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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, December 3

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TV Thu Feb 16 2012

Top Chef Texas, Episode 15: Roughing It

Man, this season just WILL NOT END, will it? The final four were put through the ringer, and then we learn there's still one more elimination before the finale? Three thoughts on the increasingly interminable "Top Chef."

Natural Light + Padma = Pure Magic. I've been thinking all season that Padma just looked off her game, but put her in a fur hat on top of a brightly lit mountain and hot damn, it's like Season Four all over again. Take that, Texas denim and weird jumpers.

Last night's challenges managed to cover motion sickness and near-murder, as the chefs cooked in gondolas and then hacked their ingredients out of ice blocks with picks and pans. I seriously thought Bev stabbed Paul at one point -- and was then expecting to see Charlize Theron pop out of a nearby snowbank, cackling and rolling in the blood. (Did I mention I'm on some cold meds this week?) If you thought the final biathalon face-off between Chicago chefs Bev and Sarah looked comically easy -- chefs flailing in the snow, knocking each other off their skis and flopping down slight hills -- I would only comment that you may not be familiar with the hyper-demanding full-body workout that is cross-country skiing. Plus, they'd clearly never skied before! All I could think of was how SORE those poor girls are going to be for the rest of the finale(s). Bev showed off her bruises back in the ad hoc stew room, and they already looked painful.

But even with those war wounds, it wasn't enough to claw her way back to the top -- Bev's final dish of slow-roasted artic char with earthy celery root sauce and onion crust was deemed lesser than Sarah's braised rabbit with cherries. Chicago salutes you, Beverly Kim, for your tenacity! And you, Sarah Grueneberg, for repping our fair city into the final three. (And both of their home restaurants, Aria and Spiaggia are on the Restaurant Week list, if that pesky TV screen is getting between you and your Top Chef-quality eating.) Only two (?) more episodes to go...

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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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