Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Very 1995

Find out what Harold thinks of deconstructed dishes.

Let's start with that controversial Quickfire. Robin talks about her cancer and Eli makes a little remark when she wins… You’re not gonna get points for saying something like that. You can’t really relate to what this woman’s been through. She was definitely showing there, and he should trust the judges. I mean, I’m not into hearing the stories so much though. I’d rather eat the food and talk about cooking.

I thought the Penn & Teller stuff was really cool. It was really amazing to see how they did that. The whole point of the elimination was deconstructed food. I do very little deconstruction and we have done it, but it feels very 1995 to me. It seems like that was a ‘90s trend. In fact, I’ve had very few dishes deconstructed that I really enjoyed. The last one I had was a crab cake-esque dish with a remoulade, so it was all the elements of tartar sauce broken down. It was made into little drops mixed together to taste like tartar sauce. There was celery and old bay, and instead of breadcrumbs to bind the cake there was a crab tuille. It did work at the end of the day. The crab element was very so-so, but the tartar was very well done.

Kevin won with his deconstructed mole. They loved it and mole seems to be very popular. Ron went home for the paella, which was not deconstructed at all. Paella is very difficult to time properly. There’s a big discussion about crust on paella because of Michele Bernstein’s suggestion to utilize it in the deconstruction. I’ve cooked in Spain and I don’t have the recollection to go back and say where in Spain I’ve had crust and where I didn’t, but the ingredients in Paella differ so much depending on where you are. They are ridiculously different. If you’re down South, it’s all shellfish. Up north, you can have pork and rabbit. I remember the ingredients vividly, but I don’t remember the crust or where they had it exactly. I almost never order paella. It needs to be done in a large quantity, and individually it’s not the same. It’s one of my favorite things to cook for a dinner party. You have to baby it, and it takes time, but it’s one pan and it’s done.

That's all for this week!



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Make Top Chef Mei Lin's Winning Dessert!

Learn how to make the dish Tom Colicchio called the best dessert in Top Chef history!

Mei Lin's Strawberry Lime Curd, Toasted Yogurt, Milk Crumble, Mint

Strawberry Lime Curd Ingredients and Directions
1c Strawberry Puree
3 Eggs (Whisked Together)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 lb. Butter
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
TT Lime (zest and juice)

1. Cook over double boiler.
2. Add limejuice and zest to taste.

Lime Puree Ingredients and Directions
20 Limes Zest
Simple Syrup
Grape Seed Oil

1. Cooked in simple syrup.
2. Blend with grape seed oil.

Milk Crumble Ingredients and Directions
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Panko
1 Cup Milk Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (melted)
1 Cup Bee Pollen

1. Combine.
2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.

Yogurt + Lime Ice Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt Yogurt
1 Qt Crema
4 Limes (zest and juice)

1. Charge 2 times in Isi.
2. Disperse in bowl of nitrogen.

Toasted Yogurt Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt. Greek Yogurt

1. Char until dark.
2. Blend.

To Garnish
Fresh Strawberries and Mint





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