The reunion specials are always a bit of a smorgasbord of amusing memories, insight and gossip. Here are some tidbits worth tasting.
Fan Favorite: Stephanie not only was the first female Top Chef but also the first to win both titles. Way to go, girlfriend!
Bromance was all around: Ted called Spike and Mark in the bubble bath "man soup." Richard had fun watching Dale moisturize his nipples. Andrew and Spike named their team "Vanilla Love."
Gossip: What were the internet rumors surrounding Jennifer and Zoi? Are they past their relationship bumps? Mark got married. Richard opened a restaurant called Home and appeared via satellite while waiting for his baby girl to be born.
Nicknames: Because more chefs were eliminated when teamed with Antonia, she was dubbed the "Black Hammer." The stew room was referred to as the "fifth level of hell" and not only because of the heat.
" Without the stress of the competition, the chefs were much more relaxed and jovial leaving much of the swearing for a montage. How funny was Dale when he said his mother told her church friends that he swore because he was on television.
" Eyes glazing over as Ryan described his dishes
" Gail falling asleep at the Judges' Table
" Andrew doesn't have ADD (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons). He just zips around with positive energy and occasionally growls.
" Andrew: "I'm a little chef!"
" Mark: "I think Tom doesn't like me"
" Rocco DiSpirito: "It's not only his gnocchi that were dense."
" T-shirt sporting the season's favorite expression(<x><x>attributed to Andrew): "I have a culinary b*ner."
Here are a few of my thoughts.
Burning Question: So Lisa never did uncover the mystery burner-turner-upper, did she?
Controversial Challenge (at least on this blog): The Common Threads episode where the chefs had to shop at Whole Foods and create dinner for a family of four on a $10 budget.
Worthwhile Places to Remember (in Chicago, online, and in your town): mealstogether.com, Meals on Wheels Chicago, Common Threads, shop for locally grown foods at Green City Market
New Foods (what I learned): Ras al hanout is a combination of Moroccan spices; Halo-Halo is a shaved ice and milk mixture; Sous vide is the technique of cooking ingredients in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch (don't use salmon!)
Interesting Foods (created during challenges): wasabi-white chocolate sauce; banana guacamole, maple miso-glazed bacon, peanut mashed potatoes, "perplexed tofu".
Questionable Foods: Peanut butter tomato sauce, mushrooms stuffed with blueberries
Problematic Foods: Rice, butternut squash soup, caramel sauce (used successfully by Lisa and Stephanie with braised short ribs, used disastrously by Dale with scallops.)
Guest Judges: The following guest chefs worked well with the judges and would entice me to eat at their restaurants: José Andrés, Rick Tramonto, pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini.
What were the highlights that you would add to this list?
Thanks to everyone who regularly read this blog, took part in the discussion, provided insight and shared recipes. It was a blast checking in with you the last 15 weeks and I'll keep an eye out for you on the other message boards. Until next time, bon appétit!
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The reunion specials are always a bit of a smorgasbord of amusing memories insight and gossip Here are some tidbits worth tasting Fan Favorite Stephanie not only was the first female Top Chef but also the first to win both titles Way to go girlfriendBromance was all around Ted called Spike and Mark in the bubble bath man soup Richard had fun watching Dale moisturize his nipples Andrew and Spike named their team Vanilla LoveGossip What were the internet rumors surrounding Jennifer and Zoi Are they past their relationship bumps Mark got married Richard opened a restaurant called Home and appeared via satellite while waiting for his baby girl to be bornNicknames Because more chefs were eliminated when teamed with Antonia she was dubbed the Black Hammer The stew room was referred to as the fifth level of hell and not only because of the heatOuttakes149 Without the stress of the competition the chefs were much more relaxed and jovial leaving much of the