Hello my little buttermilk pies! Why buttermilk pie you might ask? Well, I had a really delicious meal this week with Anthony (who you might know from Andy Cohen's video blogs) at The Breslin, the latest offering from Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield. that ended with -- you guessed it -- buttermilk pie with black rasberries. The whole meal was hearty and delicious, and I highly recommend the lamb burger, which — according to our server — is the most-ordered item. The cumin in the dish brings it to a whole other level. A table next to us ordered a whole pig, sooo I'll probably have to gather a group to get that next time as I'll definitely be going back. The food was not only excellent, but the ambiance was very chill, and the detail in the furtniture, etc. was beautiful. Also, Chef Bloomfield was right in the kitchen putting her signature finish on every plate. Seriously, I saw her adjusting garnish, and that my friends is why she's a top chef.
Anyway, before I get to this week's challenge, I want to address a couple points I saw in the Comments section after my last blog. First, it looks like I really hit a nerve with my lactose intolerance comment. Although semantically it may have seemed I was referring to the yogurt being a problem in one of the dishes last week, I really thought the mac 'n' cheese would cause a problem, or at least it would for all the lactose intolerants I know. My lactose-intolerant sister actually can't have yogurt anymore, but she has all sorts of stomach issues, so who knows. If my "science" is still wrong, I apologize.
Oh, and for those who have suggested transcribing Eric Ripert's vlog, we're on it! So, check back for that soon.
Also, I thought the commenters who brought up the peanut question had some great points. I hadn't even thought of that being a problem, and that doesn't mean discussion of it isn't sitting on the cutting room floor. I'm not sure how many schools have put the kibosh on peanuts and its byproduts in their cafeterias, but I know at least my camp did while I was a counselor there and that was several years ago, so i'm sure the number of schools and camps doing so has only increased since then.
OK, onto this week's challenges! For the Quickfire, we forced a begrudging bunch of chefs to make dessert. I swear, "dessert" has the same reaction on this show as uttering "Moufasa" does in The Lion King. The judges for this Quickfire were none other than Ms. Gail Simmons, the glorious new host of Top Chef: Just Desserts and cutie pie (see what I did there?) Johnny Iuzzini, who Padma announced as Head Judge of Desserts. Find out who will be joining the esteemed judging panel HERE. So, the chefs were tasked with making pies. I love pie. in the great Cake vs. Pie debate I think I just might pick pie. But don't quote me on that. Anyway, there were some savory pies, which sounded kind of cool and some super-sweet pies. In the end, Kenny's bananas foster cake-esque pie won. I've eaten Bananas Foster in the place it was originated, Brennans Restaurant in New Orleans, so I would've loved to see how this stacked up. Kenny was obviously pretty happy to win a challenge over Angelo. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs had to grill for some Capitol Hill linterns. Since my name is Monica, every time I hear anything about Hill interns I shudder. The jokes that were made in my youth still haunt me. The interns and chefs traveled to Mount Vernon for the challenge and the fabulous Jonathan Waxman joined them to guest judge. Have I mentioned how much I love Chef Waxman lately? I have? Well, I do. Everything seemed pretty standard as far as BBQ food went. I was a little nervous for some of them though. I was not only nervous for Stephen's fish, however, but Ed's fish as well. I had flashbacks to Sandee Birdsong's vanilla lobster debacle from Top Chef: Miami. And although it looks like Stephen's dish actually didn't come out as expected (is there anything worse than non-crispy bacon?), Ed's was a hit. I loved hearing how he used to cook with his dad and that his father told him that he surpassed even him. Arnold's lamb seemed original too, as he attempted to step out of the traditional burgers and hot dogs box. In fact, it was Arnold's lamb kofta that won the day! Unfortunately stepping out of this box didnt' prove too well for Kevin as he was slammed for his lackluster Puerto Rican food. I've made some bad rice and beans in my day so who knows what his were like, but I felt kinda bad for him. If that's what his Puerto Rican family makes and enjoys, then, um, I don' t know — I just felt bad.
It looks like even though she didn't win the challenge, Amanda finally got some respect from her fellow chefs, making ribs that apparently far surpassed Timothy's. Do you think if Angelo saw Amanda as a threat he would have so openly complimented her dish? I wonder.
What do you guys think? Which pie was worthy of a cameo in Waitress 2? (That's not a real upcoming project.) And, how excited are you for Top Chef: Just Desserts?!