Top Chef Recap Ep08: Map of the Modern Chef

“Sleeve Askew” by Padma Lakshmi (via Miami New Times)

Bonjour. Ni hao. Hola. Konnichi Wa. Buon Giorno. Yes, it was international day on Top Chef. Well to be honest, it was more like “international-ish” day, or “international approximation” day, or “eff it, I’m just gonna buy a ton of spices, because foreigners like spices, right?” day. Yes, dear reader(s), yesterday found our cheftestants throwing darts at a methaphorical board of global cuisine in an attempt to recreate cultural dishes they selected from an actual board of global cuisine.

So lets go around the world in 30 sentences shall we? SPOILERS ahead…

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Top Chef Recap EP07: Lunches for Wonks

THANK YOU TOP CHEF. Thank you for FINALLY making things interesting. This week, all eyes were on our ruthless little Sasha and his suspiciously delicious English pea purée.  Did he steal the sauce? Did he lie? Could he have possibly MADE pea purée but none of the 50,000 cameras on Top Chef caught it (1 hour prep time and 1 hour cook time via Epicurian)?! It was a story of Eastern European deception, secrecy and paranoia reminiscent of … THE COLD WAR. Wait. That was last week. I mean, POLITICAL ELECTIONS.

I did not steal the pea puree

Much better. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

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Live every week like its SHARK WEEK: August 1-8, 2010

It’s finally here. August 1st, 2010 at 9pm marks the beginning of SHARK WEEK on Discovery Channel. That one glorious week where standard Discovery Channel programming like Verminators and Ghost Lab takes a necessary backseat to showcasing our favorite master of the deep, the SHARK. Last week I received my SHARK WEEK press packet in the mail. It was like Christmas morning. I got a T-shirt, a post card of my adopted whale shark named Gil, shark DVDs, and schedules of shark shows, all which came in a box like THIS:

DCspy shark week t-shirt (pictured) giveaway! Details below!

There was even a disclaimer that read “due to liability issues, our lawyers advise us that you will not have visitation rights to your shark,” because Discovery Channel is AMAZING. Finally, as if I wasn’t excited enough, Discovery Channel did this to their Silver Spring location:

Chompie the inflatable building shark

Yes, his name is Chompie, he looks down at the Silver Spring metro, and good God do I want to work there. You can take a picture of Chompie, write a caption, and win an official photo contest sponsored by Discovery and our very own Express Night Out. Details here. Submission deadline is Monday, July 26th.

Also because I am a kind and altruistic person (who wishes she wore an XL), I am holding my own photo caption contest. Basically, the person that comes up with the best caption for Chompie’s photo wins my XL shark week t-shirt. If you take an original Chompie picture, you can even enter my ghetto contest AND the Express real contest simultaneously! Email ispythingsdc@gmail.com with your answer. Deadline is Friday July 30th.

SHARK WEEK runs from August 1-4, 2010. It will feature nightly specials on sharks, shark attacks and all sorts of things. Discovery Channel is also trying to make more of an effort to promote shark conservation and awareness. So will there be crazy shark attacks and sensationalism? Yes.  But there will also be information on why sharks need saving. Over one million sharks die a year from commercial fishing. They deserve our love too. Go to Oceana.org to learn more about helping these wonderful guys.

***Shark Smarts: what is the only natural predator of the Great White Shark?? (no it’s not us)*** Thanks to Express Night Out and Oceana.org for the photos.

Top Chef Recap EP05: Crabs, Farms and Romance

There is pasta in minestrone, no?

After our quick foray into obscure cheftestants, this week got us back to the basics: Kenny, Angelo, and awkwardly sexual food references. Yes, crabs, sweet nothings, sexy sauce, and a legitimate cheftestant romance emerged this episode, as well as a frigid outdoor “picnic,” chef arguing, and shameless TOYOTA SIENNA plugs. That reminds me, Toyota Sienna? The raw terribleness of your “swagger wagon” minivan ad campaigns will make me cut someone. That is, if your brakes don’t get them first. Count it! Anyways, let’s break down Top Chef, shall we?

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Top Chef note-taking after 5 glasses of wine produces slightly inaccurate results

Reader(s), I failed you yesterday. I failed to write a recap of wednesday night’s Top Chef, which was the one consistent thing I claimed this blog would do. Well that, and show pictures of kittens on occasion to brighten the mood. Like this: 

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LNv76e5OKY] 

And now we are happier. Anyways, I wanted to explain why I didn’t recap. You see, I did watch Top Chef and I did take notes. However, I did so after one…or five glasses of wine. My brain at the time thought these notes were excellent. Turns out they were, well, this: 

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Pack your knives DC, Top Chef is coming to town (and other District news)

From DCist

So earlier this week Top Chef wrapped up filming and the crew was seen partying on U Street, then yesterday DCist reports that we have a confirmed airdate: June 16th. Instant gratification! Get excited!!!! In only a month we get to see what Tom Colicchio, Padma’s cleavage, and Bravo TV thinks of DC’s food scene. Okay, okay I am not saying that Padma isn’t smart, but her cleavage makes prominent appearances often on the show and in its marketing, so it must be mentioned:

Padma and "the girls"

Oh and the guest judges were announced…

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Travel Channel’s Food Wars battled DC jumbo slice places and… wait, what?


Could they have possibly made pizza look LESS appetizing?

 

 OK. So travel channel has this show Food Wars where the host goes to different cities to settle local rivalries about famous food items. Basically, two establishments battle one another over a food, locals are interviewed, and the winner is decided by a panel of judges. The food is as you would expect in places, cheesesteaks in philly, hot wings in Buffalo, BBQ in Texas, and… jumbo slice in DC? Wait, what? 

 

We got effing JUMBO SLICE??? Jesus. Of course DC’s mark on the U.S. culinary landscape would be wasted-face pizza. Although the judges DID have to eat it sober, which is more than I would ever do.  

Anyways, the battle was between Pizza Mart and Jumbo Slice Pizza. Don’t worry, I had no idea which ones those were either. I mean, reading comprehension and jumbo slice don’t really go together. So, I actually researched it and discovered I had eaten at both probably a million times. Their signs look like this…  

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