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July 17, 2006

Chicago Represents

The recent hamburger / frozen peas ingredient lameness and the two ties with no overtime have forced me to back off my earlier support of Iron Chef America a little bit, but a couple of hometown chefs are challenging shortly and the ingredients are among my absolute favorites. If you're somebody who likes for the secret ingredient to remain a secret, stop reading now.

First up is the Tru crew, the Earl of Amuse and defender of foie gras, Rick Tramonto, along with his dessert-oriented partner in crime, Gale Gand. My ladylove and I have dined at Tru twice in the past few years, and really enjoyed ourselves on both occasions. Of course, they had to make it as difficult as possible for me to pick sides by pairing them up against Batali, one of the few remaining FoodTV chefs I respect. The ingredient is fennel. I couldn't be more thrilled with the selection, though it hardly seems fair. That's squarely in Mario's wheelhouse. In any case, it should be an awesome battle that first airs on July 30th.

The second is slated for sometime in September, with the exact date TBD. I'm not quite as jazzed about it, but it'll probably be more interesting. Half of Chicago's vaunted molecular gastronomy duo will be challenging. Homaro Cantu of Moto will be bringing the weirdness. Though I was far more impressed by the other half of the duo, Grant Achatz, and was somewhat disappointed by my singular visit to Moto, I'm still anxious to see Cantu work. He'll be using another of my favorites, the noble beet, to challenge Morimoto. Though I want to root for the hometown guy, they could have made it a lot easier for me by putting him up against Flay (stupid Flay). In any case, I'm sure Cantu will have the lab equipment in tow, so it should be another fun one.

In-depth analysis to follow the events. Hopefully no annoyance, but I make no promises.


Damn, you are making me wish I had cable.

Heh... well, if you're in Chicago and feeling ambitious, I know a bunch of LTHers (www.lthforum.com) were considering descending upon a restaurant somewhere to watch en masse. Check the events board.

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