Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Finer Things

Printer's Row Under a Chill
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

It's a wonderful surprise to come home from an hour-long Evanston-To-Bridgeport commute to find season premiere of "Top Chef 4" waiting at your doorstep.

Now that Laura's left Chicagoist, I need to keep up on the coverage on the show until the new foodies get acclimated (which reminds me that I need to check in with them and see when they're gonna start). It'll be easier to do now that I have a Hulu pass and can catch up with episodes online.

The major local angle of "Top Chef 4" is the participation of former Scylla owner Stephanie Izard. I loved her cooking at Scylla - the Greek mythology fan in me hopes that she names her next restaurant Charybdis - and , if what I've heard from former employees and associates of Scylla are true, Izard acquits herself very well in the competition. Having viewed the premiere I can't divulge much until after the season starts, but she will be staying at least past the premiere.

Two other chefs with local ties are in the competition. Valerie Bolon, a personal chef who's worked on the line with Shawn McClain at Spring and Mindy Segal at Hot Chocolate, needs to step up her game if she intends to be a factor in the competition. Chicago native Dale Talde, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who helped Jean-Georges Vongerichten open Vong's Thai Kitchen and now works at Buddokan in New York City, has the confidence and skills to go far in the competition. I wrote on Chicagoist when the contestants were announced that Talde seemed the most likely to have the smirk smacked off his face with a hot spatula. Yeah, I was wrong there.

For now.

No comments: