- Wolfgang Puck is being sued for $5 million over a failed dot-com deal. — Eat Me Daily
- Must make: soy-marinated grilled pork tenderloin. — Serious Eats
- Preeti talks about being kicked off Top Chef. — The Feedbag
- Top Chef season three winner Hung Huynh has a new gig cooking at Ajna Bar in NYC. — Eater
- Tonight, why not make breakfast for dinner? — The Atlantic
- Speaking of breakfast, here're 10 ways to reinvent it. — Chow
- A list of the nation's new top-notch noodle bars. — Bon Appétit
As I mentioned yesterday, Party and I are headed to Aspen this weekend for what is considered the food industry's biggest gathering of the year. Before we report back with inspiring moments and witty words from this year's gustatory fest, I wanted to take a look back at the best that Aspen had to offer last year.
This year has been a momentous one for the Olympics — not just in sports, but in the culinary arena as well. The Bocuse d'Or — considered the Olympics of food and the world's most prestigious award for French cuisine — is scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29, 2009 in Lyon, France. The rigorous selection process, however, gained plenty of attention in 2008.
It all began this Summer, when we caught up with Hung Huynh at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic, and the Top Chef Season 3 winner revealed his wish to be a semifinalist — which he was. In July, the American Bocuse d'Or advisory board, which includes Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Tom Colicchio, selected eight semifinalists to compete for the coveted chance to represent the US. The judges appointed were even more prestigious, with highly respected chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten involved in choosing a winner. On September 26 and 27, the semifinalists faced off in a culinary challenge hosted by Al Roker, Food and Wine editor Dana Cowin, and John Besh at the Epcot Center.
After two full days of competition, Timothy Hollingsworth, a sous chef at The French Laundry, was selected as the US representative. Currently, Hollingsworth is training directly under Keller as he prepares to represent America in next month's championships, where Paul Bocuse, the French founder of the competition, will be on hand to observe and officiate. No American chef has ever won the final competition and the closest one has come to seeing gold was sixth place in 2003. Could Hollingsworth be the first?
The eight semifinalists who will compete for the coveted chance to represent America at the culinary Olympics, the Bocuse d'Or, have been announced. Among them are Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh. It's no surprise that Hung was chosen for the competition, when I spoke with him at the Food and Wine Classic, he mentioned his desire to participate. Hung and the other seven candidates were selected from 150 applicants by an advisory board that included Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Tom Colicchio. The semifinalists will face off in a culinary challenge on September 26 and 27 in Epcot Center. The final two will be trained personally by Thomas Keller and will represent America in the finals. To find out who the other competitors are, read more
The most hyped part of the Food and Wine Classic is the culinary competition that takes place on the last day of the festivities. The Classic Cook-Off pits the reigning Top Chef winner — this year it was Hung — against master French chef Jacques Pepin and his BFF Jean-Claude.
The chefs were given a whole salmon, a bunch of ingredients leftover from the previous day's demos, and 18 minutes to create a dish and a cocktail. While Hung created a delicious-looking salmon and a frothy coconut-milk cocktail, the Frenchmen wowed the crowd with their salmon appetizer, salmon entree, wasabi cocktail, and souffle dessert. To catch a glimpse of the competition, check out our exclusive video below!
For more pictures of the cook-off challenge, including images from the second competition that featured Michael Symon and Tom Colicchio vs. Roy Yamaguchi; and a look at the celebrity chefs who were in the audience, read more
Last Friday afternoon at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, I had the chance to hang out with Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh. As part of his prize, Hung was invited to appear at the Classic Cook-Off on Sunday. In between attending seminars and sipping wine, Hung and I met up outside the grand-tasting tent.
An approachable, friendly guy, Hung isn't afraid to say hello to fans or cook dinner for 150 people. Although he was sometimes portrayed as a villain on TC, in real life, Hung is just an ordinary guy who cooks really well. To learn more about Hung, read more
If you're looking for a nice splurge for your foodie, then send them to the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay — 40 minutes south of San Francisco — for their Inside the Kitchen series. The series brings a top chef from the Bay Area and beyond into an intimate classroom environment. Meet and learn from renowned chefs like Traci Des Jardins, Ryan Scott, and Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh. All classes are demonstration-style cooking classes that include step-by-step instructions, beverage pairings and a recipe booklet to take home. The best part is that their sous-chefs are in the back creating large amounts for the entire class to taste!
Most of the courses are set up as full menus, and the chance to interact so closely with these chefs is phenomenal. The cost of the class is $90 — a portion of the proceeds goes towards Meals On Wheels of San Francisco — but they also have deluxe overnight packages starting at $529. It's definitely a tall cost to juggle —especially once you consider airfare and travel arrangements — but when else will you be able to work so closely with these phenomenal artists?
Classes begin Jan. 6; be sure to check out the full schedule of classes and instructors. In addition to the class, each chef will step into Navio — the restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton currently helmed by Aaron Zimmer — for a one-night-only chef's tasting menu. So if you're not interested in cooking, you could always sit back and eat instead.