finale

Richard Blais Takes Top Chef All Stars

Winner of Top Chef

Just a quick note to congratulate Richard Blais for winning Top Chef All Stars.  Your life is about to change.  Enjoy the ride, chef.

For those who missed the fireworks last night on Bravo here is a nice breakdown from TVfanatic.com:

 

Richard or Michael?

The Final Challenge
No Quickfire, there’s just too much to do! The finale seemed a bit rushed to me, but at least Mike and Richard got to open up the restaurant of their dreams, with eliminated foes as their sous chefs. In an interesting twist, the chefs could not directly pick the latter; instead, the sous chefs “auditioned” for Mike and Richard.

While it’s a fun twist, I wonder how happy the eliminated chefs must be to cook for the finalists. The fact that chefs who aren’t chosen seem rather excited to enjoy their time in the Bahamas probably makes Richard and Mike more nervous.

The chefs are apprehensive, of course, because in addition to gems like Angelo and Antonia, there is also Jamie and Marcel. Richard gets Antonia, Spike, and Angelo, a fairly strong team, while Mike picks Jaime (ouch!), Carla, and Tiffany.

Richard’s Restaurant: A surf and turf restaurant named Tongue & Cheek. So Richard!

Menu:

  • Amuse Bouche: Raw Oyster with Lemon Horseradish Ice Cream and Salsa Verde.
  • Raw Hamachi with Fried Veal Sweetbreads, Asian Pear, Pickled Radish, and Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Pork Belly with a Black Cod Cutlet, Bone Marrow, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, and Kumquat
  • Beef Short Rib with Mushrooms, Red Cabbage Marmalade, and Celery Root Horseradish Puree
  • Cornbread with Foie Gras Ice Cream and Whipped Mango

The food is generally well-received by the judges, although they seem a bit confused by the foie gras ice cream. I’m awfully curious to know what that tastes like.

Mike’s Restaurant: An Italian-themed restaurant named Iz, as his mother called him Izzie while growing up.

Menu:

  • Spiced beets with Mozzarella, Chocolate, and Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Halibut with Kumquats Marmalade, Cauliflower Puree, and Pancetta Crumbs
  • Braised Pork Shoulder with Pepperoni Sauce, Roasted Cabbage, and Turnips
  • Rosemary Caramel Custard with Pine Nuts, Citrus, Cherry and Apple

Mike’s restaurant gets rave reviews, as well, although his dessert isn’t as well-received.

RichardBlais

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ICA: Flay vs. Stone

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

Epic.  That is the only word to describe the last Iron Chef America of May 2010.  Perhaps this should be called Battle: Celebrity Chef?  Bobby Flay is a master of Kitchen Stadium and he welcomes Cheflebrity Curtis Stone for the second of four consecutive new episodes.

Curtis Stone, Iron Chef, Celebrity Apprentice, Biggest LoserIf, for some strange reason, you are not familiar with Curtis Stone check  out his IMdb profile which documents his more than 100 TV appearances.  The fact that he has a profile at IMdb should tell you he’s a pretty big deal.  Most known for appearances on NBC’s two popular reality series The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Apprentice, Stone has also hosted over 70 episodes of his own shows Take Home Chef (TLC) and My Restaurant Rules (Seven Network, Australia).

But Stone is as much chef as he is celebrity.  He began cooking professionally at the age of 18 at the five-star Savoy Hotel in London.  As a young chef he worked alongside Marco Pierre White at The Café Royal and at Mirabelle.  From there he moved on to the exclusive Restaurant 301.  Stone has also been a part of four top selling cookbooks including Surfing the Menu the companion book to the eight-part mini series Stone filmed with fellow Aussie chef Ben O’Donoghue.  The guy’s got chops.

This episode is tailor-made for the ladies as it pits two of the sexiest chefs in the country.  Flay’s curly red mop and Cheshire grin have long made him eye candy for Food Network viewers while Stone was named one of the sexiest men alive by People in 2006.  Chef Curtis greatly resembles actor Owen Wilson only without the fugly nose.

How cool would it be if Brett Michaels, Summer Sanders and Holly Robinson Peete were the judges?  Well they weren’t.  Judges for Battle: Skipjack Tuna were John T. Edge, Cady Huffman and Jeffrey Steingarten.  A special condition was that each course had to feature a grilled item.  Chef Flay was once again assisted by blond bombshell Sous Chef Rene Forsberg (who I believe oversees Flay’s Mesa Grill outpost in the Bahamas).  Chef Rene was sporting her signature Pocahontas ponytails.  Also adding heat to Flay’s kitchen was the adorable Christine Sanchez, Culinary Director of the Iron Chef’s company, Bold Food.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Flay and Stone have now teamed up for NBC’s new reality competition America’s Next Great Restaurant.

Click HERE for the outcome.

Surfing the Menu

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ICA: Flay vs. Stone – Outcome

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Flay vs. Stone.  If you want information on the combatants click HERE.  If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

Judges for Battle: Skipjack Tuna were John T. Edge, Cady Huffman and Jeffrey Steingarten.  A special condition was that each course had to feature a grilled item.  Chef Flay was once again assisted by blonde bombshell Sous Chef Renee Forsberg (Senior Chef Tournant at Mesa Grill).  Chef Renee was sporting her signature Pocahontas ponytails.  Also adding heat to Flay’s kitchen was the adorable Christine Sanchez, Culinary Director of the Iron Chef’s company, Bold Food.

Flay                    Stone
Taste: 26         Taste: 19
Plating: 12       Plating: 10
Originality: 11  Originality: 8
Total: 49          Total: 37

Winner: Iron Chef Flay

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Flay and Stone have now teamed up for NBC’s new reality competition America’s Next Great Restaurant.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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