Dining Poll: What Type of Food TV Do You Crave?

I don’t really watch a lot of food television, preferring to go out to eat or cook myself. If forced to choose, however, my favorite is anything featuring Jacques Pépin on PBS. There’s something so zen about his demeanor, his uber-efficient technique, and the fact that the food always seems to be the star. Having had the privilege of learning from him at The French Culinary Institute, I can tell you that he works as neatly even when there aren’t cameras trained on him, and that his appreciation of even the most simple foods, like bread and butter, is genuine. When you’re watching food-related TV, what type of program do you prefer? Weigh in on today’s poll!

OpenTable Chefs on TV: Tune in to See Your Fave Chefs!

Chef Elizabeth Rivasplata of FRANK works on a dish on the second season of Top Chef Canada.

This week, we’re watching…

Tuesday, 11PM: Catch Bobby Flay (Mesa Grill) compete against Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s) on Iron Chef America. [Cooking Channel]

Wednesday, 12:35AM: Mario Batali (Del Posto) visits Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. [NBC]

Thursday, 11AM: Tyler Florence (Wayfare Tavern) goes in search of the Ultimate pizza. [Cooking Channel]

Thursday, 1pM: Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello (Bottega). [Cooking Channel]

Friday, 12PM: Tune into At the Table with Susur Lee (Lee). [Cooking Channel]

Friday, 12:30PM: My Life in Food with John Besh (Restaurant August). [Cooking Channel]

Monday, 10PM: Top Chef Canada, featuring Gabriell Cruz (Quatrefoil), Carl Heinrich (Marben), Jonathan Korecki (Sidedoor), Xavier Lacaze (Muse), Curtis Luk (George), Sergio Mattoscio (Macaroni Bar), Elizabeth Rivasplata (FRANK), Trista Sheen (Crush), and Jimmy Stewart (Bearfoot Bistro). [Bravo Canada]

‘Top Chef’ Washington, D.C.: Meet the Cast of Season 7

NUP_135056_0030Bravo announced the eagerly anticipated cast list for the forthcoming season of Top Chef. The show’s seventh season will include cheftestants from many restaurants on the OpenTable network.

* Amanda Baumgarten, 27, hails from Los Angeles, where she currently cooks at Ford’s Filling Station. She has a flair for butchering and loves to cook meat on the bone. Her favorite recipe is roasted baby lamb with pomme cocotte persillade.

* Tracey Bloom, 33, grew up in Shortsville, New York, and now works in Atlanta, Georgia, as executive chef at Table 1280. She attended the Culinary Institute of America, becoming an expert in the sweet and savory side of culinary arts. Her favorite recipe is English pea salad.

* Boston’s own Ed Cotton, 32, is executive chef at Manhattan’s newly opened Plein Sud in Tribeca’s stylish Smyth Hotel. His favorite recipe is fresh farm egg ravioli with a silky English pea puree, spring onion fondue and crispy pancetta, and he loves to serve rabbit.

* Raised in the nation’s capital, Timothy Dean, 39, is the chef-owner of Prime Steak House in Baltimore, Maryland. He trained at Howard University and with the late, great chef, Jean-Louis Palladin. His favorite dishes are Maine lobster with mac & cheese and shaved black truffles and pan seared Hudson Valley foie gras with rhubarb and 20-year-old Port wine sauce.

* Don’t mess with Texas chef Tiffany Derry. She started earning her toque at an IHOP before attending culinary school at The Art Institute. Executive Chef at Go Fish Ocean Club in Houston, Derry, 26, always keeps Dijon, Creole mustard, champagne vinegar, kosher salt and Creole seasoning on hand, and her favorite recipe is spring risotto.

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Which State Has the Most Food Bloggers? Should Critics Cook? Culinary Questions and Answers from Around the Web This Week

Questions-and-AnswersI don’t have all the answers, but I’ve seen some interesting food and dining questions this week. Thankfully, either experts have answered them — or you (not I) will have to.

* Do you know which state has the most food bloggers? Warning: This is a trick question.  [The New York Times]

* Should critics have to cook to be qualified for their jobs? [Denver Post]

* Why do Chinese food and doughnuts go together like peas and carrots in California (and my tummy)? [The Atlantic]

* How do you know if you’re a foodie? [Serious Eats]

* Which restaurant has the nicest restroom in the U.S.? [America’s Best Restroom]

* Are you the next “Vacation Food Dude”? [Eater PDX]

* What should diners do when seated next to a boisterous table? [SF Gate]

* Why don’t servers write down orders? [Chow]

* Did the weather keep you away from chain restaurants? [Nation’s Restaurant News]