Posted tagged ‘Fish’

All bow to Eric Ripert… the true Top Chef

February 4, 2009

I don’t think this episode deserves the standard Top Chef recap.

What we saw this week was not a culinary competition… it was culinary education. Since early-December I’ve wanted to write about Le Bernardin, specifically to discuss the unbelievable dining experience I had there. Unfortunately, until now, I simply didn’t know what to say.

Of all the episodes this season, I felt that this was the most interesting from both a viewing and learning perspective. To see how nervous and excited the chefs were, kind of said it all. Even the judges seemed elated to be given such a unique experience. Mr. Ripert himself even seemed surprised at the praise of Toby Young, a critic typically known for his harsh rhetoric and not his endless praise.

Food Mecca at 155 W. 51st St.

Food Mecca at 155 W. 51st St.

I was pleased to see Fabio applauded for his job of  mimicking the Red Snapper dish. I have tried this dish and can tell you first hand that I’ve simply never had a better cooked piece of fish. From the sauce to the razor-thin slice of sourdough that serves as the faux-crust, the dish is flawless.

All-in-all it appeared that the judges were impressed with the chefs understanding of each dish. Let’s face it… no one is going to do it quite like Mr. Ripert… then again, how easy is it to recreate a Michelin 3-star, NYTimes 4-star and Zagat 28 menu?

Should I get the opportunity to return to Le Bernardin, you can bet that I’ll be trying that Lobster/Asparagus. Hopefully, that opportunity will be sooner, rather than later!

Advertisements

Top Chef: Heating Up in the Kitchen

January 8, 2009

I’m sure, as always, there is a ton of criticism this week about Top Chef, however I really REALLY enjoyed the show.

For a good competition, make it simple. Basically: “Chefs… go crazy, cook what you want, oh by the way… two of you are going home and without knowing who’s food they are eating, your cohorts will be helping judge”

What a great premise…

What we learned was…once again… Ariane is a champion. Fact is… the woman knows how to prepare a great meal. Focus on the main course and do the sides/garnish/etc. right. The Michelin man, who really bothered me on this episode and thrashed everyone during the quickfire, could not have been more impressed.

Jamie, congrats, at least we don’t have to hear you whine. (gotta love the Italian… “This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop”)

Toby Young seems like he will be a fun addition.

I’m not sure why, but I just thought that Eugene deserved another shot. Colicchio made it clear that this is a competition, and the chefs shouldn’t attempt safe dishes. That fish was risky and beautiful…but hey, taste is taste.

Judging by the whiff I got via smell-o-vision, I would love to try Fabio’s dish… man did that look good!

I really think we’re in for a big finish… Go Jersey… The weak is almost weeded out….it should get interesting.

No lie, Italy did beat France in the World Cup

No lie, Italy did beat France in the World Cup