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Friday Food Blogging April 24, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Food and Drink.
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Well it is not quite the genuine article but it will have to do.

Bravo has just announced a spin-off of “Top Chef ” entitled “Top Chef Masters”, beginning on June 10th at 10 P.M.

“Top Chef Masters” will pit 24 world-renowned chefs against each other and see how well they fare in the tried and true format of “Top Chef.” In each episode, money will be at stake for the chefs, with the winners of eliminations being awarded cash donations for their charities. The first six episodes will consist of four chefs competing against each other to name one winner. The six winners of each episode will then meet up for the final four weeks when one person will get eliminated each episode until the finale where one winner is crowned Top Chef Master.

The judges will include various celebrities and Hollywood types including Morgan Spurlock , of “Super-Size Me” fame, and Neil Patrick Harris of “Harold and Kumar Go to White-Castle.” (Roy Yamaguchi from Roy’s Restaurants is the only chef with a San Diego connection).

I’m not convinced this format will have the charm of the regular “Top Chef”. That show’s features talented, experienced but newly emerging chefs striving for excellence under pressure (and often out of their comfort zone), being judged by very knowledgable critics with high standards. The failures and bad judgments are instructive and as meaningful as the successes.

The new show features chefs whose excellence and celebrity are well established who will be judged by people who seemingly have no particular expertise in judging cuisine. I’m not sure why I should care what they think. And I suspect the cooking will be more of a performance than a battle, with fewer failures from which to learn.

But I surely will be in front of the tube on June 10th. It is the only TV show that I reliably watch.

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Friday Food Blogging April 17, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Food and Drink.
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The weather was dreary and chilly. The cityscape is so new it seems to have little sense of its history. The nearby ski resort—host of the 2010 Winter Olympics—appears to have been designed by the Disney Corporation.

But I fell in love with Vancouver because of its food.

Maybe it was the public market that makes Whole Foods look like a 7-11.

Maybe it was the soft-shell crab wrapped in a delicate tempura at the neighborhood sushi bar; or the crisp, elegant veal tongue in a wine and bone-marrow reduction at Cibo Trattoria; or the Kobe beef and Bok Choy at Kingyo. Perhaps it was the surprisingly good local Chardonnay at Seasons.

The city is built around satisfying the palate.

It is worth the trip even coming from food friendly San Diego.

Oh. And the conference I attended was good too.

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