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Tuesday, July 16

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« Friday Foodporn: Food Carts Looking for Last-Minute Weekend Eats? »

TV Fri Jan 20 2012

Top Chef Texas, Episode 11: New American Gothic

To get your weekend started right: three thoughts on this week's "Top Chef" episode!

This episode was really, really fun to watch. It feels like I haven't been totally glued to the TV this season -- the food porn is dominated by smoke and meat glazes, the drama is a little offputting, and Padma's outfits have just been a little flat (a turquoise belt buckle is the best the costume department could do? For real?). So this episode, with plates like tuna tartare immersed in a sauce battle of good and evil (Ed), salad landscape threatened with a bloody-looking sauce handprint (Paul -- who took the win for this one), lamb heart risotto (Sarah), and of course, Grayson's black chicken slaughterhouse tableau -- to say nothing of a pack of excited, inspired chefs with happy cooking faces! -- was a real visual palate cleanser.

Of course, it wasn't all good vibes and murdered baby chickens -- there was some human carnage as well, as Beverly ended her term repping our fair city, her halibut with forbidden rice sending her home at the end of the meal. The judges seemed more pleased by the food than we've seen them in a long time, and only faulted Bev for a sticky sauce (and actually, in the photo of the dish, it does look like it's got kind of a skin growing). But really, against a field of such wildly creative dishes, it seemed like perhaps Bev's comfort in her own (highly-skilled) wheelhouse was what did her in. Black rice doesn't equate with drama when bloody handprints and poison apples are on the table as well. It's a shame to see another Chicago chef pack her knives, but it felt like the right decision -- and one that will hopefully result in less group meanness and discomfort for the rest of the season. Fingers crossed...

Finally, Chicago's Chris Jones finally got a little molecular gastro love from Tom this week, with his poison apple pie that looked like...a poison apple (liquid nitrogen applied table-side!). And suddenly, watching Tom dole out some begrudging by genuine praise, I totally remembered his anti-modernist Diet Coke commercial from a few years ago (which seemed to mock a very particular Chicago restaurant...). Sweet, maggoty retribution, perhaps, but more than anything it was nice to see Chris get some props after running a few paces behind the girls for most of the season. Only two Chicago chefs remain!

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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