This week, chefs including “Top Chef” judge and restaurant owner Tom Colicchio made their way down to the Gulf of Mexico to see the state of Louisiana seafood. The BP oil spill disaster has shut down some fishing, but 70% of the Gulf is still open and seafood continues to be tested every day, Robert J. Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told the Associated Press earlier this week. Colicchio, who usually sources seafood from the North Atlantic, said that he would serve Louisiana seafood in his restaurants.
Meanwhile, this week’s episode of “Top Chef” was an all-American challenge. The cheftestants showed off their pastry and grill skills (but not at the same time).
Before the Quickfire Challenge of making a pie, Johnny Iuzzini, Executive Pastry Chef at Jean Georges in New York City and 2006 James Beard award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef, explained that being a pastry chef is about being organized. “It doesn’t happen at the last minute on the stove, similar to what you guys do. A lot of we do is about planning, about organization, about measurements,” Iuzzini said. Two contestants already got the boot this season for making a unsatisfactory dessert. Bananas Foster Pie with Currants and Chinese Five Spice, by Kenny Gilbert of PGA Resort and Hotel, and Spiced Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart, by Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken, were among the favorites in this challenge.
In the Elimination Challenge, chef Jonathan Waxman of Burbuto in New York City, joined the chefs as a judge for a picnic on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. Chefs branched out from the typical BBQ fare, and fired up meats ranging from lamb to tuna and added some ethnic flavors (Asian, Latin and Moroccan).
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knape, via iStock