Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: July 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Top Chef Masters Winners: Where are they now?

Season 5 of Top Chef Masters started last week and the competition looks just delicious. But ever wonder where the last 4 Top Chef Masters Winners ended up? Have their wins boosted their already-established careers? Take a look at the winners from the past 4 seasons. Recap time!

The season 1 winner of Top Chef Masters was Rick Bayless. Being an expert on Mexican cuisine and visiting several Mexican restaurants, in 2010, Rick became head chef at Red O in L.A.  He continues to contribute towards his own restaurant Frontera Grill in Chicago.  Rick has a busy couple of years with being a contender for the White House Executive Chef for President Obama to giving Google talks on Mexican food, his cookbooks and his experiences on Top Chef Masters. In 2012, Rick also ventured into the world of theatre with a Play titled “Rick Bayless in Cascabel”. He was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on Mexico: One plate at a time.

Season 2 saw the very talented and unique Marcus Samuelsson win $115,000 for the UNICEF TAP project. In 2010 he opened his new restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem. The Red Rooster in 2011 also hosted a Democratic National Committee fund raiser. The $30,800 per plate event was a huge success.  Asked if he was aiming to be the next Martha Stewart, he said he was just busy being Marcus!

Season 3 of Top Chef Masters had even more variety with Floyd Cardoz winning. Known for his contemporary Indian cuisine his restaurant Tabla was considered one of the best in Manhattan. After 12 years it finally closed in 2010. Floyd is now the head chef and partner of a new American style bar and grill called North End Grill. Seafood and single malt whiskey is the focus of this new restaurant.

Season 4’s winner, Chris Cosentino, has been quoted saying “no more television” but we saw him again on the pilot of Time Machine Chefs; which he won again! A huge supporter of Farmers Markets Chris can often be seen as the San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza farmers market. He is the Executive Chef of Icanto.

How do you think Season 5's competition measures up to these Top Chef Masters?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Note Worthy: Flynn McGarry, the 14 Year Old Culinary Prodigy

Flynn McGarry is 14 years old, has his own pop-up restaurant, Eureka, and has been featured in several major media outlets, including NBC’s The Today Show and the Huffington Post. Not bad way to start one’s career.
He started venturing into the wonderful world of cooking at the age of 10, starting slowly, with recipes out of cookbooks, cooking only for his family. After he became comfortable with some of the recipes, he began experimenting and doing variations on some of his favorites.
The more he played around with recipes, the more he began to enjoy the creative part of cooking. At the age of 11, he took his culinary hobby to people outside of his family. With the help of his mom, Flynn started a dinner club, called Eureka, where they would have monthly dinner parties for small groups of people at their house.
[Beets with berries, goats milk and black pepper]
With the support of his parents, Flynn turned his bedroom into a test kitchen and decided to ... [Continue to full article >>]

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hell’s Kitchen Winners: Where are they now?

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED On the following Page (JULY 21, 2014) >>

With the season 11 finale of Fox TV’s Hell’s Kitchen right around the corner, we want to take a moment look back at the HK winners from the past 10 seasons and share where the winners have been and where they are now.

Have they thrived since their glory? Or have they faded and dulled like an old table cloth? Let's take a look:

The first ever winner of Hell’s Kitchen, Season 1, was Michael Wray.  When he first won he chose to travel to London to train under Chef Gordon Ramsay, then later decided to focus on his family and stayed to be head-chef in some prominent Los Angeles restaurants, such as The Standard. Since then, not only has he started his own custom knives company called Skull and Cleavers, but he also tried to open his own restaurant in Arizona called HK1. Sadly however, it never materialized due to lack of funds. It is rumored that he is now in Arizona teaching cooking classes at an Arizona college.

Heather West was the winner for Hell’s Kitchen Season 2. For her prize, she was to become Executive Chef at Terra Rossa, an Italian restaurant at Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas. However, Heather only became Senior Chef for one year. She then went on to become head chef in a restaurant called Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, New York. Today she works as the executive chef at Ciao Baby in Commack and Massapequa Park, where she was executive chef for over a year. Today, Heather is now chef at Thatched Cottage, a catering venue in Centerport.

Rahaman “Rock” Harper won Hell’s Kitchen Season 3. His prize was to become the Head Chef at Terra Verde at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. After his one-year contract was complete, he then went on to work in restaurants throughout Washington, DC. He then found the perfect job for him at the time, director of kitchen operations for D.C. Central Kitchen, a non-profit that feeds, educates and strives to save thousands from chronic homelessness, poverty and crime. He has also just opened a new restaurant called fatShorty’s, which strives to serve some of the best sausage, mussels and cold beer to its customers.

