Well Being

Top Chef and Cheesecake

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Spoiler alert.  Do not continue reading if you didn't watch Top Chef last night.
Woo-hoo!  A woman won, and it was not the sourpuss Lisa….

goat cheese and marsala cheesecakeAfter several mishaps, including a small oven fire, BK and I had dinner then headed over to watch the season finale with some friends.  Since I knew Flavia liked Marsala, the night before I had prepared a recipe that caught my eye in one of my wine cookbooks: goat cheese and marsala cheesecake. As we dug into the slice, crusted with almond cookies and hazelnuts, we watched Lisa, Richard, and Stephanie choose their proteins and begin planning their four-course meals.

Some parts were true to form: Richard made stange oyster ‘ice cream' using his crazy liquid nitrogen, Stephanie second-guessed one of her dishes, and Lisa made Asian food and babbled on about being spicy. Several aspects were rather unusual, though. Richard, as he put it, choked under the pressure and made a couple of mediocre dishes. Meanwhile, Lisa actually pulled it together to remain calm (and relatively unsour) and make a couple of really good items, so that it was down to a contest between her and Stephanie.

We nervously waited through the last commercial break, hoping the judges hadn't lost their minds and somehow forgotten about all the times Lisa was in the bottom, defending her mistakes with crossed arms and glares. Because even if they judge each episode individually, this show is still called Top Chef. If all else is pretty equal, their past performance should certainly be taken into consideration.

Luckily, they pulled through and named Stephanie the winner, and I did a little cheer, as she was my favorite. She seemed genuinely nice and always came up with interesting dishes, instead of making the same thing ad nauseam like some of the contestants. My only beef with her is that she needed more confidence, but hopefully this will do the trick.

Image source: Farley Walker