"My dish is about changing the paradigm...Eating a veggie burger can be just as celebrated as a bacon cheeseburger.”
Unfortunately for Top Chef Masters contestant Suvir Saran, said burger, prepared for a meat-loving lass from the cast of The Biggest Loser, changed only his status in the competition. The judging panel sent Saran packing after a few harsh comments about his "mashed potato patty wedged into a slice of pita," but he made a graceful exit.
"I made a dish that was about living better rather than tasting close to what one craves," said the chef, himself a vegetarian.
Still there was a hint of nervous anticipation in the air last night, when Saran and fellow contestant Mary Sue Milliken - who won the main challenge in the most recently aired episode - encountered the show's most outspoken judge, Saveur's editor-in-chief James Oseland near the red carpet at the James Beard Awards Gala.
Watch what happened when the trio met up.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Bostonians slice into cream pie, Buffalo residents take their beef on weck and Cincinnatians slurp down Skyline Chili on spaghetti. New Orleanians inhale beignets while Andrew Little, executive chef at Sheppard Mansion, and his fellow Pennsylvania Dutch compatriots prefer their pork scrappled.
Maybe you've heard of some of these local specialties and maybe you haven't - but for every region, there is that idiosyncratic food that reminds them of home.
Five Foods You May Have Never Heard Of ... But Should Try: Andrew Little
Gail Simmons may be the busiest woman in the food world right now. Not only is she about to jet off to Los Angeles to film the next season of Top Chef Just Desserts - she's got a memoir in the works, sits on the board at City Harvest, and hosted last Friday's James Beard Broadcast, Books and Journalism Awards.
We chatted with Gail in the press room at last night's James Beard Restaurant Awards and asked her about her favorite food city and the issue that's sickening our nation.
Jeremy Harlan is a CNN photojournalist. Read his previous gardening installment Getting started in your garden
"So, when are you planning to take the plants out of our closet?"
Forget last average frost date or the size of my new tomato plants. When my wife utters those words each spring, I know it's time to move the seedling plants from their warm, sunny spot in our bedroom closet window to the big plastic containers outside.
I wish we lived in a not-so-little house on the prairie atop several green acres. But, like thousands out there, my gardening is relegated to the tiny backyard of our townhouse. I should feel fortunate, really - some city dwellers have to moonlight as Old McDonald on the rooftops of their high-rise apartment buildings.
Now in my fourth year of container gardening, I've found that every year is a fun adventure and a new learning experience. Some past years have yielded great crops like Clemson spineless okra, New Mexico chiles, and even a cantaloupe or two. But, I've also had some epic fails with strawberries, acorn squash, and beets.