Next was a French Onion and Truffle Soup. When Julie announced that “truffles taste like sex,” everyone just about lost it, mid-slurp.
Vanessa did exactly what I asked her to do: go a little crazy and take some risks. Little did I know she’d do it with the main course! She made Braised Short Ribs, which normally take three hours to cook. As I demonstrated on Michael, short ribs come from the center portion of the steer, where muscle development (and hence toughness) is low and fat content (and hence rich marbling) is high. At its most fundamental, braising refers to the long, slow cooking of meats in a covered pan with some liquid. How Vanessa pulled off tender juicy ribs like these in such a short time, I’ll never know. They were served Haitian-style with stewed legumes and lots of truffles. It really was really tender, juicy and flavorful, and Alain said they were the best short ribs he’s ever had. ‘nuff said.
Next up was Vanessa’s Banana Tart, made with a vanilla bean pastry cream and rum caramel sauce. Did you notice how my eyes rolled to the back of my head after I took my first bite?
OK, you know where this is going. Vanessa won the 20K hands down. She had pulled it off, this dinner party, with her savory fusion of French and Haitian cuisine.
As I thought about last night’s party, I remembered how Julia Child wrote that famous cookbook at age 49 and completed her PBS series at age 85. So it seems only fitting to wax poetic this week about goals. As you consider your own life, why not dig up a few old dreams that glow somewhere inside you – like publishing a book, taking an exotic trip, inventing something amazing. Rediscover what makes you tick and think about how you can take a step in that direction again.
OK, enough seriousness. As Julia Child always ended her cooking shows – “Bon appetit.”
I was pleasantly impress with Vannessa's calm, cool, and collective demeaner.A great chef has no need to flap their wings.I was proud that she cooked two Haitian dish the Haitian legume along with the braise rib and the plaintain soup. Thank you for representing Vannessa!!! May God bless you.We love you!!!
SO want to try vanessa's Banana Tart, Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Rum Caramel Sauce! my mouth watered when i saw it! I need a recipe!
I agree, this is the best show on Bravo. It is inspiring me to get a dinner party movement started in our area.
This was a great episode. I loved Natalie's energy and enthusiasm and I thought it was great to see that she held her own against formally trained Chefs. I have many great cooks in my family. My brother is also a trained chef from the CIA. Truth is you don't need a degree to cook fantastic amazing food. You just need to have a passion for it and Natalie definitely had passion......without the pretention.
To the Sicialian Princess,get over yourself.
I have to say that this is BY FAR my favorite new Bravo show. I love the decor aspect. It gives me a lot of party theme ideas. I am not a chef, so I was wondering if French cuisine is what chefs have to learn first. You're doing a great job. Love your friends. Love the food.
Your show is the best on Bravo, at this time. I love the concept and you have selected my choice as the winner, each week.
Rocco, This is the 2nd show that I watched. I love the fact that you have the celebrity guest for your dinner parties. So far I have picked the same winner that you dind...love that! As a child I watched a lot of PBS television and Julia Childs was one of my favorite shows; so I really enjoyed the show last night. Great format...love the content! Keep up the good work Rocco...see you next week!
OMG-I almost turned the show off when Natalie mispronounced biscotti! She claims to be Sicilian (as am I) and I understand she wants to appeal to a wide audience with her cookies, however, if you're going to sell them; educate people on the correct pronunciation, please!