Food

Wedding Tasting Vlog

The would have worked better for Wedding Wednesday, but I just had to talk about that Pokémon Direct!  In truth, last weekend was a bit all over the place– we definitely ate a lot, and we got some really cool adventures in as well!

See for yourself:

Top Chef Charleston Finale

Another season of Top Chef has come to a close.  As much as I complained about this veteran v. rookie format, I loved some of my old favorites get a second (or third) chance to capture the title of Top Chef!

Shirley and Brooke face off for their final four course dinner for Top Chef.  All of the previous cheftestants come back to act as sous chefs.  They get to pick two each.  Shirley has the first pick and snatches up Brooke’s obvious first pick, Casey.  Brooke goes with who I thought the first pick would be, Sheldon.  Shirley picks Katsuji, pretty much because he’s Mexican.  Brooke picks Sam, which is kind of a surprise to me but okay.  The judges bring in Brooke & Shirley’s chefs de cuisine for their third sous.

They shop, but the proteins are provided for them and they make a little list for the requests… only, Brooke forgets to add pork belly, even though she has a dish that is built around pork belly.  Shirley orders it as back up, so Brooke ends up getting to use it anyway.

They make:

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To be honest, I could tell Brooke had this on lock down.  The reception to her first three dishes was just too good.  Even though Shirley cleaned up on dessert (even Brooke’s mom knew that) and held her own on most of the other dishes, I just knew this one was going to Brooke.

You know, Brooke got beat by Kristen Kish via Last Chance Kitchen and, although Kristen was completely deserving, being that it was the first season they did LCK, it always felt a little rough to me.  For Brooke to come back and win it all via LCK really felt like the redemption she deserved.

Of course it’s hard to see Shirley lose.  She is so endearing!  She truly puts her heart on a plate, and listening to her sister teach her mother say “I’m very proud,” I felt Shirley got a little redemption too– “…not a doctor, but a chef,” she says.

It was a great season, and I can’t wait for another!

Top Chef: Ancient Mayan Tools

I’m so dumb, you guys.  I’ve been calling this episode the finale, when in fact the finale is tonight‘s episode.  I just assume this is it once they’re actually in the finale location!  We’ve seen finales with three in the past, can you blame me?  Anyway, I’m calling this penultimate episode “finale part one,” because, well, I’ve already put it out there.

Anyway, the final three relocate to the heart of the Yucatan for a habanero challenge.  They have to shop for their ingredients, which, as my fiancé notes, should be no problem– if you work in a kitchen, you speak Spanish… unless that kitchen is in Hawaii.  Sheldon seems to speak as much Spanish as I do, that is, none at all.  He ends up with a tamale instead of cheese.  Shirley used to work in a Mexican-Chinese fusion restaurant, and thus is complete in her element, but Brooke ends up taking the win again.

For the final elimination challenge, they are to create a dish like the Maya used to using traditional Mayan ingredients and traditional Mayan cooking methods only.  So, no tools and open flames.  The chefs are also shocked to see how limited the ingredients are– hey, they said only!

They cook in front of this amazing Indiana Jones-esque set and come up with the following:

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Shirley is the big winner and makes it into the [real] finale first– she’s full of joy!

“I get to cook, I get to cook!  I can’t wait to show you!”

Between Brooke & Sheldon, the choice is tougher.  What the judges really would love is Brooke’s fish on Sheldon’s dish, but they need to choose one.

It hurts, but Padma asks Sheldon to pack his knives before the real finale.  After, she & Tom both appear teary.  I was watching too!  Sheldon is so amazing, I’m truly sorry to see him go.  I do love a female finale, though!

Team Brooke or Team Shirley?!