Chef Ed Cotton Weighs in on the Top Chef All Stars’ Star Turn on Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon draws on his experience blowing his lines on SNL to help him blow out his birthday candles.

Chef Ed Cotton is back in the kitchen at Plein Sud in Manhattan and back with OpenTable, sharing his thoughts on the latest episode of Top Chef Season 8.

Fondue! At OpenTable, our most romantic restaurant lists always include fondue places and we get a bit of ribbing over that. I love it, tho’ — especially at Artisanal! What are your thoughts on fondue? Is it romantic? Have you made it?

I love fondue! I actually just purchased a fondue set for my house from Staub Cookware. I worked at a restaurant in Boston called No. 9 Park, and we used to have a gorgonzola cheese fondue with grilled leg of lamb that was marinated in black olive paste, served with a side of brioche croutons. That was a great dish! Fondue is romantic, but you have to be smart about what you serve and pair it with. And, now I want fondue; thanks a lot!

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‘The Next Iron Chef’ Episode 2: Marc Forgione on Bleeders, Breakfast, and Burgers

Chef Marc Forgione is back, surviving a second week, and discussing his big W this past Sunday night on the latest episode of “The Next Iron Chef.”

In his journal, Chef Forgione maps out how he'll innovate his assignment of chicken pot pie: "I knew there was never going to be a crust, more like a brown-butter-biscuit crumble."

You have to cook with doughnuts at the start of this episode. Do you have a favorite kind?

I lived above the Donut Pub on West 14th street and, call me old school, but I used to love their old fashioned donut to dunk in my coffee. There is also a place in the Lower East Side called the Doughnut Plant and they do a crème brulée doughnut — really cool.

Doughnut mania has sort of supplanted cupcake mania. What do you think of these food ‘crazes’ in general?

I think people get a little caught up in crazes, but I don’t really pay attention to most of the hype. I think crazes are amusing, overall. The burger is a perfect example of a craze that has taken over the restaurant scene. Today, it seems that every fine-dining restaurant has to have a burger. At my restaurant, we added  “The Burger”, which we serve at the bar for $24. It is extremely popular — a  28-day, dry-aged Creekstone Farm prime strip steak, with caramelized onions and bacon, arugula, and tomatoes on a homemade potato roll. It’s served with wedge yukon fries and housemade pickles.

Sounds sublime! You’re cooking in a tight space in this initial breakfast challenge — but is it all that different than many Manhattan kitchens?

The set at kitchen stadium is five times bigger than the station that I have at my restaurant. My kitchen is the size of an SUV!

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