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Brown Hornet

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  1. I'm assuming you're referring to the bridge construction on interstate 85. Assuming that, there are tons of great places on the downtown/midtown side -- frankly most of the best ATL places are on that side although there are not great options in the immediate vicinity (i.e. walking distance) of the convention itself. Here's a list by rough location: Westside/Midtown -- a short drive from GWCC heading north up Marietta St. to Howell Mill/Northside: Cooks & Soldiers -- Spanish/Basque. If you haven't had this before I'd loosely describe it as upscale tapas, lots of
  2. I've been pretty impressed with the quality of the competition so far based on the last two episodes. Every dish in last night's episode looked fantastic -- I love the episodes where even the 'losing' dishes were still great but just not quite a great as the winners. Usually this early in the season they are still weeding out clearly inferior contestants but this season everyone has brought their A game.
  3. My random thoughts on first episode -- spoilers ahead I guess: . . . . . . . . . Still not sure I like the old vs. new format. One of the things I like about Top Chef is getting to know the new chefs. Bravo will never do this but I wouldn't mind if the show took an 18-24 month sabbatical to come back with a new crop of talent. Really happy that Jim, the southern trekkie won with basically fried chicken livers. That hits like about a dozen different sweet spots for me. Also impressed with Silvia -- 2 chicken dishes including a fre
  4. I guess it depends on how you define an All Star. Most of those former contestants made it to the final four of their respective seasons and I believe a couple of them were in the finals. I understand that they need to keep tweaking the formula but I'm not sure how I feel about the 50/50 split between old and new contestants. Hope they find a way to do justice to southern cooking this year.
  5. Very true -- oxtails are another example. They were a soul food/southern meat+3 staple for decades. Now I'm lucky if I can find them for $5/lb even at our local farmers markets.
  6. Cool! Glad the Southeast is finally getting some love. Having lived in the south 20+ years I've come to the opinion that southern cuisine is about as close as we have to an indigenous American food culture.
  7. I was pulling for Amar -- he should've won just for pulling off the notoriously lethal risotto dish. Still, Jeremy was a strong contender from the first episode so it's not too surprising he prevailed in the end. Marjorie, Isaac and Kwame were my sentimental favorites. Overall I throught it was a decent season. I liked a lot of the contestants and other than Phillip, there were very few abrasive personalities. I also liked the format of traveling to different locations throughout California instead of staying in one city. OTOH, for some reason the season seemed to be a bit dull
  8. Spoilers from last night ahead . . . . . Overall this was my favorite kind of TC episode in that all four of the finalists brought their "A" game -- there wasn't a single dish that didn't look fantastic. Sorry to see Marjorie and Isaac go -- they were my favorites all season. The next time I'm in NOLA I'm definitely going to check out Toups' Meatery! That said, I was happy for Amar to make it to the finals from LCK, and Jeremy has been a strong and classy competitor all year. I liked that instead of eliminating the bottom
  9. I don't really watch the ATK too much anymore but I did want to add that I have one of their old cookbooks for Soups and Stews and in general I think it's a fantastic reference. Unlike the show, which has obvious time constraints, the cookbook has detailed explanations about how they developed their recipes and their thought process in choosing to include or omit certain ingredients or techniques. I found that information very helpful in developing my own preferred recipes.
  10. Every season of Top Chef has had its finale in a different location than the rest of the season and the finale is typically shot well after the regular season is filmed. Cities that vie to host Top Chef know full well that it doesn't include the finale.
  11. I'm surprised folks feel that strongly between Mei and Gregory. I thought both were strong contenders and acquitted themselves well in the finale. I was slightly pulling for Gregory, but wasn't surprised that Mei won based on the judge's comments. A 4 course meal based on the best dishes tonight would be pretty awesome: Gregory's Octopus -- Mei's Congee -- Gregory's Short Rib Mole -- and Mei's dessert.
  12. Thanks for the link huiray -- nice interview. Sorry Doug didn't make it, still seems weird that he got dinged more for the Escamole dish vs. a fancy guac but that's Top Chef for you. Gregory and Mei were the two front runners most of the season, so I think it will be a great finale tonight. Overall, I think this has been a pretty enjoyable season largely because the final 6-7 chefs were all high quality competitors/chefs and rootable. No real flukes slipped through to the finals as in some years past. I'd rank this season well above the bottom seasons -- Texas/DC/NYC -- and just above
  13. Missed this post earlier. I don't have as much time to eat out as before but here are some updates on ATL's dining scene -- I'll start with Woodfire Grill since you asked about it specifically. It used to be helmed by Chef Tyler Williams and while he was there it was fantastic -- along with Bacchanalia among the top 2-3 restaurants in Atlanta bar none. Dishes were very forward thinking -- smart incorporation of both modernist techniques with the namesake "woodfire" grill. I have not been back since he left last year, but I have heard positive reviews for the new chef. I would, however,
  14. We ended up with the final 4 I was pulling for all season and they didn't disappoint. It was good to see Doug make a strong comeback. It's tough when someone goes home for a strong dish, but episodes like this are Top Chef at its best. Between Doug/Mei/Gregory I couldn't begin to pick a favorite, I just hope the last two episodes are as strong as this one.
  15. I really liked Adam, but his whining about the 2-3 "molecular" ingredients was weak. I thought Blais picked pretty easy ingredients to work with -- shrimp, mussels, peppers, bacon, chorizo, fish -- that's almost a paella right there. I'm rooting for him to do well in LCK. I would've preferred for Melissa to be cut, at least Adam tried something outside the box although I have no idea what a flash marinated shrimp is supposed to be. Melissa's aim low strategy isn't going to cut it much longer at this stage of the competition. Gregory and Dougie seem like the clear front runners at this
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