Our judges say their favorite dishes are family affairs.

on May 16, 2011 - The Dish

 

Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio of Top Chef
If you're looking for the ultimate culinary experience, our Top Chef judges say stay home -- no one does it like mom.

The Today Show grilled some of our favorite chefs about their favorite meals, and they kept it in the family. "It's the leg of lamb that mom was roasting every Sunday," Eric Ripert told Today. "With a family, we were enjoying every Sunday the leg of lamb or the roasted chicken and it was a gathering that would start at twelve o'clock and we'd get out of the table at five PM. Eating obviously the meat and vegetables, and the adults drinking, the kids kind of drinking too."

For Top Chef Masters' Curtis Stone, the experience was a similar one, though a bit of a smorgasbord. "I remember my Granny used to cook this beautiful roast leg of lamb, and she'd do crispy potatoes, and green beans, and peas, and she'd make this garlic bread; none of it matches," he said. "My memories as a child of having that and sitting around with my family are special, so I'd probably have that."

As for Tom Colicchio? A little torn at first, turns out he's a momma's boy at heart. "The chili crab in Singapore, actually the white pepper crab in Singapore is one of my favorite things. I will travel there just for that dish," he explained. "But if I had to choose one, my mom's Sunday gravy." And he was even willing to let us in on a little family recipe secret! "The moment you have marinara sauce, which is just tomatoes, and some people put onions in it, my mother never did, but when you take fried meatballs and sausage and braciole, the moment that meat goes into the marinara sauce, it becomes gravy. That's it."

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