November 1, 2011 |
In past seasons of “Top Chef,” we've had one, two or sometimes zero Chicagoans to root for. On the upcoming ninth season filmed in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, we have a whopping half dozen -- but there's no telling how long they'll stick around. Because everything's bigger in Texas, the producers decided to start the show with 29 hopefuls who have to cook their way into 16 cheftestant spots. In other words, mass elimination on the first episode, airing 9 p.m. CST Nov. 2. Though the bigger group was intimidating, Chicago's hopefuls were ready to bring it. “I feel … grateful that I'm part of a season that's different than the rest.
October 1, 2013 |
There's more to come from the New Orleans-based 11th season of "Top Chef" than host Padma Lakshmi tossing the cheftestants Mardi Gras beads instead of making them draw knives. This year's cast features a rockabilly chick, a proud recipient of the title of Philly's Hottest Chef and Stephanie Cmar, whom fans will recognize as the roommate of Season 10 winner Kristen Kish. It also features two Chicago chefs who met for the first time on the show: Carlos Gaytan of Mexique in West Town and Aaron Cuschieri of Slurping Turtle in River North.
September 26, 2013 |
Fox's competition series "MasterChef" is headed to Chicago as part of its nationwide search for Season 5 contestants. The casting call will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Oct. 19 at Le Cordon Bleu, 361 W. Chestnut St. "MasterChef" judge Graham Elliot will attend the casting event. Those planning to audition must bring one prepared dish to be served to the judges. You will be given a chance to plate your dish, but there won't be a kitchen to cook or warm the dish. You can pre-register for the call and download an application at the "MasterChef" web site to bring with you when you audition.
February 14, 2014 |
Just to be clear: This column is written by Matt Pais. It's a Matt Pais column, and the important thing to remember is that it's written by me. Matt Pais. Oh, does that sound egotistical? How about a restaurant that reopens with a new name just because they're so proud of the chef that they've acquired? It happened in 2011 when Perennial became Perennial Virant (after chef Paul Virant, who won awards for his cooking at suburban Western Springs hit Vie). It happened in November when Chuck's Manufacturing decided people were less interested in Chuck manufacturing stuff and more impressed that the bar and restaurant is now named Chuck's: A Kerry Simon Kitchen.
December 14, 2011 |
If you saw the teasers, then you knew what was coming for the remaining 12 cheftestants: The dreaded double elimination! And of course, continued conflict between Heather and Beverly, which we knew was coming. Quickfire: Guest chef Tim Love of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Forth Worth challenges the chefs to create a dish using a tequila of their choice. Elimination challenge: Cook a six-course game dinner to a panel of game-savvy chef guests -- and each other.
June 8, 2012 |
One of three chefs with Chicago ties on Bravo's"Around the World in 80 Plates"reached the end of the road Wednesday night. On a show of big personalities, travel agent-turned-chef Gary Walker proved himself a reliable supplier of one-liners and a steady source of entertainment for fans. The ladies of the Kappa Phi Delta sorority house at Illinois Institute of Technology, where Walker worked as a chef before filming the show, even got a shout-out when he chugged beer during a pub crawl challenge on the show's first episode filmed in London.
November 29, 2011 |
Do you think you have what it takes to become the next "MasterChef?" Casting directors from the series and Chef Graham Elliot are coming to Chicago Dec. 3 for an open casting call. Here are the details: "MasterChef" open call When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 Where: Le Cordon Bleu, 361 W. Chestnut in Chicago What to do: You MUST bring one prepared dish to be served to the judges, including Graham Elliot. You will be given a few minutes to plate your dish, but there will not be a kitchen to cook or warm it up so come prepared!
February 15, 2012 |
Pastry chef Amanda Rockman is known around town for her addictive Basque cake at Bucktown restaurant The Bristol, but last year she took a turn in the national spotlight on Bravo's “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” While she was away taping the show, she found out that The Bristol team was teaming up with Boka Restaurant Group to open a new restaurant called Balena. The Italian-inspired spot will showcase chef Chris Pandel's pasta, pizza and wood-fired meats and is expected to open in late February or early March.
February 6, 2014 |
Burger review: Chef's Burger Bistro 164 E. Grand Ave. 312-374-3092 Rating: 2 (out of four) I, the Great Burgerelli, have eaten burgers here, there and everywhere. I have eaten them in the finest of restaurants, in the northern woods of Wisconsin and from a Styrofoam box sitting on the hood of my ketchup-red 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider. But until my visit to Chef's Burger Bistro in Streeterville, I had never had a burger presided over by a certified master chef. To earn that honor, chef/partner Edward Leonard endured a grueling ten-day cooking trial demonstrating his proficiency across a variety of cuisines for the American Culinary Federation.