Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 7: War of the Roses Leads to Demise of Team Diva

As Eric creates roses, he can't decide which is more unnerving: Johnny's steady gaze or his sideburns.

As the herd thins on Top Chef Just Desserts, the action does not. Le Bernardin Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis notes, “The show is becoming more about the food and techniques, which I love!” Chef Laiskonis offers up his expert insights into what went right and wrong in last night’s episode.

The QFC is based on three tenets of working in a pastry kitchen: organization, speed, and precision. Would you agree with these as the top requirements, and/or if you could add a fourth or fifth, what would it/they be?

Those are certainly three vital pillars upon which a pastry chef’s skills are built. Obviously, teamwork also comes into play. And, perhaps, I might add humility — something a few of our cheftestants could use a bit more of. I was excited to see this challenge, as they were already planning the logistics while I was on set taping my episode!

Continue Reading

Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 1: 20 Questions with Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis

Pastry chef Michael Laiskonis makes 'Top Chef Just Desserts' even sweeter!

Bravo’s fun Top Chef: Just Desserts premiered last week — and it’s back again tonight. The lovechild of Top Chef and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even the show’s initial ep tested my knowledge of all things sweet. Despite my culinary school training, it turns out that I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about pastry (although I make a fierce tarte aux pomme). So I’ve called in a pro to help me figure out exactly what’s happening with Bravo’s latest confection. James Beard Foundation Award-winning pastry chef, Michael Laiskonis, from New York’s famed Le Bernardin restaurant, will be tuning in with us every week going forward, so check back tomorrow for his take on Episode 2. To kick things off, I asked him 20 questions about the premiere to help set the stage.

When I was in culinary school, the pastry people always seemed much cooler and calmer than my fellow savory chef students and I – or was that just the cool temp in their kitchen?

I think we’re beginning to see that it’s not necessarily all that calm and cool. I like to think we share the same amount of intensity as our savory cook counterparts; we pastry chefs often tend to channel that energy in a different way.

Continue Reading

It’s Here! Today Is Free Dessert Day at Participating OpenTable Restaurants

OpenTable has teamed up with Bravo to bring you Free Dessert Day! Select restaurants in several metropolitan areas are offering complimentary dessert to diners. Just make an online reservation and dine at a participating restaurant on September 15, and you will get a free dessert for every 2 diners at your table.

Book a table at a participating restaurant near you to enjoy your free treat this evening. And, don’t forget to tune in to Bravo at 11PM EDT to check out the premiere of Top Chef Just Desserts when you get home.

‘Top Chef: Just Desserts’ and OpenTable Present Free Dessert Day on 9/15!

There’s no such thing as free lunch — but there are free desserts, thanks to the foodies over at Bravo. They’re so excited for the premiere of Bravo’s newest show “Top Chef: Just Desserts” on September 15, 2010, that they’ve partnered with OpenTable restaurants to satisfy your sweet tooth for free! Just make an online reservation and dine at a participating restaurant for September 15, and you will get a free dessert for every 2 diners at your table.

Book a table today to take advantage of this fun offer — and tune in to Bravo at 11PM EDT to guarantee you’ll have sweet dreams!