Top Chef Masters: The Vegan Challenge

If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s I LOVE TOP CHEF. I LOVE IT I LOVE IT. Part of the reason is because I LOVE TO COOK…OR UN-COOK, depending on my meal. I love to put the time and the effort and the work into prepping for a beautiful meal (unlike alot of raw foodies, which I totally understand.) Although prep work and being in the kitchen can be a pain to many, it’s an absolute joy to me and is so therapeutic. So I love love love the food network and Top Chef – yeahhh!! Cannot wait for the new episodes to start – August 19th, I think from Vegas! Anyway, if you didn’t catch it last night, here’s the recap: the remaining finalists were challenged to cook a meal for actress Zooey Deschanel. The catch? She’s vegan AND has food allergies to things like gluten, dairy, eggs, soy. So these brilliant chefs, who are so used to cooking proteins like beef and fish, were left with their eyes wide opened and a confused look on their faces. It was awesome. This episode meant so much to me because I am soooo going to re-create these dishes. The only thing I did not like, however, about the episode is that the judges made it sound like vegans can’t eat anything. SO NOT TRUE. And such an ignorant and uneducated attitude from these judges, who are supposed to be the culinary elite. Whatever. Onto the food, yo! Here are the dishes that were presented:

Chef Anita Lo (my personal fave) made Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Lentil Salad and Cashew Sauce

anita-elim

Chef Art Smith made Strawberry Champagne Soup. Strawberry Rice Ice Cream and Almond Brittle. By the way, he got voted off.

art-elim

Chef Hubert Keller made White Gazpacho with Grapes and Vanilla Oil Timbale of Avocado & Asparagus, Roasted Beet Salad. I want to make that avocado timbale BIG TIME!!!

hubert-eliim

Chef Michael Chiarello (I ALSO LOVE HIM!!!) made Quinoa Pasta with Salsa Verde and Gremolata, Tomatoes (and Crispy Basil Leaf)

mike-elim

Lastly, Chef Rick Bayliss (who is SUCH a nice guy on TV) made Corn Tamales with Chile-Braised Beans, Braised Greens, and Glazed Mushrooms

ruck-elim

So that’s the wrap-up. By the way, in case you’re wondering, I am soooo going to try and make Michael’s dish this weekend but with spelt pasta – my fave! Ciao for now!

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