10 Things You Need to Know About Top Chef Seattle Episode 9

This is the sight that awaits this week’s knife-packer.

More than a few folks I know have given up on watching Top Chef this season, but we’re going the distance, if only because there aren’t many episodes left.

1. Hey! It’s Bob Kramer. Whom I have never heard of. But apparently he’s a Master Bladesmith. I’m never sure who determines these things when they are contemporary distinctions, but, okay. Master Bladesmith!

2. The QFC is actually interesting this week as it involves real knife skills — sharpening, doing tournage, and taking down a rabbit.

3. If you ask 10 chefs how to sharpen a knife, you will get 10 different opinions.

4. John Tesar can turn potatoes like the seasoned pro he is, but it was not enough to carry his team of three.

5. Micah wins the QFC, which yields him a $4,000 knife and immunity.Continue Reading

Top Chef: Texas Premiere: Chef Ed Hardy Tunes in With OpenTable

In honor of the Top Chef: Texas premiere, Padma models the latest fashions from Texas Forever 21.

It’s back, baby! Top Chef premiered last night, this time, as we all know, from Texas. I’m sure there will be tons of Lone Star State jokes coming our way. Back in the saddle as our fellow commentator is chef Ed Hardy.

Hey, Ed! Long time no see. So, what have you been up to since our diners last spoke with you? Where have you been cheffing and have you been on any additional TC auditions? In other words, do I need to write a strongly worded letter to Bravo on your behalf?

I can’t believe I let you drag me back here. What did I do to deserve this? Fine. Just one more season, Mrs. Potter. It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, and I’m happy to tell you that I’ve been working for Chef Marcus Samuelsson as a sous chef at Red Rooster Harlem. No strongly worded letters necessary, thank you. I’ve reached a point in my culinary career where the risks of being on Top Chef far outweigh the benefits. So, I’ve given up on auditions.

First up, there are too many chefs here. This is ridiculous. Five minutes in and I’m already tired of the Texas/bigger nonsense. I am glad to see The Alamo, if only to find out if Pee Wee’s bike is or was ever there. What do you think of the massive scope? And, would you be peeved if you had arrived only to have to immediately fight for your right to compete?

Apparently I gave up on auditions just in time. It looks like they took everyone who applied. There ARE too many chefs. It’s like Occupy San Antonio out there, except with knife bags. Can you forgive me if I’m not good with names for awhile? And, to answer your question, I suppose it would be encouraging because if you just play it safe for the first round, you can count on folks spilling soup all over their plates while you slide by.

Do you know/know of any of the competitors, personally or even as far as dining at their restaurants?

Not really, although my wife worked at Spiaggia in Chicago (but not for Sarah Grueneberg.) It’s an excellent restaurant. Moto (also in Chi-town) is a fun technology-savvy place where they put out some very interesting plates. Continue Reading

Bloggers Want More Light; Dining in the Dark; Tableside Food Prep; and More

This week in dining trends…

* Do younger foodies have reservations against making reservations? Michael Bauer investigates and his readers join the debate. [InsideScoopSF]

* Eating salty things with sweet things tastes good. Of course, this is not news to anyone who has ever had PMS. [Chicago Tribune]

* The new food pornographers want more than good food; they want good lighting. [Eater]

* Dining in the dark is a delicacy for London foodies (presumably those that don’t have a predilection for photographing their food, anyway). [Chicago Sun-Times]

* The folks over at Serious Eats NY debate what a reasonable automatic gratuity is. The consensus is, well, there is no consensus. [Serious Eats NY]

* Speaking of gratuities, have you ever wondered “What Would Jesus Tip?” Wonder no more. [Everyday Christian]

* There’s a new herb in the kitchen, and it’s not oregano. [The New York Times]

Continue Reading

On the Menu: Real Milk, Salted Butter, and Peter Rabbit?

Organic MilkIngredient-driven news from the world of food…

*New York restaurants, including I Trulli, SD26, and SHO Shaun Hergatt, are serving bunny. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. [NY Post]

* Could country ham be the new bacon? [Salon]

* Salted butter is back on tables at fine restaurants, taking some of the fun out of salting your bread and butter. [The Epi-Log]

* Finding sustainable fish is about to get easier, thanks to an eco-minded entrepreneur. [The New York Times]

* Milk is supposed to have flavor, and once again, some of it does. [Washington Post]

* Seasonal sweets are showing up in San Francisco restaurants. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Atlanta diners are giving quiche a chance at Au Pied de Cochon and Bistro Niko. [AJC]