Get Fresh with Brian Malarkey

Brian Malarkey explains how Kevin's simple cooking embodies the spirit of "Get Fresh."

on Dec 3, 20090

What a great episode of Top Chef in the picturesque fall setting of Napa Valley. All of our finalist look well rested and they have all gone through the transformation of great local chefs to national celebrity chefs. I remember when we were sent home for the break before the finals and its this time when the show is unfolding and you begin to realize the amazing popularity of Top Chef. You are recognized on the street, in the markets and just about everywhere else.   This was and is a life-altering experience, and I think it’s obvious that these four will handle it and blossom into some of the greatest chefs of our time. 

From the very first episode it was obvious these were going to be the four that were going to be competing for all the prizes and the glory! Watching them all get rocked around on the train and get back into the flow of the show was great. They all have such refined and defined styles that are completely different, and so representative of the popular trends in the culinary world today. 

Here at “Healthy Remix”, I’ve have been talking, laughing, and carrying on about how to live a bit better, healthier, and more fulfilled without giving up to much of the bold flavors of life and this episode was filled with everything we have been working toward. 

Fresh local products cooked with integrity to the individual ingredients. To judge this episode would have been thrilling and troubling at the same time. To enjoy these crafted dishes and pick them apart for flaws looked like such a burden and a task. I usually love to rip one or more of the contestants but on this episode I wanted them all to win. Well, not all of them. Michael and his cocky attitude really appear jagged compared with Kevin and Jen's easygoing ways, but I love his cooking, especially when he has to leave his gimmicks behind and use the more approachable techniques.

As far as being healthy and taking something home from this episode, I believe we can learn the most from Kevin’s vegetarian dish and its simplicity. Cooking beets and carrots that are perfectly seasoned is something we can all do. It's approachable, easy, and tastes great. All of the chefs were ecstatic to be using great produce and proteins that were available from the fertile soil of Napa Valley. You, as home chefs, also have the ability to find out what is grown locally and seasonally, and I believe if you seek these farmers or markets out and try the difference you to will be ecstatic. Yes, it's hard to do all the time and often you don’t have the time, energy, or resources, but don’t let this be an excuse not to pretend that the products you have available to you cannot be appreciated and cooked properly. Most important is to use your produce or protein in a timely manner, don’t overcook your vegetables and proteins, use good olive oil, and season properly. You can be a Top Chef in your own home. Don't be scared to get out there and try something new or do something old, but more importantly, have fun!
Side Notes:

I didn’t think Padma could get more beautiful, but motherhood has her glowing even brighter.

Michael Chiarello is a good guy and it's great that he gets the opportunity to show it without having to deal with Dale’s “asshole” scene-stealing maneuvers from Masters.

If you haven’t been to Napa, now you know what all the hype is about. Time to take a trip!

Doctors say drinking a glass of red wine a day is good for your heart, and I say it's good for your soul! Drink up, my friends. It's all part of “Getting Fresh at Healthy Remix!”

Go KEVIN!

Cheers!

6 comments
phan
phan

I love this season because the stupid "drama" is gone. Yes, the brothers have their sibling rivalry issues. That's normal and it would be sad if one of them wins and not the other. But, the drama of who is sleeping with whom and of what sex, etc. is gone.. and the incessant cursing, fighting, downing each other in the private interviews, etc. it is nice to just watch them cook and we can learn from it.. yes.. the initial premise of this show? Your season was full of crap/drama and meanness. We are glad that is over. We have many friends who had stopped watching the past couple of seasons when it got crazy and "all Bravo"/reality show fake drama..

Maegan
Maegan

But Brian, if we could all be Top Chefs at home, I wouldn't need to watch the show. I don't want to watch a show where the chefs can make the same food I can make at home. How boring is that?

While I appreciate that Kevin's food is simple and tastes good--as a foodie, that's really not the kind of food I'd seek out to eat. I'm looking for a complex dish that tastes good too. And the Chef(s) that I think that can deliver on this request are Bryan and Michael. If the competition were "simple chef" Kevin deserves to win all the way. But the chef(s) that can produce a dish that is truly unique, outstanding an amazing, my money is on the brothers!

mmc
mmc

I love Kevins way of cooking.He makes the food I want to eat each and every time.Iloved his dishes so much. I want him to win.Bryan too is good and I think better than Michael when all is said and done.I would hate to be their Mother if one wins. If one wins then the other loses and as a Mother of Sons I would find that to be between a rock and a hard place!I like Michael Chiarello and think he's a great chef.He got so intense because Dale was so disrespectful and truly rude and nasty. I would have liked to see Dale punched in the nose and I never advocate violence.Those Top chef masters all showed respect for one another. That's why they have achieved what they have.I love fresh myself Brian. Thanks for the blog!

Jrenew
Jrenew

Go Kevin ! Malarkey I think you got booted to soon ! Cheers

Mighty Mouse
Mighty Mouse

Brian, For those of us who cannot or should not drink, wouldn't a glass of grape juice a day have the same health benefits for the heart? Both come from red grapes, correct? Thanks.

Sondra
Sondra

I agree all the way....especially about Dale!