September 2009


IMG_1931Last weekend I was fortunate enough to indulge in Disney’s International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT Center. This marks the 14th year of an event that promises the chance to eat and drink your way around the world without ever having to break out your passport.

After attending this event for the past few years, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a majority of the regional menus had changed (after being exactly the same for the past few go-arounds) and that they’d added a few new cuisines, now up to 25 different international marketplaces. There were also more culinary classes and wine tastings to attend this year, many involving well-known food and wine celebrities like Iron Chef Cat Cora (who has a new restaurant, Kouzzina, that just opened at Disney’s Boardwalk), Andrew Zimmern (host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel), the Deen Brothers (yes, Paula’s boys) and lying TV chef Robert Irvine.
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This week, we’re back in the Champagne Room (aka: the podcast bunker) to rag on episode 6 of the new season on Top Chef.

I have to admit that the “Angels and Devils” theme for the Quickfire Challenge was a bit cheesy (and so were some of the dishes, and I’m not talking dairy here). The cheftestants had to create a duo dish using one main component two ways. Some of the chefs were a bit peeved at Robin’s win with her apple salad and apple crisp. Was Eli right to mock her for playing the cancer story card? No. But I do have to say that Penn and Teller were awesome. Anyway, we welcomed back the lovely Michelle Bernstein from Miami (a past judge on Top Chef) as guest judge this week.

eli_robinFor their Elimination Challenge, the chefs had to deconstruct a classic dish but keep the same flavors of the original dish. The judges table was very- how shall I put this – bitchy this week. The claws were out with Padma and Michelle and it was no-holds-barred with the critiques to the chefs on the bottom of the barrel this week. It was also great to see Michelle put Toby Young in his place concerning the pronunciation of “paella” (and the city of “Barthelona”).

We also got to see Ben Folds (Ashley) on top again this week (surprisingly), as well as Redbeard (Kevin) and Angry Brother (Mike V.). From all of the flack and hate comments we received over last week’s post/episode, I won’t reveal the winner or loser. (But, seriously, why listen if you haven’t seen the episode yet?)

Highlights: Eli hates on Robin for pulling the ‘cancer card’, Ron “The Chowder King”‘s not-s0-deconstructed paella, how to pronounce “paella”, Jeff’s new bell, Katie’s thing for married chefs, and our response about the spoilers from last week’s episode.

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:
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This week, we’re back in the Champagne Room (aka: the podcast bunker) to rag on episode 5 of the new season on Top Chef.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the theme of this episode, cowboy/ranch-themed cookery, and that the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges went along with the main theme. I do wish, though, that the viewers would’ve chosen rattlesnake as the Quickfire ingredient over cactus. Rattlesnake “ceveech” anyone? It was also nice to see “What’s-her-face” (Laurine) pull out from the middle and get recognized for her food. Is she the next Carla? I don’t think so, but we have yet to see.

For the Elimination Challenge, I thought it was great/hilarious to see that the chefs had to not only cook outdoors on a camp site, but sleep there as well. We really got to separate the chefs from the line cooks when we saw who utilized their makeshift kitchen properly and who didn’t get that raw fish and 150-degree weather don’t mix. And Ron “The Chowder King” will now be referred to as “The Voodoo King” after voodoo ritual he performed on his tent.

mattinHighlights from our Podcast: Angry Brother’s incessant cockiness and whining, Ben Folds (Ashley), really needs a shower, Padma’s “cowgirl chic”, Frenchy (Mattin) makes the judges sick (literally), and Chef Tim Love’s p-p-p-poker face.

Check out season 4′s Richard Blais’ post on his thoughts about last week’s episode and on the Wonder Brothers, Bryan (“Hot Brother”) and Michael (“Angry Brother”) Voltaggio.

(Editors Note: There is a spoiler concerning the gender of the winner of this season of Top Chef in this episode of our podcast. It may or may not be correct, but don’t listen if you don’t want to hear our speculation.)

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:
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