Quickfire | Top Chef :: The Tour
Every summer, Bravo TV brings together some of Top Chef’s most memorable chefs to compete in a 15-minute Quickfire challenge and answer questions in front of a live audience during its Top Chef mobile tour. Some might consider me slightly obsessed with the show, so when I heard that The Trend Tribe had been invited to judge the cook-off between fan favorite Fabio Viviani and All-Star winner Richard Blais, well…I about flipped out!
Top Chef: The Tour rolled into Orange County on June 19th. Tons of fans were in attendance at what host, Fred Haug, called “the most highly anticipated stop of the tour.” Fabio and Blais appeared together on the show during the All-Star season where they became fast friends and won over the audience with their much talked about “bromance.” These two definitely put on a good show with their brotherly banter and a couple of delicious dishes.
PHOTOS: 2012 Event || Top Chef Tour :: Richard Blais & Fabio Viviani
The chefs were asked to use one special ingredient that Facebook fans chose as well as one secret ingredient from their own pantry. As each cooked, I sat center stage with two other judges watching the time countdown and listening to both talk about their experiences filming a new reality show for Bravo called Life After Top Chef. We all got a good laugh and let out a couple of cat calls when Fabio showed everyone what “Italian air-conditioning” was (for the record, his pants had completed ripped open exposing his black boxer briefs!)
Fabio was just as lovable in person as he was on the show. He even obliged when someone asked him to say “boour-gerr.”
Blais worked feverishly at his cook station while Fabio worked the three judges for votes. Apparently, his dishes lost out to Blais’ in the day’s earlier challenges. At one point, each judge was given either his iPhone or keys to his Mercedes. He also gave each of us a couple of Top Chef branded cooking utensils (snagged from Blais’s station, perhaps sabotage for the next round?).
Fabio’s dish was pan seared cod and sat on top of a cold corn and grape salad tossed with chili sauce and topped with shaved parmesan cheese – his secret ingredient. Blais’s dish – also cod – was pan seared and paired with a potato puree, shiitake mushrooms, sliced apples, and a pea pod. The tart apples jumped off the plate. It was so super delish. His secret ingredient came from a banh mi Vietnamese baguette sandwich another fan brought to the show. I honestly have no idea where or how he used it!
The Quickfire winner? It was unanimous that Fabio Viviani had the best dish. The salad was fresh and light with a great spicy kick – perfect for the warm summer day! Afterward, Fabio came around and gave each judge a huge smooch on the cheek *SWOON!*
When I apologized to Blais for my decision (because I am a uber-fan) he replied “Sorry for what? Remember, I won the show!”
If you love the Top Chef series as much as we do, then you are going to want to keep checking back with The Trend Tribe. We will be giving away a signed copy of How to Cook Like a Top Chef by the creators of Top Chef, featuring recipes and tutorials by both Fabio Viviani and Richard Blais in anticipation of their new show, Life After Top Chef.
Are you Team Blais or Team Fabio?
Disclosure: On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence the contributor’s point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the reviewers experience. The opinions are their own. Photos credits: Wendy Nielsen and Nicole Standley.