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Sweet holy Moses it has not been a good week for our hometown heroes on the televised cooking competitions. To wit:
- Fan favorite Ashley Merriman of Branzino was ignominiously booted from Top Chef, in spite of the fact that she is a genuinely talented and decent human being. I’m embarrased to admit I actually screamed at the television. Against all odds, Robin Leventhal somehow continues to dawdle around the kitchen. +5 rage points.
- Much more predictably, Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita will not be the the Next Iron Chef. After only two episodes, Ms. James Beard 2008 was sent home for botching a bouillabaisse. I called it after the first episode. She just didn’t seem to have the warrior spirit necessary to compete in Kitchen Stadium. And the judges thought her food was too salty, which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
- Also not entirely surprising, Daisley Gordon of Café Campagne was defeated by Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America in Battle Berry. He was remarkably composed during the show, especially given the somewhat lackluster secret ingredient. But an Iron Chef rarely loses, even though Gordon clearly appeared to have the advantage. And it didn’t help that this particular panel of judges was dumber than a bag of rocks. Seriously, where do they dig these people up?
You guys! Are you having the best summer ever? I think I’ve overdosed on Vitamin D.
So. No new reviews this week – I’ve got a few things on deck, but nothing I feel like I can comment on definitively at the moment. Also I’ve been insanely busy getting ready for an avalanche of guests immediately followed by some travel abroad. And when I say abroad, I mean the untamed bear-infested woods of Northern Wisconsin.
But you guys. It’s all good. Here are some random thoughts I have been thinking for your pleasure:
- Top Chef Masters is a real treat. I’m fairly limited in my regional knowledge of restaurants and chefs, but I do pay attention to other things bubbling around the country. I’m constantly making mental notes about places I’d like to eat if I ever pay a visit to this or that city. So it’s really great to see some of these names in action. Cindy Pawlcyn (hot). Roy Yamaguchi (nerd). Wylie Dufresne (hot nerd).
- I’m so in forever love with Hubert Keller. He was chilling at the bar at Fleur de Lys when I visited San Francisco a few years back and I was completely charmed. I had a completely vegetarian five-course dinner with wine pairings that totally upstaged all the meat-eaters at the table. Even better was chef Keller resolutely striding across the restaurant into the kitchen and roaring at his crew: “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”. It was very quiet after that. *swoon*
- Speaking of Top Chef, I’m sure you’ve probably heard by now, but we’ve got TWO contestants from Seattle in the new season premiering next month. Ashley Merriman, the badass behind Branzino, and Robin Leventhal of the lately lamented Crave (which I always thought was profoundly overrated). But who cares! Finally some hometown heroes to root for! I’m stupid excited about this. AND! The rumor, rumor, rumormill is buzzing that Seattle might finally be THE LOCATION for next season… oh I would probably just die of joy.
- The burgeoning dessert emporium insanity continues in our fair city. Megan Seling cries Uncle over here. I tend to agree, but then you know I’m pretty indifferent about sweets. Still, I’ve occasioned Molly Moon’s a couple of times, and stopped by Bluebird this past week. The ice cream is creamier, milkier and freakier at Molly Moon’s, but Bluebird has that DIY vibe that I dig. That said, they don’t seem quite ready for primetime. Best of luck to them all – I hope it’s not a slaughter out there when the dark days return.
- Café Presse still has the best goddamned Frites in town. Hands down.
- What is better than a Niçoise salad in the summertime? How about a Niçoise salad from Skillet in the summertime. Oh hell yeah.
Photo via Flickr by PAAT
Absinthe and Oranges is open for business! Thanks for stopping by. I really hope you like the site redesign. You’ll still be getting the same great amateur prose and wildy inaccurate food writing that you got at The Gastronaut, but now with more citrus and wormwood! Oh, and I’ve added an oft-requested search bar. And the category links are now organized by neighborhood.
Join me back here on Monday for the first of several write-ups from my recent trip to Hawaii. I’ll also be adding a new feature highlighting the Cheap(er) Eats around town, given the state of the nation and all. See you then. In the meantime, feel free to browse through the site and leave any feedback in the comments. Enjoy!
Fellow gastronauts, gourmands and epicures! Apologies for the lack of updates this week – I am scrambling to finish prepping for some globetrotting here in a couple of days. So! I’ll be away from the nets for a little bit, but I’ll be back soon enough with more culinary yarns to spin. I’ve also been working on a complete overhaul of the website in my spare time, and hopefully it’ll be ready for launch when I return. I’m thinking of something wormwood and citrus-based… stay tuned…
In the meantime, eat well! I hear Skillet is serving up BLTs this week…
Photo via Flickr by ollie_lizard
Welcome! Please to enjoy my reviews of the Seattle food scene.