EAT – Top Chef Quickfire


Yes, it’s true, I’ve been a Top Chef fan from day 1. Some times the show irritates me, but mostly it’s entertaining. Are you like me, when you see what the quickfire challenge is, you try to come up with what you’d do? I’m always amazed at what (most) of the cheftestants create. My biggest question has always been, how does it REALLY taste?  Well last night I got to find out. 

There’s a new Top Chef cookbook out, The Quickfire Cookbook, and there was a book signing event at Purcell Murray, the fabulous kitchen showroom.


 Three local San Francisco cheftestants were there —  Jennifer Biesty and Ryan Scott from season 4 and Jaime Lauren from season 5.  Each made one of their quickfire challenge dishes.  They were ALL good.  I think the crowd favorite was Ryan’s lamb patties.  I also loved Jaime’s chickpea soup, with vadouvan spice, and Jennifer’s shrimp and scallop beignets.   And we dished about behind the scenes — and sorry, I can’t reveal the juicy stuff…just know that things don’t happen in the timeline you see on the show.  And stew room sessions can last 6-7 hours, ending around 2 am. 

ryan plates lamb pattiesJaime tops chickpea sou[tn-2

If you watch the show, you’ll know there’s a new wine label out there — Quickfire wines.  We’ve seen the cheftestants drink them in the stew room.  The ’08 Chard and ’05 Cab were being poured.

tn-1pour red wine

I really wanted to like these wines, esp. at the 20 dollar price point.  But I just didn’t like them. Both wines over oaked, and very little fruit comes through, plus they are thin and flabby.  I’m told they were made to highlight the wide variety of quickfire dishes.  Well if that’s the case, I can definitely say the wine does not overpower or compete with the dishes.

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