Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Chef: Austin

I have been counting down the days till the Top Chef season 9 premiere since probably September. As of today, October 23, there are 9 days till the best premiere in Top Chef history. But what could be last year's season of All Stars? How about a season based in TEXAS :)

To quote from the Bravo website:
Whether Padma Lakshmi will be donning a cowboy hat remains to be seen, but we know she'll be saddling up with the regular judges chef Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and new two new faces -- famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson. Emeril is known for bringing the heat, and Hugh's certainly not known for holding back (just relive some of his best zings from his run on Top Chef Masters for a refresh), so it seems like they'll fit right in.

And since everything's bigger and such the competition will be in not one, but three cities -- Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. We hope the cheftestants cowboy boots are made for walking (sorry, had to!)

What other Texas-style beans are there to spill? Season 9 also promises many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events when it returns in the fall.


To promote the upcoming season of Top Chef, and to also promote Target's move to provide fresh produce in all of their stores, Target and Gail Simmons teamed up for a tour around the country. In each stop, Target offered bags of fresh produce (mine contained two avocados, an onion, and a lime to make guacamole) and Gail entertained with a Quick Fire challenge featuring local chefs. Austin welcomed the chefs, Gail and Target with true Southern hospitality and we all eagerly watched things heat up in the kitchen competition. (Lacking on clever puns today)

I convinced my friend Jordan to come with me and we had a blast, not only scoring bags of produce, but also getting to enjoy fresh squeezed lemonade and apple juice, guacamole and chips. Jordan also got chosen to participate as a judge of the food competition!!!

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It was so exciting to meet Gail Simmons in person! She raved about Austin and the food scene here.
You're exposed to a lot of food trends - are there any you're getting tired of?

"This is one that I'm not really tired of, I just think that some cities (including NYC) don't do it very well (compared to say Austin, Texas) and that's food trucks. In Austin there is literally a perma food truck "park" . There's an egg truck called "The Local Yolk" with various flavors of deviled eggs, and "Pig Vicious" with pork belly sandwiches!"
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Overall such an amazing day. I cannot wait for the season to start next Wednesday and to have my friends over for a premiere party complete with BBQ, Tex Mex, Texas Iced Tea, and pecan pie.
Audiences and chefs better be ready for an intense over the top season...

Because everything is bigger in Texas