Cookbook Review: Top Chef the Cookbook

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I’ve had my eye on Top Chef the Cookbook ever since I first glimpsed it in Padma’s hands during season 4. And I wasn’t even sure why. At the time, the food being served on Top Chef was far, far out of my league, and even if I had been inspired to try a dish, Bravo has been kind enough to post the chef’s recipes on their website all along.

Luckily, Top Chef the Cookbook is more than just recipes. It’s also behind the scenes features about the chefs, food, and judges that make the show what it is. It’s also recaps of Seasons 1-3. Like Top Chef itself, it’s food AND entertainment.

Though I haven’t cooked a lot from Top Chef the Cookbook, I still enjoy reading the book. And the one dish that I did try ( Dave Martin’s Cognac Cream Macaroni & Cheese) was as amazing as I remembered from Season 1.

I’m looking forward to the sequel to this book, which I expect we’ll see once Season 6 is over. Top Chef the Cookbook is so much more than just a cookbook, and I think that any fan of the show would do themselves a favor to pick up a copy.

Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find in the book:

  1. Introduction from Tom Collichio
  2. Cooking up Top Chef (behind the scenes info on organizing Top Chef)
  3. Judges Table (with bios on each of the Top Chef Judges)
  4. Breakfast
    • Elia’s Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Waffle with Ham, Cheese & Fried Egg
    • C.J.’s Crepes filled with Almond Whipped Cream & Strawberries
    • Hung’s Steak & Eggs with Papaya, Banana, & Grand Marnier Shake
    • Sara M’s Eggs in a Hole
    • Lisa’s Fruit Kabobs with Honeyed Red & Blue Yogurt
    • Ilan’s Spanish Tortilla with Chipotle Aioli
    • Betty’s Black Forest Ham & Egg Bundle with Cor and Leek Ragout on Rustic Toast
    • Mia’s Crabcakes Benedict with Mango Cream Sauce
  5. Season 1: San Francisco (with Chef Bios, Episode Guide and Elimination Bracket)
  6. Quickfire Madness Feature
  7. Appetizers and Small Plates
    • Casey’s Beef Carpaccio with Watercress, Fried Capers, and Shitake Broth
    • Dale’s Seared Scallops with Purslane and Marinated Grapes
    • Hung’s Tuna Tartare with Nicoise Olvies, White Asparagus, and Egg Vinagarette
    • Marchel’s Watermelon & Tomato Trio – Watermelon Steak, Tomato Salad, and Watermelon Refresher
    • Frank’s Ham and Cheese Mini Quiches with Pesto
    • Sam, Ilan, Marcel, and Betty’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomato Marmalade
    • Stephen’s Poached Baby Manila Clams over Grilled Sea Beans
    • Ilan’s Baked Escargot in Their Shells
    • Ilan’s Morcilla and Squid Lau Lau
    • Marchel’s Hammachi Boke with Pineapple Poi and Taro Chips
    • Lee Anne’s Deep-Fried Oysters with Lemon Cream
    • Cliff’s Hama Hama Oysters with Mango and Split Prawns, Hamachi, and Daikon
    • Lia’s Olive Oil-Poached Shrimp  with Avacado and Cucumber, Lime, and Grilled Pepper Salad
  8. Entrees: Meat
    • Dale’s Colorado Rack of Lamb
    • Ilan’s Spinach & Cannellini Bean Salad
    • Tre’s Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Cheese Grits and Chipotle-Tomato Butter Sauce
    • Dave’s Salami & Gouda Panini
    • Sam’s Sweetbread and Scallion Beignets
    • Howie’s Brraised Pork Shoulder
    • Harold’s Duo of Beef with Jobe Strip Loin and Braised Kobe Short Ribs with White Polenta
