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No Artificial Sweetness!

Brian Malarkey insists that you don't need to eat poorly to have good comfort food.

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And our new Top Chef is Michael V.! Wrapping up an incredible season with star studded power. The final three competitors are the most talented chefs ever assembled on Top Chef, and what a great ride it has been.

Low on drama and high on talent! No kissing behind closed doors and no head shaving. This crew came to cook and cook they did.  

The brothers killed it on the draw for sous-chefs and poor Kevin was left to fend for himself and he did a great job. Bryan had the dream team with Jen and Ashley, who I thought got kicked off far too soon. Eli, of course, was a great pull for Michael, unlike last year when I thought Richard Blais won the title for Hosea, and Carla did not lose because of Casey. This year the sous-chefs played a much smaller role.   

I was pulling for Kevin all season because of his great “aw shucks” attitude and was turned off by Michael’s belittling of Kevin’s cuisine, but at the end of the day, the right guy won, and that doesn’t always happen on Top Chef. Usually there is always an argument as to who shoulda and who coulda, but this was a dominating performance over the entire season by Michael.   He’s got the whole package with innovation, creation, and an overall “badass” approach.  Would I eat his food everyday? No. But I would I save up and enjoy the experience immensely, yes! Now I could go and hang out with Kevin’s cuisine on a daily basis. Bryan’s food looked great and I would love to try it, but like his personality, was constantly knocked for lack of flavor. 

Bringing the moms in was a fun twist, and that brings us to our focus on Healthy Remix on this final episode. Comfort food is all the rage. With the slumping economy and the dollar tight, we look more for comfort in our food and booze to make us feel secure. I love a home-cooked meal with love and simplicity that reminds me of my childhood. My mom used to make this dish called Cream Chipped Beef on Toast (shit on a shingle) and I was so excited to see Jen pull it off this season. Now that’s not what we want to eat at Healthy Remix because it probably has more calories then a truckload of Big Macs. So what are some simple ideas, affordable ideas, and of course healthy ideas to cook at home? I love the old standby roasted chicken with potatoes and roasted vegetables. How easy and how healthy is that? Salt, pepper, and olive oil, throw in some garlic and herbs, and you have great flavor. No butter, no cream, eat lots of vegetable and greens, easy on the dark meat, and of course laughter burns calories. Roasted pork is always priced right and is fairly lean; with apples literally falling out of the trees you have a great accompaniment. Being the seafood guy I love to buy a side of salmon (not Atlantic), roast fennel and tomatoes on top of it finish it with olives, herbs, and Parmesan. Think salmon pizza! Most importantly, make it easy and fun because in three years, five years, ten years, are you really going to remember what you ate or are you going to remember the friends you ate with, the conversations, the laughter? The most important key to your health is your mental “spirit,” and that is what you should focus on the most. A little fat or that piece of cake will not hurt you anywhere close to as much as a heart that is not filled with joy. Thanks for taking this ride with me this season and enjoy the online classes. Thank you, Diet Coke, for your support and everyone at Bravo for keeping the seafood guy from San Diego in the stupid hat around. Congratulations to all of the finalists and most importantly to Michael! 

Fan Favorite? Do I hear Robin? NO! Let's give Kevin or Eli the love.


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