Top Chef keywords

During last week’s Top Chef episode, the cheftestants played a slot machine to choose three keywords, which they used as inspiration for a dish. The keywords were words like –> Stressed, Hot N’ Spicy, Asian. Those happen to be the ones Kevin selected for his winning Quickfire dish. Here’s another keyword for you –> Unbearable. And, that happens to be Mike Isabella.

After the slot-machine-keyword challenge, the chefs partnered up for a family-style-dinner-party challenge. Their dinner party guests were members of Macy’s Culinary Council: Tyler Florence (also guest judge), Tom Douglas, Nancy Silverton, Govind Armstrong, and Takashi Yagihashi. –> Strategic Marketing

Here’s how it went down:

  • Mike Isabella was partnered with Robin.  –> Sweet retribution
  • Micheal Voltaggio was almost sent home because he overcooked halibut.  –> Whew
  • Ash compared Michael V to Picasso, and said he’d be willing to wash his brushes. –> Embarassing and Uncomfortable
  • Ashley undercooked precious prawns and had a role in oversalted gnocchi. –> Eliminated
  • Jennifer and Kevin served the best dish of the night: Korean style barbeque, and Jennifer was crowned the overall winner. –> Dream Team

TC-kobe-beefJennifer and Kevin’s BBQ Kobe Beef with Cardamom, Tomato
and Ginger Broth

When I’m dining on Asian food, I usually drink a lager style beer or hitachino-alewhite wine. I’m afraid to experiment, as I don’t want anything to conflict with the flavors in my often-spicy food. When considering the drink pairing for Jennifer and Kevin’s dish, I checked out Takashi Yagihashi’s drink menu at his Chicago restaurant, and ran across the Hitachino Nest White Ale. Hitachino, from a Japanese brewery (Shuzou), is a white ale, similar to many Belgian whites, with hints of coriander, nutmeg, and orange peel. Jennifer and Kevin’s dish includes flavors and ingredients such as: orange zest, ginger, fennel, and I think the Hitachino would compliment nicely. Not to mention –> Refreshing.

Ms. S&C wants to know: What keywords would you use to describe the Top Chef contestants and their dishes?

posted by Ms. S&C

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