Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top Chef and Us

What a delightful Saturday E and I had in July.  Top Chef was in our town for a stop on their summer tour.  We had checked for weeks, trying to get tickets. One night, quite late, I checked for the thousandth, under estimate, I am sure, time and behold, one could sign up.  The three sessions were going like bottles of water on a blistering day: wham! that session was filled. Bam!  I could only get one ticket.  I called my ever patient husband out of bed.  "Honey, hurry!  Hurry!  Top Chef tickets are available.  Please log in and try to get a few tickets.  And.  Please. Hurry."  I took a photo of the screen to remember what session we had signed up for.  I love foresight.  It is something I strive and pray for in my life.  Really.  Were we ever glad I had taken those photos because a few days later we received an email that we had two tickets to a "Top Chef" show but it did not include which show time.  We, well really me, and my very good natured hubby, felt like we had Willy Wonka golden tickets to the cooking show.  J, our younger daughter, was home for the
summer interning at her Dad's, the company at which my husband works, for the summer and was t-o-t-a-l-l-y stoked to go experience this first hand.  We love "Top Chef!"  Due to some changes, our oldest daughter, E, was here at this time, from NY.  Very, very generously and kindly J offered E her ticket.  I offered for the girls to go together.  E refused the ticket offers, saying we had been looking forward to it. In the end, E and I were the ones to travel downtown to the Short North where the "Top Chef" trailer was and discover who the visiting chefs from the show were for our stop of the tour.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Hung, winner of Season 3 and Richard Blais, from Season 4.  We would say they are not spoiled stars here. Richard would walk out of the trailer, reach into the belly of the rig and pull out pots/pans, whatever he needed to cook whatever he was cooking for this session.
Both he and Hung would open the trailer door to wave and the crowds would cheer them.
It was a fun, upbeat, foodie crowd.  All the while the fantastic Farmer's Market was happening around the trailer.  They had these fun bikes outside the trailer with blenders attached; way to work for a smoothie, E!  When the time came to be seated, E and I ended up in the front row, in the center.  Hung actually took this photo of Richard and us in the front row.  (look closely and there we are in the front row.)  We had soooo much fun!  Hung is really energetic and knowledgeable as is Richard but Richard is a blast--so funny!
  We just loved the way he spoke, explained things, his sense of humor and let Hung be the center of attention as he likes
to be.  They each made two dishes, all the while fielding questions from the audience.  "Is Padma as pretty in real life?"  Richard's response, "Prettier."  Of course there were many food questions also.  They each made very light dishes, as it was hot in July, but so infused with flavor.  Impressive. Richard talked about some ingredients that the girls and I had been reading about in one of Padma's cookbook's.  Richard also answered questions about his resturant in Atlanta, how much he loves being a new daddy and his infamous bacon ice cream.  Both Hung and Richard tasted their food along the way of preparation and emphasized how important that is.  That is really what I took away from the show and have incorporated into our kitchen, when I cook that is.  
They both helped each other "plate" the food--it was so fresh and had such intense flavors.  Thank you Richard and Hung for a fun Saturday morning in July.  It was a way good day!


Pompeii Purple said...

I'm so glad you guys had so much fun that day! You definitely were dedicated all summer, trying to get those tickets! I just wish you would have posted the picture of the blender-bike baby!

Emily Roberts said...

This was so much fun! I'm so glad I have the picture of me on the blender bike. David Kirsch would be so proud. And that peach tomato salad--I'm still craving it. Thanks again for taking me! Funnest thing all summer!