Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Culinary Connections .....

There is more than a little movement - more than competing networks Bravo and FoodNetwork might admit - back and forth between their competitive cooking shows.

This was brought home to me the other night, as I watched a rebroadcast of a Season 3(2006) episode of Iron Chef America, an American adaptation of the Japanese hit, where world-class chefs tackle one the show's Iron Chefs in the Kitchen Stadium, producing a lineup of dishes incorporating a "secret ingredient" that will be judged for taste, creativity and presentation.

This particular episode, "Battle Chick Peas," had Iron Chef Mario Batali answering a challenge from Atlanta, Georgia chef Richard Blais, who may have failed in his bid to defeat the Iron Chef ... but have have raised his profile in the process. The next year, Blais appeared as a cheftestant in Season 4 (2007) of Bravo's
Top Chef where he went on to the final round before losing to Stephanie Izard.

Blais continues to blog for Top Chef ... and maybe that has given him some input on recommending possible cheftestants for new seasons of the program. One of this year's crop is Atlanta-based Eli Kirshtein, who has worked his way up through the ranks, including stints at two of Blais' restaurants.

Not surprising, then, to notice that one of the two sous chef's baking up Blais in the 2006 episode of Iron Chef America, was none other than Kirshtein. I love seeing developments like that ... it makes you think that maybe - just maybe - there is actually some reality in 'reality TV.'

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