Top Chef… veg*n episode revealed!

If you haven’t seen the episode yet, don’t worry, I won’t spoil you on who won or who made what, but I will talk about the show in general and what the challenge was, so choose now if you want to keep reading.

The episode is called… “Meat Natalie.”
It starts out with a Quickfire Challenge that is not vegan, and we’ll just say that the contestants are totally blindsided by the Elimination Challenge. This episode might have been filmed before Natalie Portman went back to being completely vegan, as the challenge is vegetarian, not vegan. However, it appears that most of the dishes are vegan… even things that are “creamed” may not have actually had cream in them. It may very well have happened that they decided not to use the word “vegan” on the show, but still were actually cooking vegan. I did hear the word “butter” uttered (ooh, a rhyme!), but again, who knows if it was actually butter.
There is an episode of Top Chef Masters called “Dietary Restrictions” that aired over the summer that unfolded in similar fashion with the celebrity judge being Zooey Deschanel, so I guess we’ll have to rely on that episode for total vegan goodness for now!
The episode was somewhat disappointing, especially compared to the Top Chef Masters one. While it’s awesome to see all the vegan dishes, it’s mostly just piles of vegetables. They look really pretty and the judges seem to like many of them, but it’s really a whole bunch of side dishes. No tofu, no tempeh, barely any beans, no seitan and hardly any grains, even. Someone even uses *leeks* to stand in as their protein. I like leeks a lot, but I don’t think that really works.
The best part about this episode? That it airs during Veganmofo, of course!
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One Response to Top Chef… veg*n episode revealed!

  1. eeka says:

    I went to some fancy-pants restaurant as a member of a wedding party once. The sort of place where they bring people a giant plate with a perfectly round piece of rawish steak in the middle with some sort of crazy flag of rosemary sticking out of it or something and they charge you $50 for it. The menu is similarly huge-yet-minimalist with a big giant folded thing that looks like an invitation from the queen, and then you open it and it says "fish" and "beef" or something in the middle of the page. The chef was super excited to hear that I wanted something meatless. My huge plate comes out and there's some perfectly cube-shaped thing that seems to involve bean sprouts and shiitake mushrooms woven together with a carved carrot sticking out of the top, with some tasteless sauce carefully drizzled in patterns over it and on the plate. I can't say it was one of the worst meals I've had, because it didn't involve enough ingredients or preparation to be able to actually be bad, but it was the lamest thing I've ever seen masquerading as dinner. I happened to be sitting next to the wedding party so I saw that they were also charged $50 for my couple dollars worth of produce. OMG.

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