To coincide with the airing, Bravo is also publishing a Top Chef Cookbook. It sounds like the book will mostly be republishing the recipes that already appear on the Bravo website, just made juicier with tidbits of what else went on behind the scenes.
If you're looking for some other foodie stuff to watch on TV, Gourmet's "Diary of a Foodie" is back with a new season. And then of course there's "Chowder" ["Pepper spray? That sounds delicious!" ].
Chef Grant Achatz, of Alinea in Chicago announced that his Stage 4 oral cancer is now in remission. We also learned he will be releasing an Alinea book this fall along with a companion site, Alinea-Mosaic.
Is the Food Network starting to listen to the hard core foodies of the world? Or fallen off their rocker? Anthony Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" is back on Food Network and Emeril Live ends it's 11 year run. If I was Rachel Ray, I'd be a bit nervous, except for the fact that she just signed a new deal for YARRS. No matter - now I'll finally get to see "The French Laundry Experience" episode of "A Cook's Tour" where Thomas Keller server Anthony coffee and "cigarettes" for dessert.
Random cool/interesting/odd stuff
Pizza Romana. Best frozen pizza ever?
Google's unofficial food critic. Double cool.
Omaha Chef Shuffle
Paul Urban, formerly of Darwin Bistro, will be staying in Omaha a little longer. He's been named the new of executive chef at Lucky's 1001. He'll be on Judy a la carte this weekend discussing the new position and who knows what else. He'll be starting February 4th and will try to squeeze in a stage at Bluestem before then.
Alfred "Fredy" Hiltbrunner, formerly of Café de Paris, did a OWH Chef's Chat and discusses his move to Confluence Bookstore & Bistro.
Michael Rhoades, who left Holiday Inn in November and is now executive sous chef at the Omaha Country Club. He will eventually take over for Omaha legend, Lionel Havé, who plans to eventually retire.
I'm not sure if Paul Kulik is still at La Buvette, but I have been told construction at The Boiler Room is moving full ahead and it should hopefully be open in late March.
Nebraska Brewing Company has started distributing their beers through other venues. Unfortunately that list is not yet on their website, so you'll have to subscribe to their mailing list if you want to find out who else has it. Or you can just visit them in Papillion.
Another craft brewer is also starting to get some attention. Modern Monks has landed their Belgian-style "Brothers' Cup" in 3 Lincoln spots and hopes to be in Omaha soon.
Upstream is looking to market beer outside of Omaha under a new label. Spirits should be out by the end of the year under the name Sólas, which means "happiness" or "joy" in Scottish Gaelic. Sounds like the new beers may be ready this fall as well.
Culinary competition is heating up here in Omaha.
First, the Council Bluffs chapter of the International Wine & Food Society has come up with a fantastic idea by pitting the culinary programs at Metro CC and Iowa Western CC against each other in a unique throw down. Each team will have to create and prepare a menu to be paired with four wines and a pear-infused cognac that have been selected by the IWFS members. Metro will cook for the member in late January and Iowa Western will get their shot in lat February. The teams will be judged on their food-and-wine pairings, creativity, presentation and of course, flavor.
Then, the 3rd Annual ICA High School Culinary Invitational is being held Feb 29, 2008 – Mar 1, 2008 at Metro. Culinary teams from schools within a 100 mile radius will compete in a Culinary Skills Competition and Hospitality Knowledge Bowl. Last year The Doughboys from Papillion LaVista dominated the event. Let's see if the school can bust out a repeat.
A lot of Omaha foodies in the national press lately too.
Former Omaha native, Lindsay Weiss, won the $100,000 Southern Living's 2007 reader cook-off with her roasted banana ice cream with warm peanut butter sauce.
Omaha resident, Melissa Hinrichs, won $5,000 in the Cooking Light reader's recipe contest with her side dish recipe - "oatmeal knots".
Omaha’s own, and the world’s one-and only, The Amazing Pizza Machine has been named the "Top Family Entertainment Center of the World" by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
Now time for some self-promotion.
Foodies of Omaha will be meeting at Sage Bistro for a Prime Rib Brunch if you want to join us.
GFC got a brief mention from the Baltimore Sun for our Fun with Frushi post. Unfortunately, almost everyone in our family has been ill at some point in the month of January, so I haven't been able to get to the follow-up post I wanted to do. Maybe later this spring.
A few eagle eyed readers might have noticed that GFC was invited to be part of a critic's panel for the inaugural issue of Food & Spirits Magazine. The panel was comprised of people with a wide range of people, both foodies and non-foodies, to get a balanced opinion of the place we reviewed - Espana Tapas Bar in Benson. The second issue should be hitting the streets about now. This latest issue features a panel review of 7 Monkeys. If you're not patient enough to find a hard copy, you can always read the electronic version[pdf file].