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Paul Kahan

The renowned Chicago chef and guest judge talks tailgating.

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Catch up on Top Chef on Peacock or the Bravo App. Are you a big Bears fan? What are the tailgates usually like?
Yes, I am. I don't usually go to tailgates but they usually have lots of people BBQing, throwing footballs, that sort of thing. What do you think the most important factors were to being successful at this challenge?
Picking an appropriate dish and organization What was the biggest problem with Ryan's dish? Could he have made a successful dessert?
It wasn't the dish -- it was the dishes. He tried to do too much and so everything suffered. Dale wins with his tandoori pork ribs -- can you elaborate on how these were, why these were a good choice?
They were appropriate for a tailgate but he brought it to the next level and they were delicious. What would you have made with this challenge?

Cooking competitions are great for some people but it isn't for me, so I wouldn't have made anything because I wouldn't have done it. Mark got called out for his sloppy work area -- how much of that do you think was due to his choosing a charcoal grill? Would you have ever chosen that to feed that many people?
I use a wood-burning grill to cook for over 100 people every summer in my backyard, but I use proper sanitation procedures. It wasn't the grill -- it was his lack of proper sanitation. How close was it between Nikki (ran out of peppers, onions), Mark (sloppy station), and Ryan (unsuccessful dessert)?
Not close at all.
blogs_406_05.jpg Can you tell us a bit about Blackbird and Avec?
Mike Sheerin is the Chef de Cuisine at Blackbird and his is really just doing amazing food. And I think the pastry chef, Tim Dahl, is making the best pastries in Chicago right now. Koren is at the top of her game and I think the Food & Wine award is just going to give her the recognition she deserves for the work she does. They all work so hard making me look good, but it is a great team effort and I really appreciate them in the kitchen. Why is Chicago such a great spot for Top Chef this year?
Because we have so much going on, from Grant Achatz to Koren and Giuseppe Tentori winning Food & Wine this year to all the NYC chefs coming to town. It is an exciting place for food. Are you a Top Chef fan? After you experience, do you see any clear front-runners yet? It was such a great time, spending time with Tom, a great chef and good friend. I do see front-runners but I am not saying anything.

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