Christina Machamer won Hell’s Kitchen Season 4, and the prize was to become Executive Chef at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant in the London West Hollywood Hotel. Instead, she was given the position of Senior Chef under Executive Chef Andy Cook. She then took some time off to study wine and viticulture at The Culinary Institute at Greystone in Napa Valley. Today she works at B Cellars, helping to create wines that go well with food as well as helping around the winery and interacting with guests.

Danny Veltri won Season 5 of Hell's Kitchen. He became Sous Chef under Stephen Kalt at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Originally, he was supposed to be the Head Chef at another restaurant built at the Casino. When he didn’t become Head Chef, Danny quit and began consulting. He then created a catering company called Back From Hell Catering, poking at his experience in "Hell's Kitchen.” He then joined with a group of investors that wanted to create a surf bar with food. He was Chef of the Gnarly Surf Bar & Grill near the Intracoastal Waterway in Central Florida for a period of time. Today, Chef Veltri is helping Chef Erik Amalfitano and management at Flip Flops establish a new menu.

Dave Levey won Hell's Kitchen Season 6, and the prize of Head Chef at Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, British Columbia. However, as we mentioned earlier, he was treated like a line-cook. He worked at Araxi Restaurant until the end of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Currently, he is in Nashville helping his sister with her music career.

Holli Ugalde won Hell's Kitchen Season 7, which was supposed to follow with the position as Executive Chef at The Savoy in London. However, she could not get a visa to work in the UK. Ugalde called that explanation an excuse, saying, "I don't know if they even applied for my visa." Ugalde accepted an undisclosed amount of cash instead. She had a job as the Signature Chef of a new restaurant in B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called B’stro on the beach. She now lives in southern California and has a signature line of cookware that she has been promoting on her website.

Nona Sivley won Hell's Kitchen Season 8, along with the prize position as Head Chef at LA Market at JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles as well as the opportunity to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines. She is now working as Chef de Cuisine at LA Market with Celebrity chef Kerry Simon.

Paul Niedermann won Hell’s Kitchen Season 9, which was supposed to be a prize of head chef at BLT Steak in NYC. Instead he will now be working under chef Cliff Crooks, a season two contestant of Top Chef.

Christina Wilson won Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 and she is now the head chef of Las Vegas-based Gordon Ramsay’s Steak Restaurant at Paris, working under Kevin Hee. She also came back for a guest appearance on Hell’s Kitchen season 11.

It seems there is a serious trend that either HK winners do not get their prize, get the title of the prize, but not the responsibility, or the winner leaves their position as soon as their contract is fulfilled. It almost seems pointless to go through all the pain and suffering that we witness season after season. However, every winner seems to say the same thing about the show… it is the BEST experience of their lives!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Joey Chestnut Eats 69 Hotdogs in 10 Minutes: Winner!

Joey Chestnut, 2013 winner of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
Looks like Joey Chestnut has taken the prize for his 7th year in a row in the Nathan's Hot DogEating Contest on Coney Island. Chestnut beat the lot and set a new world record by consuming 69 hot dogs in just 10 minutes, beating the runner up by 18 wieners. This is the 3rd time Chestnut has set a world record.

Chestnut, who lives in San Jose, CA, and earned the nickname “Jaws,” took home a $10,000 grand prize and a bejeweled mustard-yellow champion’s belt.

Gluttony in it’s pure form…

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Smoking Alcohol: The New Way to Get Alcohol Poisoning

Congratulations, boys and girls! Just when we thought drinking stupidity had hit its peak, someone decided to invent the “Alcohol inhaling machine”. Given, this invention isn’t news – the alcohol vaporizing machine was made available to the public in 2004 – however it seems to have finally found it’s window of opportunity in today’s market: With high school and college students alike!

Now kids, if there was any concern that you haven’t been able to stay at pace with the biggest partiers of your class, you can rest assured that you now have access to great step-by-step tutorials on Youtube to show you how real assholes get wasted.   

And if you’re really lucky, maybe you can be the kid everyone talks about at their 10 year class reunion. Only they won’t be talking about how cool you are. They’ll be talking about how stupid you were and how sad it is that you’re too dead to be there with them.

Just sayin’.