Monday, November 19, 2018

Top Chef 9.10 recap: Return of the Hughnibrow

If you're wondering whether Hugh Acheson is blissfully unaware of the stir caused by his honkin' unibrow--that caterpillar's got its own Twitter feed, after all--wonder no longer. After this week's episode of Top Chef: Texas, the Atlanta and Athens chef went on Watch What Happens Live and talked about how he'll split that brow into two if the group Wholesome Wave raises $100,000 by March 1. The term "Hughnibrow" was also the show's secret drinking game word, and was said at least nine times during the live talk show. (Hiccup!) That unibrow was back again on this week's episode of Top Chef, featuring the long-awaited "Restaurant Wars" competition, which breaks the contestants into two teams and requires each to create, decorate, and serve a meal in a restaurant of their own design. This time, it was boys against girls. They got $7,500 to spend on design and $4,000 on food in order to create a three-course menu with two choices in each course for 100 guests. The teams were given 45 minutes to hatch their plan, during which time poor Beverly Kim of Aria Restaurant in Chicago was shut down by Sarah Grueneberg of Chicago's Spiagga at every turn. Lamb shank? No. Beets? No. (As Acheson put it on his own Twitter feed, "Sarah wants to beet Beverly." Har, har, Hugh!) It's clear there's going to be some serious tension on this team, even without big bully Heather Terhune to harangue Beverly at every turn. The girls opt for Half-Bushel, a warm and cozy farm-to-table eatery, while the boys go for the more rustic and quirky mess-hall-style restaurant called Cantine. The battle is joined, and—according to Chris Jones of Chicago’s Moto—presents the chefs with a Kobayashi Maru. For those of you who've lost your virginity, that’s a Star Trek officer training test "designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy . . . the test's name is occasionally used among Star Trek fans or those familiar with the series to describe a no-win scenario," according to Wikipedia. The boys are up first, and while things flow fairly smoothly at the front of the house (led by Edward Lee of Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky), the kitchen quickly becomes chaotic, given that the team forgot to identify a member as the expediter. In their concept, the guys of Cantine opted for an open kitchen, giving the judges a view of the scatterbrained action. "My wine is warmer than my meal," a guest says, and the main problem seems to be the servers, who I'm guessing are the aspiring-actor nieces and stepchildren of Bravo executives. The first course is Austin chef Paul Qui's ham and pork pate with mushrooms, braised mustard seeds and duck fat crostini along with Brooklyn chef Ty-Lor Boring's Thai-style crab and shrimp salad with caramel fish sauce. The second course features Ty-Lor and Paul’s poached salmon with warm tomato water, clams, salmon skin, and tomatillo jam and Paul’s crispy-skin pork belly with green apple and sweet potato puree. For dessert: Ed's Almond Joy cake with malted chocolate mousse and banana coconut puree along with Chris J.'s homemade Cracker Jack with cherries and peanut butter ice cream that was frozen in liquid nitrogen. The food gets a rousing "meh" from the judging team. "I expected a lot more from Paul," says head judge Tom Colicchio, capitalizing on the chef’s insecurities bred by a mother who had high expectations for him (and, I’m assuming, helped spur his later career as a drug dealer?). Says Ty-Lor: "We definitely shouldn’t have played bleep circle jerk expediter." Ooh, that sounds like an interesting game! Pitch it to Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens! The girls take over the next night, with Lindsay Autry of Omphoy Ocean Resort in Palm Beach heading up the front of the house and telling us she was prom

The Bounty Hunters

Betrayal is their friend. In every case, there is something they call the Judas Factor.

Waycross, GA

I lean back in the lawn chair to soak up the early autumn sun still high in the sky and aimlessly swat at bugs, waiting for the next band to start. To my left, a local I’d been chatting...
Spencer Gomez

Gunshow’s Spencer Gomez heads to Holeman and Finch Public House

“I didn’t necessarily want to leave Gunshow. I knew that Holeman had this availability, and it’s just a really good fit. I’ve done a lot of charcuterie work and meat-focused dining,” says Gomez, who prior to Gunshow worked at the Branded Butcher in Athens.

New app lets diners snag last-minute reservations at booked restaurants

Santosh Jayaram, former vice president of operations at Twitter, and Peter Goettner, a venture capitalist, were tired of settling for second- and third-tier restaurants just because they didn’t plan weeks in advance. And during their travels, hotel concierges admitted that getting guests into popular restaurants was one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Together, they decided to do something about it.

Tweets of the Day: April 16, 2012

[View the story "Tweets of the Day: April 16, 2012" on Storify]
Jaimee Ratliff

Jaimee Ratliff wants to teach yoga for everyone

Looking around the yoga studio, with all those bodies in downward dog, Jaimee Ratliff didn’t see many that looked like her. As a woman of color, she wondered why yoga—a practice with humble beginnings that has been practiced for thousands of years by people all over the world—seemed to have become so homogeneous and, perhaps, elitist.

East of Chicago Pizza to open near Georgia State in April

The Ohio-based franchise will offer six varieties of pizza crust, in addition to salads, subs, wings, and desserts. Look for the “Authentic Chicago Style”—a seasoned crust filled with blended cheese, as well as the Loaded Crust stuffed with pepperoni.

Shotgun Chic

Fifteen years ago, when Jeff Jones bought a 1930s Midtown house that had been destroyed by fire, the residential designer vowed to rebuild an even better one. “You always hate to lose an old house, but sometimes it’s an opportunity to redesign and do it right,” he says.

Former JCT Kitchen chef Cooper Miller joins Hampton & Hudson

As announced recently at a Frye Company secret supper, Cooper Miller, formerly of JCT Kitchen and the Strecks’ 2012 Atlantic Station pop-up Hudson North, will be leading the kitchen of this 3,500-square-feet restaurant.

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