Top Chef Texas Episode 6: Chef Ed Hardy Wonders, ‘Who Shot Ty-lör?’

Overcome by the heat, Padma relies on an old Victoria's Secret pose to keep her balance.

This week’s Top Chef: Texas has Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem and I in a decidedly Dallas state of mind

First, what up with all the chef-smokers? As a former smoker, I am proud to say that I made it through culinary school without a puff! Why do you think so many chefs light up?

Because we all drink? You’ve got to do something something with your free hand while you’re drinking. I solved this problem years ago by double-fisting. That way I don’t have to smoke.

Good thinking! So, of the classic sauces — tomate, espagnol, hollandaise, bechamel, velouté — which would you most like to do? I think espagnol is gross.

I was mystified. Didn’t we drop all pretense of the classic French sauces years ago? Aren’t they too heavy for today’s sophisticated palates? Okay, home cooks. Let me explain. No, wait, that’ll take too long. Let me sum up: Espagnol IS gross. Tomate is tomato sauce. Near as it doesn’t make a difference. Don’t let folks tell you otherwise. Hollandaise is delicious. Add herbs or whatever spices you want. Have a ball! Velouté is boring. It’s a roux with some stock. But don’t make it. Bechamel is non-boring velouté because its a base for cheese sauces. Substitute milk for stock. Don’t forget a dash of nutmeg. That, in a nutshell, is all you need to know anymore about classic French cuisine. Modern French cuisine? That’s another story…

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