Get excited: at long last, Top Chef: New Orleans premieres on Bravo tonight. As you count down the hours, get in the season 11 spirit by finding out what advice your favorite Top Chef contestants have for the incoming class. See what projects are keeping the likes of Fabio Viviani, Kristen Kish, and Richard Blais busy — and their tips for those cheftestants competing in New Orleans.
We just wrapped up another unforgettable year at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and while there were countless memories, our editors have a few of the weekend's highlights. Watch our video to hear about the best parties, favorite chef interviews, and incredible dishes, then read all of our Aspen coverage.
Top Chef Michael Voltaggio's a busy man, but he managed to find time to make a showing at the Taste event in Los Angeles over the weekend. He took time out from his schedule to talk details about coauthoring a new cookbook, Volt Ink., with his brother Bryan; his forthcoming restaurant, Ink., which will showcase modern Los Angeles cuisine; his surprising new pop-up shop, Ink.Sack ("it was a surprise to me," he says); and why the microwave is so hot right now.
- Serve an Irish breakfast this weekend. — Chow
- Giant whoopie pie pan: love it or hate it? — Baking Bites
- A table at Top Chef's restaurant wars is up for bid in a charity auction. — Eater
- Make pasta e broccoli for dinner tonight. — Serious Eats
- Michael Voltaggio and Ludo Lefebvre prove they've paid their dues as chefs. — Daily Dish
- Where to eat bone marrow in San Francisco. — Grub Street SF
- Inside the making of an ice cream cookbook. — The Feast SF
- Food bloggers: learn how to use Google recipes to your advantage. — Huffington Post Food
- If you're heading to SXSW, here are Austin's top eateries. — ZagatBuzz
David Chang, call me an irreverent home cook, but with all due respect, I'll use my tongs all day long. Tongs in the kitchen: are they trashy or classy?
- A look back at Michael Voltaggio's final dinner service.
- A look back at Michael Voltaggio's final dinner service. — Los Angeles Times
- Cupcakes have fueled New York City's economy.— Wall Street Journal
- Getting to know the five most popular rib cuts. — Chicago Tribune
- Homemade condiments with a summertime twist. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Behind the scenes at a pickling party. — Boston Globe
- Must make: savory ham and Gruyere bread. — New York Times
- Selecting a smoker? Here's what to look for. — Washington Post
Host Sissy Biggers announced the theme was "sexy vegetables." Just like on the show, the two contenders drew knives to determine their main ingredients: Rick drew "surf," which meant whole lobsters, while Michael took "turf," which equated to rack of lamb.
They were also given leftover ingredients from previous cooking demos to work with and one sous chef each (Michael's was the fun and feisty actress Allison Janney). Rick Bayless stunned the judges with a roasted tomatillo salsa-topped lobster and potato course; meanwhile, Michael Voltaggio wowed the crowd with his frozen sangria starter and seared lamb loin and eggplant crostini with tomato seed "caviar."
See the two chefs in action — and find out the winner of the quickfire! — when you read on.
Before the interested eyes of a group of select journalists, Michael turned frozen cubes of cream cheese into a melt-in-your-mouth snow and Bryan cut slices of perfectly cooked harissa lamb, fresh out of vacuum-packed plastic baggies.
To take a closer look at the amazing three-course meal, check out all of my photos after the break.
Photo courtesy of Bravo
Their first webisode, titled "Deconstructing the Voltaggio Brothers," debuted yesterday. While we didn't see any demos, we did learn, in between snippets of the brothers making brioches and pop rock lollipops, that Michael excels at poetry, and Bryan would've been a landscaper in another life. Take a look when you read more