Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Top Chef Recap In Which The Author Gets Grumpy About Beer

I know, no real Top Chef recap this week. I'm boycotting because they didn't take the beer pairing seriously ...or I got distracted. Hey, look! A squirrel!

Maybe they got all of this stuff right in the first couple of minutes that I missed, but really:

- Would they have a wine pairing and not bother to tell what wine they paired with each food during the judging? Isn't that sort of critical information to determine how well the chefs did? Half the time they didn't even get the beer in the shot of the food, and they only mentioned the beer once or twice.

- Michelob Ultra? What's with the macrobrew? Would they use Mad Dog or Boone's Farm in a wine pairing? They might as well serve up Rhinelander or Pabst Blue Ribbon.

- What happened to the emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients? Where were all of the great microbreweries in and around Chicago? Even if they went with small regional breweries they had some great options. Just off the top of my head, Sprecher, Three Floyds, and Chicago's own Goose Island are all obvious choices just a hop, skip, and a jump from the studio. Go a little farther and you can add other great regionals like New Glarus, Bell's, and New Holland. If I can get them in Urbana, they can get them in Chicago.

- Most of the contestants obviously didn't know shit about beer. "When I think of beer, I think fried food," is on a par with "When I think of wine, I think overpriced, pretentious French crap." Thank you, Dr. Food Science.

- I'm not sure that judge had a poker face, I think she might have been a smidge overmedicated. I'm from the Midwest. I get the whole quiet, subdued, low-affect thing, but if I spent more than a few minutes with her, I'd be looking for the lobotomy scar. If she is at all qualified to judge a beer and food pairing, how did she not tear that "fried food" douche a new one?

In case you missed it, Beastie Fauxhawk won the Quickfire for Skater Zoi. Awwww.

Then they went to Soldier Field, which they carefully shot to avoid showing the enormous glass and steel Daleyflush 2000 toilet bowl they built on top of it. I am so glad the Fire don't play in that ridiculous eyesore any more.

DAAle won, and they gave him a shirt. I'm sure that makes up for the trip to Italy he missed last week.

Oh, and double dipping is all cool again. Spit is the new cilantro.


Johnny Yen said...

Michelob Ultra? Jesus Christ, why not Zima or wine coolers.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that the only beer brands they mentioned were those that paid for the privilege.

BTW, "Spit is the new cilantro" is the reason I read this blog.

lulu said...

You can't get Bells in Chicago. At least you couldn't when I was home at Christmas. From what I understand, there was an issue with the distributor and they will no longer carry it, but no one else is allowed to, or something.

and what's wrong with PBR?

GETkristiLOVE said...

Michelob Ultra was for the low-carb crowd... although my honey swears by the PBR in a can when he's fishing. Kind of like, "when in Rome..."

Johnny Yen said...

Lulu- the distributor stopped carrying it, and because of the law the late Bill Wirtz (owner of the Black Hawks and the main liquor distributorship in Chicago) got passed through the state legislature, Bell's couldn't just switch. They have to wait until their contract with the old company is done-- two years, I think.

Remember the Bell's neon sign at the Hopleaf? It's the only one that exists; Michael and Louise had it made themselves.

Hopefully we'll see Bell's again in Chicago someday.

Anonymous said...

No real Top Chef recap?

Do it for Zoi!

Writeprocrastinator said...

Hmmm, no Top Chef recaps and they are in your very own backyard? Is there a conflict that you are not telling us about?