Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2, Episode 6: You gotta fight for your right to pastry!

The cheftestants tried their very best to avoid the wrath of Kahn.

This week, your faithful CDO is somewhere in Lake County, California, at a casino (Don’t ask!), but in my stead to cover Top Chef Just Desserts, we have talented writer and foodie Megan Murphy, who blogs about what’s on her plate at This Girl Can Eat. You can peep her full bio after the Q+A. She’s grilling our resident expert, Le Bernardin Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, about all the beastly happenings this week. Take it away, Megan!

Episode guest Jordan Kahn honed his craft in some of the country’s most esteemed restaurants (including The French Laundry and Per Se) and has gained quite the reputation in the pastry world. How do you feel about his sweet and savory approach?

Indeed, Jordan is a great guy and one of the most creative pastry chefs around, not only blurring the sweet-savory divide, but also in his presentation style, inspired by nature and visual artists of all kinds. As important as the classics are, it’s also important to refine and redefine what dessert can be. I have yet to check out Jordan’s restaurant, Red Medicine in LA, but I can’t wait to sample his take on southeast Asian cuisine.

The contestants talk about sampling — when you take a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and make it your own. Do you recall a situation where your pantry wasn’t stocked with what you needed and you had to improvise to get the job done?

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Dining Out on Easter: Egg-cellent Deals at Restaurants Near You

Dining-Out-on-EasterEaster is less than a month away, and, if you’re a planner (as I am), you’re probably ready to book a table at a restaurant for that day. What I love about Easter is that many restaurants offer brunch or an early traditional dinner (think ham and lamb). There’s something about eating dinner especially early (not early-bird special early, however) that feels extra decadent to me.

There are lots of Easter dining deals to be found on OpenTable. Some really fun ones that caught my eye include The Café at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, which is offering a brunch that includes a live petting zoo and an egg decorating station for kids. In Boston, Harborside Grill and Patio at the Hyatt Harborside features terrific views of the city’s skyline and activities for young diners, including a visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Chicago diners may have all the fun this year as Dick’s Last Resort is creating a brunch with live Beatles music by the Cavern Beat and an appearance by the Easter Bunny (I’m not sure how he’ll be in Boston and Chicago on the same day, but maybe he flies private?) as well as egg dying. China Grill in New York is getting festive and kid-friendly with an Easter egg hunt in the evening. In San Francisco, Bar Bambino is serving up a prix-fixe brunch comprised of classic Easter fare enjoyed in Italy. The nation’s capital is not to be outdone, with Chima Brazilian Steakhouse providing complimentary ice cream and entertainment for kids from 1- 5PM. If we lived in D.C., my husband would probably attempt to pass as a child based on this opportunity alone. His Zach Galifianakis beard would surely betray him, though.

Look for the launch of our national Easter page soon, and search for Easter dining deals on your local start page under “Easter Brunch & Dinner.”

What’s your favorite dish to dine on for Easter? How does your family celebrate? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook.