If you aren’t already engrossed in season 3 of Top Chef, you better start watching now to catch up on the action. Episode 2, “Sunny Delights”, as named by Bravo, features Chef Norman Van Aken as guest judge. As any good chef’s wife knows, Chef Van Aken is the god of Florida “new world” cuisine (ok, honestly, what does that really mean?).
The 14 remaining cheftestants were charged with a citrus Quickfire (winner: Hung) and an upscale bbq challenge. For the main event, each chef received $200 to buy their ingredients, 2 hours for prep, and 2 hours for onsite bbq cooking. Right out of the gate, I was worried for Sarah. When she claimed that she didn’t know that scotch bonnet peppers were among the hottest in the world, I got a little nervous. Even I know that – of course I do. Anyway, Sarah managed to pull through and landed in the top 3. Joey and Howie, on the other hand, were not so lucky. Joey’s NYC chef ego and hot temper are not going to get him too far. When he tried to throw Howie under the bus, the tough guys went at it and it got a little scary. Ultimately, it was spiky Sandy that got sent home for not grilling in a bbq competition. What do you know? Makes sense to me. Kudos to Brian, who won for his chino latino dish and serving flair!
After two great Top Chef episodes, I find myself wondering, will my chef become a Top Chef? Will he face challenges from Padma and Tom and whip any godforsaken ingredient into a culinary masterpiece? Well ladies and gentlemen, only time can tell. For now, I’m happy to have my chef here with me in NYC.
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