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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 10

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TV Thu Mar 01 2012

Top Chef Texas, Episode 17: The Finale

Always a bridesmaid, eventually a bride, but not a Top Chef -- Sarah Gruenberg cooked her heart out on last night's finale episode of "Top Chef," but it just wasn't enough to stop Paul Qui from taking the title. Three thoughts on the last episode until "Top Chef Masters" returns to source some local talent.

In a twist on a familiar finale element, the top sixteen, PLUS three wannabe contenders who didn't make it past the Alamo, AND two master chefs were trucked in to cook a dish for Sarah and Paul to evaluate -- and choose by taste test which chefs would be their sous-chefs for a 100-person, 4-course dinner service. Sarah's recognition of a dish from Sable led her to pick Tyler Stone instead of fellow Chicagoan Heather Terhune. THIS GUY! The one who got eliminated mid-hackjob for butchering his butchering! Who then proceeded to advise her on everything from pickling techniques to mixing bowls, because who in the final round of "Top Chef" wouldn't benefit from his skills and experience? Thank you, TV producers, for gambling on that guy's plane ticket! Thankfully, Sarah also did figure out Heather's real dish, and constructed a strong kitchen team.

Grayson and Malibu Chris needs to star in their own show. And I think it should be called, "Jam Out With Our Clams Out."

Tom asserted at Judges Table that the final meal was some of the best food to come out of the show -- and with no kitchen disasters (REAL disasters anyway, un-wiggly egg custards and pin bones in salmon notwithstanding) and two very interesting menus, it's not hard to believe. Which made for some good TV viewing, but also made Sarah's loss by a nose that much harder for her to take. To come so close, and cook so well... Better luck next time, Sarah! I'm happy Paul won, and hope that Spiaggia might feature some of Sarah's finale dishes. Maybe as a special, low-price prix-fixe? Till next time...

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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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