Did anyone out there catch the Top Chef Masters episode on Bravo that aired last night? The show is a competition for master chefs where (as in the original Top Chef) they are given various challenges and scored on the results. Last night's challenge was to prepare food for a dinner party for the actress Zooey Deschanel, who is vegan and who also avoids soy and gluten. You should have seen the chefs' faces when they found out about her dietary restrictions! They clearly had little to no experience cooking for food-restricted individuals. Still, the results were pretty good, all things considered. The winner made quinoa pasta with roasted tomatoes and basil - it looked divine. The loser was the guy who made the dessert. I knew he got off on the wrong foot when he decided to use store-bought rice ice cream. Not that rice ice cream isn't good, but come on, what vegan ice cream is better than coconut milk ice cream (which is why I'm so excited that Ainsley might have outgrown her coconut allergy)? His inexperience in this arena certainly showed. On the other hand, that challenge was right up my alley! For once I felt more qualified for a Top Chef food challenge than the chefs themselves.
What I found most amusing about the episode was how the judges seemed shocked that the chefs made vegan dishes that actually tasted good. Now, all of us who have a lot of experience cooking vegan recipes (especially vegan desserts) know how good vegan cooking can be. It was fun to see the judges realize that as well.