    • Frank’s Prosciutto and Cheese Pizza
    • Howie’s Black Truffle Burger
    • Lee Anne and Stephen’s Corn Sopes with Char Siu Pork and Pickled Asian Slaw
    • Dale’s Seared Elk Loin
    • Dave and Tiffani’s Moroccan Cubanos
    • Harold’s Prime New  York Strip Steaks with Foie Gras and Parsnip Puree
    • Team Korea’s Spicy Braised korean Pork
    • Stephen’s  Threesome of Colorado Lamb
    • Howie’s Fennel-Crusted Pork Chops
    • Casey’s Veal Medallions
    • Marcel’s Curried Lamb Kabobs
  9. Beware! Bourdain Feature
  10. Season 2: Los Angeles(with Chef Bios, Episode Guide and Elimination Bracket)
  11. Entrees: Poultry
    • Casey’s Coq au Vin
    • Harold’s Pan-Roasted Quail
    • Brian’s Spring Harvest Pheasant’s Pie
    • C.J. & Tre’s Black Truffle and Parmesan Lingune
    • Hung’s Sous-Vide Duck with Truffle-Scented Broth
    • Lee Anne’s Chicken in Red Curry Sauce
    • Casey and Dale’s Turkey and Pork Meatballs with Orecchiette Pasta and Spinach-Almond Pesto
    • Tre’s Seared Ostrich Fillet
    • Brian and Sara N.’s Chicken  Rigatoni
    • Hung’s Poached Black Chicken and Raw Geoduck
    • Elia’s Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
  12. Top Coif Feature
  13. Entrees: Fish
    • Harold’s Steamed Red Snapper
    • Ilan’s Macadamia Nut Gazpacho with Pan-Roasted Moi
    • Sara M.’s Halibut with Grapes and Fried Leeks
    • Ilan’s Fideos with Clams and Saffron
    • C.J.’s Scallop Mousse and Shrimp Burger
    • Sam’s Espresso Shrimp Flambeed with Sambuca
    • Michael’s Trout and Salmon
    • Elia’s Ahi Tuna and Shrimp Tacos
    • Hung’s Sauteed Shrimp with Corn Puddnig, Bacon & Corn Salad, and Shrimp Foam
    • Brian’s Sea Bass, Scallop, and Shrimp Sausage
    • Harold’s Ecuadorian Ceviche with Popcorn Cakes
    • Betty’s Spicy Coconut Curry Steamed Mussels
    • Tiffani’s Read Wine-Braised Angel Hair Pasta
    • Tiffani’s Mirin-Glazed Sea Bass
  14. Knives Out! Top Feuds Feature
  15. Entrees: Vegetarian
    • Dave’s Truffle and Cognac Cream Macaroni & Cheese
    • Marcel’s Tempura Vegetables and Mozzarella
    • Sam’s Summer Fruit Salad
    • Sara M.’s Chiles Rellenos
    • Miguel’s Deconstructed Falafel
    • Carlos’s Sunflower Seed and Carrot Loaf with Cilantro, Sesame Oil, and Squirt
    • Elia’s Portobello and Button Mushroom Creme with Walnuts
    • Betty’s Grilled Cheese with Portobello Musrhooms and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
    • Dave’s Lasagna with Two Saucess
    • Andrea’s Quinoa Pilaf with Curried Sweet Potato Mash
  16. They Oughta Know By Now Feature
  17. Season 3: Miami
  18. Top Chef Finales Feature
  19. Dessert
    • Joey’s Trio of Tarts, Berry Cream, Roasted Mango Puree & Warm Apple Compote
    • Marcel’s Potato Cannoli
    • Marcel’s Blini with Kona Coffee “Caviar”
    • Hung’s Molten Chocolate Cakes
    • Harold’s Fig Tart with Cheeses
    • Cliff’s Marshmallow and Cookie Ice Cream
    • Richard’s Banana Scallops, Banana Guacamole
    • Brian H.’s Strawberry Apple Crisp with Hazelnut Whipped Cream
    • Miguel’s The Total Orgasm Lemon Pastry Puffs, Tapioca Pillows, and Cold Hot-Chocolate Shots
    • Elia’s Low-Fat Berry Cheesecake
  20. Blogging Top Chef Feature
  21. Reunions Feature
  22. “It Is What It Is”: A Top Chef Glossary
  23. Index
  24. Credits

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