when I turn my back. I would call me a bitch, too, sometimes.' I'm pretty sure Teresa Giudice has been heard saying the exactly same thing at least 37 times over the course of Real Housewives. Her Mediterranean omelet got a little messed up, but she covered it with an arugula salad, prompting Wolfgang to say, 'It looks like a woman with a lot of makeup on.' Actually, Carla was the sole target of Wolfgang's borderline misogynistic comments all night, including, 'This stove is like a woman, it never does what it's supposed to do.' Carla looks like she could cut a bitch, so tread lightly, Wolfgang. You may have saved yourself by letting her through."

If you're a recapper, and we missed you this time, please drop us a line at and let us know!

Posted on

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top Chef Behind the Scenes

SeattleMet has a really interesting article on what goes on behind-the-scenes during filming of a season of Top Chef. Some stuff might surprise you!

Posted on

Life After Top Chef Episode 6 Previews

Don't forget to watch Life After Top Chef at its new time, Wednesday, 9/8C, before Top Chef Seattle.

Posted on

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode One

This season, the cheftestants are headed to Seattle, but first, they must pass muster with the Top Chef judges. We started in Los Angeles where Tom had five potential candidates work in his restaurant Craft for a regular service. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Emeril made his five chefs prepare the best soup they could make. Wolfgang Puck put six chefs through their paces in Beverly Hills, asking them to make the perfect omelette. Finally, Hugh Acheson was in Atlanta with five chefs where he tested their skills by making salads.

After all the cooking and tasting, the finalists were chosen. Emeril picked three from his group, Wolfgang picked five chefs out of his six, and Hugh chose four from his group. In the end, we returned to Craft where Tom gave his final verdict: three out of his five chefs would move on to Seattle. That meant fifteen chefs would fight for the title of Top Chef.

So, what did you think of last night's episode? Please leave your comments below.

Posted on

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are You Ready for Top Chef Seattle?

Premiering tonight at 10/9C....
Posted on

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Break From Election Madness

...and a Top Chef Seattle preview. Here's the first 10 minutes of the premiere episode of Top Chef Seattle, which airs tomorrow night at 10/9C.
Posted on

Monday, November 5, 2012

Top Chefs Cook for Sandy Relief

If you happen to be in NY tonight, you can help Top Chefs Angelo Sosa, Jennifer Carroll, Dale Talde, and Kevin Sbraga to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief.

They will be serving a four-course tasting menu at Angelo's restaurant, Anejo. For $100, you get these four courses and a cocktail:

First Course By Angelo: Baby Carrots With Spiced White Chocolate and Mole
Second Course By Jen: Ora King Salmon With Potatoes, Kabocha Squash and Warm Squid Ink Vinaigrette
Third Course By Kevin: Crispy Chicken Thigh With Brussel Sprouts, Polenta
Fourth Course By Dale: Chocolate Pudding With Pomelo and Hazelnuts

All proceeds go to the American Red Cross. For more information, visit the Anejo site.

Posted on

Life After Top Chef Episode 5 Previews

Catch this Wednesday's show at its new time, 9pm, right before the premiere of Top Chef Seattle!

Posted on