One of my favorite things is to park myself in front of my television, dinner made cocktail at the ready, watching Top Chef. I love it. My mom loves it too, it’s one thing we share and we sit, phones at our sides to call during commercial breaks to dish and theorize and recap, but mostly to lament that we don't get to taste all that wonderful food.
The folks over at BTC
asked for volunteers in several US cities to go to the Top Chef tour when it rolled through town and I jumped at the chance to spend a half a Saturday getting some more Top Chef in my life.
Saturday was a scorcher in Denver. The thermometer reached 99 degrees and I was plenty grateful to be in shorts and ball cap and not in long pants and a chef coat like Antonia and Ryan.
They were both extremely nice and friendly and spent the fifteen minutes leading up to the demonstration signing autographs, posing for photos and talking to fans. You could tell they were both really enjoying their particular slice of fame.
Having spent ten years working in the restaurant industry I can understand that. Rarely is this a glamorous business. Usually it is hot, sweaty work for long grueling hours.
Antonia had prepared duck lettuce wraps for an earlier demo, and quipped about the difficulty of finding the ingredients she wanted, likening it to a quick fire challenge.
Though it might be an inconvenience to pick up in the middle of their lives head out to Denver for the weekend, you'd never know it. Both chefs were extremely gracious and friendly.
There were three shows scheduled for Saturday, I was fortunate to attend the third demo, hosted by Chef Ryan Scott.
Throughout the demo he gave tips, sharing every trick he could think of to make us better cooks. For instance, make sure proteins are at room temperature before cooking. He was also sure to mention that when cooking meat in a hot pan, be sure to lay it in away from you as scars are stupid, not a badge of honor. To test doneness push the meat from the sides instead of the top, and slice against the grain
Another tip, in response to a question from a lactose intolerant member of the audience, for a great corn chowder; after cutting the kernels off the cobs milk the cobs with the back of a knife, use the "milk" from the corn instead of cream.
For great mashed potatoes add the potatoes to cold water, bring up to boil and then add salt. Instead of adding milk (cold milk can make potatoes gummy) add some of the reserved potato water and butter when mashing.
Ryan, grinning ear to ear and talking a mile a minute made crostini topped with pickled cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and flank steak.
1 c. vinegar (any kind you like)
Boil w/ 1 c. sugar and set aside
Bring 1 c. oil up to temperature and throw in some slivered garlic and ginger (not paper thin!)
Bring the oil off the heat and add the vinegar mixture
Chiffonade some basil, add to the tomatoes, and pour the hot mixture over the top
Crostini is toasted baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper
Whip one pound of goat cheese with one cup of cream, some parmesan cheese and salt
Spread on toasts, top with a thin slice of steak and some pickled tomatoes
It was a great Saturday, and it was amazing to taste the food, I can't wait to try out this recipe at my next party.
Labels: Food, Mom, T.V.