Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Vinaigrette is King

Gail: I Wasn't Surprised Doug Stayed on Top

Get Doug's Masterpiece Brisket Recipe

Make Melissa's Seared Duck Breast Dish

Gail on Innovation (and George's Failure to Push It)

Make Melissa's Mom's Egg Custard

Hugh Worries About Scurvy and Foie Gras

Make Mei's Inspired Duck a l'Orange

Gail Has No Problem With Blood

Make George's Cravable Breakfast Sausage

Gail Simmons Won't Be Pushed Around

Make Doug's Winning Mussels

Tom Colicchio Answers Your Restaurant Wars Qs

Gail: It Wasn't Keriann's Day

Make Doug's Winning Braised Pork!

Gail: We Had a Tough Job This Week

Make Katsuji's Authentically Delicious Stuffing

Hugh: The Demise of Cornwallis and Aaron

Make Gregory's Winning Dumplings

Richard: Chefs Please Follow Instructions

Richard Tries Money Ball Soup

Make a Home Run-Worthy Popcorn Crème Brule

Hugh: Where There's a Will There's a Fenway

Gail: Keriann and Aaron Were Being ---holes

Make the Winning Surf and Turf

Gail: We're Taking No Prisoners

Richard Goes From Player to Announcer

Tom Talks Boston

Gail: There Was No Season 11 Underdog

Hugh Wants Nick to Be Kind to Himself

Gail: It Was Difficult to Let Go of Shirley

Big Easy to Ocean Breezy

Gail: The Final Four Are Like Our Children

Emeril Is Proud to Serve Shirley's Dish

Hugh: Enough With the Mexican Food Hate

Gail on Favreau, Choi, and Finding Yourself

Hugh on Poor Boys, Swingers and Food Trucks

Emeril: Nick's Choice Is Part of the Game

Nick's License to Immune

Hugh's Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Hugh Decides Eight Is Enough

Vinaigrette is King

Leave the butter-based sauces at the door.

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Love thy escargot, thy cream, thy butter and thy wine!

Get Fresh French-style with butter mounted sauce of Malarkey! For the most part Americans have visions of French food as being very heavy-handed with cream, butter, stocks, lips, and assholes. The French brought us snails and frog legs, rabbit and thymus glands. When the whole beast had been used the French found even more intense flavor in the marrow of the bones. Master of cheese and breads, fat and flavor, courses that go on for hours and hours, makers of the finest wines, the best bubbles and cognacs that whisper to the soul!  Forever immortalized on our soil by the interpretations of the great Julia Child. The French know how to live life to the fullest with culinary extravagance and so can we!

Yet, the French have always been the revolutionaries of cuisine and from this we can learn the most. We have moved a long way from aspics, terrines, and galantines. We have learned that we don’t need the heavy cream sauces and starch marination to cover meats that are on the edge of spoiling because of lack of refrigeration and proper sanitation. The old images of French food are fading as fast as the ladies of this season on TC 6 (No disrespect, Jen). With the likes of the greatest French chefs of our time, Joel Robuchon and Daniel Boulud in attendance, we get to watch our chefs re-interpret classic “French food” and the ones that were successful were the ones who evolved, and used the basic idea of proper cooking techniques, not the literal translation but “playing” with their food! This is what I want you to do-play with your food and have fun. Cook French, speak French, make love like the French and most importantly, live like the French- IN MODERATION!

The reason you have read this far into this “gaudy” blog is to learn what I would do to make some of these fun dishes at home, but healthier then their ancestors. Here at Get Fresh, I scream form the top of the mountains “Put away the butter and leave the cow’s tits alone. No cream for this crew. It's all about Vinaigrette!"

vinaigrette |ˌvinəˈgret|
1 (also vinaigrette dressing) salad dressing of oil, wine vinegar, and seasoning.
ORIGIN French, diminutive of vinaigre ‘vinegar.’

This is the key to our happiness and our health. The mixture of vinegar and olive oil, plus whatever flavors you care to use. I don’t like egg-emulsified vinaigrettes, and I don’t want you to think I’m telling you to run off to the grocery store and buy a bottle of canola oil processed with all kinds of additives and sugar. I’m talking about a good, hand-whipped blend of your favorite vinegar, infused with whatever flavors you like and combined with light and bright XVOO! For more intense flavors reduce the vinegar by at least half, let cool, and then mix. This works great with balsamic vinegar and its natural sugars. Out here, where the surf meets the turf, vinaigrettes are king-full of flavor, healthy, and light. They go with foul, pig, goat, cow, and horse – radish that is! The French invented them and now you can use them with pride. Tell your friends you have some great French dishes to try out on them, and make a healthy meal with no butter or cream, just lots of great flavor!   

Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know your thoughts. I saw a comment on my last blog about “Mr. Potato Head Malarkey”,  and I wanted to point out that no, I am not a nutritionist, but more of a realist. It’s impossible to be perfect but let's just try and do the best we can. Most importantly, take what you want and laugh with me about the rest. Have a great week, and of course “GET FRESH!”