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  • pinitbutton Top Chef Michael Voltaggio Moves On
mike voltaggio 300x265 Top Chef Michael Voltaggio Moves On

Top Chef, Season 6 Winner Michael Voltaggio

Volte-face from one of the Voltaggio brothers


by Alain Gayot

 

A sports recruiter standing on the sidelines can pick out a young athlete and get a feel for his potential performance and ensuing achievements. Meeting Michael Voltaggio was a bit like that. Instantly, we felt that his performance would deliver continued success in his culinary career. He is a tremendous creative asset for any kitchen, and his food is something you look forward to eating time and again even if not all the dishes are successful one hundred percent of the time.

 


08

Apr

  • pinitbutton Kefir Lime on the STREET
sophiegayotsusanfeniger 230x300 Kefir Lime on the STREET

Chef Susan Feniger with Sophie Gayot at STREET restaurant

by Sophie Gayot

 

How popular is Susan Feniger? So many people showed up at her latest venture STREET last night to watch her appearance on the TV show Top Chef Masters that the LAPD had to dispatch a traffic officer to Highland Avenue to handle the crush.  STREET private parking behind the restaurant was transformed into a party playground to handle the more than three hundred guests. Luckily, the walls of the parking are decorated with the same graffiti art as the inside.

 

We got to taste Feniger’s street food for the modest sum of $25, with half of the proceeds benefiting the Scleroderma Research Foundation. For me, the winning dish was the pork slider. Made with braised pork in licorice, sweet soy and oyster sauce, pickled carrots, daikon radish and cilantro, it also had a secret ingredient: kefir lime aioli that brought a smart touch.

minilogo Kefir Lime on the STREET



01

Aug

  • pinitbutton Welcome Stefan to L.A. Farm!
sophiegayotstefanrichterlafarm1 300x206 Welcome Stefan to L.A. Farm!
Chef Stefan Richter with chef de cuisine Leandro Bongarra with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

The kitchen team must have received lots of training by chef Stefan Richter and chef de cuisine Leandro Bongarra to turn out the delicious hors d’oeuvres that were served during last night’s opening party at Stefan’s at L.A. Farm. The noise in the dining room was such that I stood in the kitchen to try the lemon grass/coconut lobster bisque, the fried risotto, veal meatballs and crème brûlée.

 

If you think you have heard the name Stefan Richter before, it is because you would have seen him on TV during season 5 of “Top Chef.” Richter was born in Finland, and then cooked in Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and Canada, before arriving in the U.S. and working in Michigan, Nevada and then California. He chose the old location of the celebrated L.A. Farm to open his first restaurant, and mixed the two names.

 

 

minilogo Welcome Stefan to L.A. Farm!



Premiere with Rosé

on June 11th, 2009
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11

Jun

  • pinitbutton Premiere with Rosé
sophiegayotmarkpeel 300x176 Premiere with Rosé

Chefs Mark Peel of Campanile, Suzanne Tracht of Jar and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Martini & Rossi Rosé was being poured with no limit (if you met the age limit, of course) last night at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, during the premiere of Bravo’s new television show “Top Chef Masters.”

 

For the occasion, Campanile chef/owner Mark Peel created a bite-sized dish to be paired with the sparkling wine: a roasted walnut and taleggio stuffed date. Peel also prepared six of his famous grilled cheese sandwiches, handed out to me by general manager Jay Perrin. Thanks to him I was able to try each of them. Due to the crowd I could not approach the gazpacho, the roasted beet salad, or the charcuterie and cheese station.

Some of the 24 chefs competing in the show were there, as well as host Kelly Choi. They all refused to give me any details, beside the fact that it was shot in the Los Angeles Warehouse District. I guess the best way to find out more is to simply watch the show, which takes competitive cooking to the next level. 

 



  • pinitbutton A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef
sophiegayottopchef 300x235 A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef

Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, American Idol was not the only event getting people excited. A fierce battle ensued at The Grove in Los Angeles between two former contestants from the television show Top Chef.

 

After cooking demonstrations from The Grove eateries The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Morels, Betty Fraser (season 2) and Stefan Richter (season 5) had fifty minutes to prepare a meal, each with a different mystery basket of ingredients.

 

The pair was playful behind the stoves and used knives, spoons, olive oil, salt, pepper and their words to tease one another. They sure did know how to work the crowd! Stefan was throwing red roses and ladies underwear (yes, underwear) to the women in the crowd, while Betty used her great smile to woo the audience. All the while, radio host Merrill Shindler commented on all the action.

 

When it was time to taste the food, a panel of unbiased judges was selected from the audience. They preferred Stefan’s steak atop an amazing potato purée over Betty’s fried pork with caramelized peaches. Congratulations to the winner!

 

Continue reading “A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef” »



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