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Star studded Sunday Funday in Cleveland.
Stopped by Amp150 (@AMP150Cleveland) for a few quick bites. Again, Chef Cooley too busy to come out to talk. Note: Menu has changed and we miss the rabbit spaetzle. NOT excited about the changes.
Making our way back north, we opted for everyone’s favorites “where everyone knows your name…” – E4th Street.
Had a special birthday celebration for one of our staff so we decided to hang out with all the other foodies in Cleveland. As we leisurely strolled down E4th in Cleveland, we were stunned to see Top Chef Master Obi Wan himself!!!
OK-so his name isn’t Obi Wan, but most people know him as Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in cool West Village Manhattan, NYC. Already a “famous” celebrity Chef, he was featured on Season 2 of Top Chef Masters where he battled it out with Chef Rick Moonen, Chef Marcus Samuelson, and Chef SuSur Lee…He should have been in the final 3.
Anyways, Chef Waxman was standing there tasting his Lombardia Style Pork Ribs just laughing and talking away so we chatted for a few as he was busy at a private party at Lola. Wait, didn’t he make these same ribs while on Top Chef Masters too? (I bet Host Kelly Choi didn’t eat any – put something in your mouth!). Ahem–fun times with Chef Waxman. BTW-I heard they raised over $150,000 for Autism Speaks – Nice work!
Chef Waxman IRL vs Chef Waxman on TV? He’s the same. REALLY nice and smiley. Awesome!
Also chatted with The Greenhouse Chef Jonathan Sawyer (@thegreenhouse). He was laughing and smiling as usual.
Few minutes later, we found ourselves talking with his wife @Chefswidow (For those that don’t know about her blog, you should read it here). After talking to @Chefswidow , we all agree that Chef Jonathan Sawyer IS kinda like a big teddy bear. Don’t worry, plutonic man-hugging only.
Congrats on their new house too!
Iron Chef Michael Symon (@mdsymon) was doing his thing. Well, it was his restaurant Lola Bistro. Let’s play “Where’s Symon?” (kinda like Where’s Waldo? but IRL).
I think the only one we missed was Chef Anne Burrell….heck we even saw our favorite wine gal from Whole Foods in University Heights (@WholeFoods).
After leaving all of the celebrity Chefs, we trudged over to The Chocolate bar on Euclid. Had ginormous order of cheesecake (wasn’t that good) and then devoured a gigantic Chocolate fudge brownie Sunday at Chocolate Bar. #naptime #dunzo
Awesome Sunday Funday in the CLE. What will this week bring? More celebrities?
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
Top Chef Masters Season 2 – Spoiler alert – you’ve been warned.
Top Chef Masters Season 2 final episode-Of course each Chef had their own great stories…but the word “Master” should evoke years of respect and accomplishments…clearly not the case in this season’s final judgement.
As a “Master”, the Chef should take chances and envision the future. Even Rick Moonen, a Chef with overcompensating man parts cause he’s “the fish guy”, went out of his comfort zone and made venison. Venison people! Purely on his exploration of his future, out of his comfort zone, this should have gandered him more stars.
Judge/Author Jay Rayner was swooned by Moonen’s oyster. In fact, hilariously homo Saveur Editor James Oseland asked Moonen to marry him. Give your future husband 5 stars will ya?!?!?
SuSur Lee’s heartbreaking story of his first wife, no doubt, brought a tear to everyone in the audience. In SuSur’s first dish, Gail Simmons of Food and Wine Magazine gushes about the black bean sauce.
Oseland said they were transported to the Dim Sum Restaurant that SuSur and Father visited. Love it. From the heart.
Susur’s third dish, according to Frontera Grill’s Chef Rick Bayless, Chiang Mai sausage on lamb “…pretty much nailed it” and “even better than the original Chiang Mai”.
Chef Samuelson should not have won. A bit younger, Chef Samuelson has been featured in TONS of food publications-but we feel the young lad needs a bit more time to braise before elevating him into the Top Chef “Masters” category. Besides, flan is so 2004 (Check the cover of America’s Test Kichen’s Cooks Illustrated, The New Best Recipe).
True his dishes were a reflection on his skills and his plight to introduce Ethopian food to the world should not outshine the efforts of his Sweedish background which wasn’t really apparent. Now if he tied more of the Sweedish into the Ethopian…now you got a show.
So envision in your mind about a “Master” …now Marcus Samuelson and Rick Bayless. Even at 4am, drunk with slurred speech, Chef Rick Bayless wins.
All three chefs worked hard and appeared to have produced dishes that they were generally happy with.
Other random thoughts:
1. Kelly Choi should not be so skinny if she is adjudicates a cooking competition. Eat something!
2. Apreciated that Bottega Chef Michael Chiarello kept his mouth shut.
3. Wanted more mainstream reviewers to weigh in on the final judgement. Maybe Les Halles Chef Anthony Bourdain, The French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller, Lola/Lolita Iron Chef Michael Symon…I’d even take Food Network’s hotness Chef Giada DeLaurentiis (C’mon, play nice with the other networks).
Overall Top Chef Masters Season 2 wasn’t as exciting as Season 1…but we did appreciate more theatrics and f-bombs (Bayless, you’re just too nice). And if this is any indication of “Masters” seasons to come, I am sure a Chef, on the show, will get drunk…then naked…and then pregnant…typical Bravo TV. We can all thank those Real Housewives of Stupidtown shows.
So raise a glass to ratings…I mean good food!
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms