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S18.E03: Pan African Portland

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I think what he said can be translated to "it's too European." And in fact, I think the judges were concerned that Shota's dish was going to be "too Japanese" (by its looks), but were impressed with the flavor. And I think they quite well might have said it's "too Japanese" if the right flavors hadn't come through.

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4 minutes ago, rhofmovalley said:

I thought it was someone else's dish that was called "too White" by Blais, not Brittany's.

And yes, Blais could have used better words, such as "doesn't seem to be inspired by or including West African flavors".

Blaise just verbalized what he thought was really going on inside the minds of the tasting panel and the judges.  And I see where that would also apply to Brittany's dish as well.  The judges just couched it in not-so-subtle veiled language by calling it "bland" and "lacks heart and soul" or whatever other adjectives they used which basically are interchangeable with the "it's too white" point of view.

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6 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

Blaise just verbalized what he thought was really going on inside the minds of the tasting panel and the judges.  And I see where that would also apply to Brittany's dish as well.  The judges just couched it in not-so-subtle veiled language by calling it "bland" and "lacks heart and soul" or whatever other adjectives they used which basically are interchangeable with the "it's too white" point of view.

I don't think they needed Brittany's dish to be super spicy or anything... but just that it completely lacked flavor, which is an ongoing problem in top chef... the chefs forget to season or are way to light with simple things like salt... 

It makes sense that her dish would go home if it didn't have any flavor, no matter what kind of flavors she was trying to evoke.

Edited by roctavia
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On 4/16/2021 at 5:08 AM, cameron said:

Can someone explain Kwame's painted nails.

Nothing to explain!

On 4/15/2021 at 6:02 PM, Bastet said:

I love Talenti gelato, so the QF left me annoyed I don’t have any in my freezer right now.  I knew Avishar’s dessert was going to win, because it was so creative.  The other top two looked delicious as well, but he got the most inventive with the challenge.

Fun coincidence that my partner had just run up to the store for ice cream and brought back one of the Talenti layers. We've never even bought Talenti before, much less the layers! He had just dipped his spoon in when the show started and what he was eating was the QF star. The layers are hard to eat. You kind of have to eat them one layer, or at best 1-1/2 layers at a time.

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47 minutes ago, roctavia said:

I don't think they needed Brittany's dish to be super spicy or anything... but just that it completely lacked flavor, which is an ongoing problem in top chef... the chefs forget to season or are way to light with simple things like salt... 

It makes sense that her dish would go home if it didn't have any flavor, no matter what kind of flavors she was trying to evoke.

And the fact that she deliberately tried to tone it down by using coconut milk (I think that's what it was anyway).

I didn't get that West African food is low on flavor so her decision to tone her dish down is puzzling.

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1 hour ago, roctavia said:

I don't think they needed Brittany's dish to be super spicy or anything... but just that it completely lacked flavor, which is an ongoing problem in top chef... the chefs forget to season or are way to light with simple things like salt... 

It makes sense that her dish would go home if it didn't have any flavor, no matter what kind of flavors she was trying to evoke.

I think one of the judges commented  that it didn't have to be out of bounds spicy but it completely lacked flavor period and then another judge immediately said something about SALT! needing to be added. 

While watching it was in the back of my head that there is a peanut butter Talenti and Avishar said while he was sampling his container that it reminded him of of a buckeye. I went to the site and yep, there is a peanut butter vanilla cream fudge flavor. I don't know how they will come up with a "new buckeye layered" edition that distances itself from what they already have in stock. The ones in charge of coming up with it probably were "flipping judges!! we already have that flavor" and the advertising section is probably "you had one job judges!! Find a NEW flavor!" 

Buckeyes around here are called peanutbutter balls and are completely dipped into the chocolate. Some are awful and some are fantabulous. Adding wax to the chocolate and the peanut butter is the key to the good ones. 

Off to continue with the re-watch

eta Oh, here are the flavors and the tie in page about Top Chef

https://www.talentigelato.com/product-category/gelato-layers

https://www.talentigelato.com/top-chef

eta another: I have had the layers. What I do is let is sit out for a few minutes to soften then dig down into it to eat it. Not all of it at once. It is a personal tub, very rich and eaten as the mood strikes over time. 

I would have loved to try Chris's flavor. I loved his name for it. I am a savory person so I love to have savory in my few sweets that I eat. 

Edited by stewedsquash · Reason: added links
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Gabriel (Tom Colicchio's former employee) was the one dinged for the "white" flavors. He did not appear in the bottom three and the dish looked good; it just wasn't terribly representative of West African cuisine.

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Brian V. was dinged last season for cooking 'without soul' in regard to his Italian dishes, so it's not a new term they've started using.

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40 minutes ago, The Solution said:

Gabriel (Tom Colicchio's former employee) was the one dinged for the "white" flavors. He did not appear in the bottom three and the dish looked good; it just wasn't terribly representative of West African cuisine.

Yeah, Gabriel was the butt of Richard's joke, but Brittany was accused of having food with no flavor.

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Just now, Cheyanne11 said:

Brian V. was dinged last season for cooking 'without soul' in regard to his Italian dishes, so it's not a new term they've started using.

Yeah, but even Italian American food is considered "ethnic" and therefore full of heart and soul by comparison to the food of the overall WASP culture.  Which is ridiculous because some of that basic WASP food is just as much a part of the backbone of the American food culture as any other cuisine.  I say that as someone that's half Sicilian American, part French, part WASP and part Jew.

This has always been one of my favorite clips from "Star Trek Next Generation".  Proof that tastes in food can vary from planet to planet too, LOL 😉

https://fb.watch/4WU_Vlwf9K/

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Tom said he liked Gabriel's dish, that it was a good dish, he was just over designer mashed potatoes. 

I wish they had included the restaurant owner guests at the rotating judges table, or even at the main judges table, instead of off to the side at two other tables. 

Sara and Shota had very similar desserts in the quickfire. 

I wish that Dawn had remembered to ask them to eat her dish with their hands! Since Tom contorts his fork between his fingers in the most awkward and odd way ever to eat I would love to see what he would come up with using just his hands.  I wasn't surprised when Padma said she did eat it with her hands.  A few years ago I watched her on an episode of a show and she prepared a meal at her home for the host. When it was served she asked him if he was down with eating it authentically, with their hands. 

I am glad Dawn won but I am barfing just typing that I avoid goat as a food. I would have liked to have tried Jamie's the most dish out of the top three. I noticed at the end of the meals Jamie was talking intently to one of the restaurant guests. 

Blaise looked rather handsome during this episode. I hated his white comment but loved his response to braidedmanbun guy's reaction to the spice in one dish and then his delight at the restaurant owners joining in with their own spice reactions.  I rewound quite a bit during the meal because the guest judges table kept catching my eye in the background. They seemed to be interacting and talking a lot.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, stewedsquash said:

 I would have liked to have tried Jamie's the most dish out of the top three.

 

love crispy fish.

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1 hour ago, SailorGirl said:

If one wants to make it racial, it can be framed to argue that they are "pandering" to the racial climate in the states right now, but one could also argue that they are acknowledging -- like many others -- that they have overlooked a culture for too long and its time to make it right. Change has to begin somewhere, sometime. 

Is the timing opportunistic? Of course it is. But look at it from this perspective -- people (potential viewing audience) are recognizing they don't know as much about African culture as other cultures and they are looking to change that. Any good tv production company is going to look for a way to be part of that, because it means more viewers. So of course they're going to do a show on African cultural influence on food.

I think it's great that they want to call attention to overlooked food traditions and cultures but it shouldn't be done in a way that dismisses other food cultures as "less than" in the process and seem to do that along racial lines.  I hate to say that this is the way it came off to me in this episode and that's what bothered me about it.

1 hour ago, SailorGirl said:

Italy comes to immediate mind -- if you think they didn't talk about how Italian food comes from the soul, you need to go back and rewatch those episodes. Let's be real -- if one wants to make it racial, Italian food is "white food." But they didn't focus on it as "white food." They focused on the Italian cultural influence on food. Just like in this episode they focused on the African cultural influence on food. BIG difference. 

I referred to this in a later post, BTW.  But I truly think that in recent years since those episodes Italian food has been thrown on the pile with other "white" food.  Already we have a shift away from Italian food as worth focusing on in shows like this that think of themselves on the "cutting edge" of food trends because it's been around so long and has been done to death everywhere in the U.S. and all over the world.  And only older Italian Americans like me can remember their immigrant ancestors anymore and their authentic culinary traditions.  And yes, I'm proud of that.  

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4 hours ago, Rai said:

Top Chef has been challenging its contestants to step out of the dominant French-trained euro box right from seasons 1 (Latin-fusion challenge) and 2 (Korea vs. Vietnam challenge) right up to this season. The idea that somehow it sets up white chefs to fail by pushing into west African flavors for a challenge is pretty ridiculous, especially as Kwame points out, everyone's been eating them already, they just didn't know it. American Black soul food, the Afro influences in Latin and Caribbean cuisine, etc. No one was expected to become an expert in these flavors overnight, and Shota mentioned his own concerns about approaching this cuisine more than any white chefs except maybe Brittany. There's been an uptick of exploring African cuisine both as the latest unexplored food frontier and also as Black chefs have come to more prominence and can advocate for it. This has been on the horizon since Marcus Samuelsson called it on season 2 of Top Chef Masters.

Yes, but in those early seasons "fusion" was seen as OK, my point was that it's different now and somehow today it's only OK when that fusion is between non-white cuisines.  As soon as a "white" cuisine is fused with a non-white one it becomes too bland or underseasoned or something else less desirable.  That's how it came off to me in this episode.  I pretty much said the same thing in my earlier post.  Not being able to taste the food I can't really say if they were unfairly characterizing Brittany's food as "bland", but it sure seemed that way from my perspective, especially when they already criticized that other chef's dish for putting mashed potatoes on the plate and Blaise made his "too white" comment about it.

4 hours ago, Rai said:

German food has the stereotype of being bland and underseasoned, frankly, so who knows, Brittany may have had a struggle with that. But the judges are pretty consistent in preferring strongly seasoned and flavored food regardless of origin. They've called French dishes soulful, Italian, Jewish, Polish, etc. Perhaps those moments have escaped your notice, but regardless, inclusion is important and it does not create exclusion when because a non-Euro cuisine becomes the focus for one episode.

I've been eating German food since I was in the single digits and the LAST thing I would say about it is that it's "underseasoned".

Now I've been to Ireland and maybe traditional Irish food is a little less seasoned than in most places but even there that is changing.

I did notice those moments you mention, but whatever Top Chef did in earlier seasons is not what I'm talking about anyway.  I'm talking about how things have changed on this show in very recent seasons and now suddenly it's rare for them to characterize any European cuisine as coming from the heart or soul or that any chef coming from a particular European perspective is "being true to their heritage".  Being true to a European heritage is now not cool anymore.  It's only cool to be true to your heritage now on Top Chef if you're coming from a non-European background.  And THAT's what I'm not loving.

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On 4/16/2021 at 4:18 PM, sharifa70 said:

.As a Pacific NW girl I actually cringed when Chris pronounced it “Ory gone.” I mean, he’s there in the actual state. Ory gone? Noooooooo

Me too! Especially since his dish leaned so much into the local ingredients,  with the chanterelles, Pinot noir, etc. He obviously did his homework on the food,  but definitely not the pronunciation. 

(That said, we lived in Ohio when I was little before moving out here,  so it was a treat to see Avishar win with his buckeye.  Both home states represent!)

Also disappointed,  as someone mentioned earlier,  that Padma said they were going downtown to the Pan African restaurants, when those most heavily featured are not downtown,  but are in historically Black (now largely gentrified) neighborhoods in N/NE Portland. It would have been interesting to hear more about the community and restaurant histories.

Edited by Iseut
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Amar is absolutely lovely and a joy to watch! His enthusiasm really jumps out at me, yet he's not "loud". I find him really genuine and likeable. Kudos to the decision to include him on the judging panel.

Go Avishar!!!!! Thrilled that he won $10,000!!! Such a sweetheart!

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3 hours ago, NYCFree said:

There isn’t a finite amount of food appreciation, that if the sow focuses a few times on African cuisine, there is less love available for European/American food.

Did you mean "there is not less love available for European/American food"?

 

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4 hours ago, NYCFree said:

There isn’t a finite amount of food appreciation, that if the sow focuses a few times on African cuisine, there is less love available for European/American food.

You could have fooled me with the way they acted in this episode.  This isn't the first show where I've seen this attitude now, like European food is so last decade already.  I'm just so over food snobbery and trendiness.  They're just giving African food airplay now because a bunch of guilty white people want to make up for ignoring it until now.  I was eating African food 35 years ago in the Bronx, where I'm from.  I'm sorry I realize I see this issue from a different perspective than most.

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7 minutes ago, Cheyanne11 said:

It's great that you've been eating this food that long, but introducing different cuisines to the masses isn't

Yeah I've lived in lots of places that offer a wide variety of food styles and types (mostly somewhat affluent distant suburbs on both coasts, and never in a city), and pan-African food has never been something I've come across. I think it's great that people who haven't lived where it's easily accessible (like me) learn more about it.

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9 minutes ago, dleighg said:

I think it's great that people who haven't lived where it's easily accessible (like me) learn more about it.

I honestly don't mean this in a derisive manner but do we think fufu, done well, would even taste good? 

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2 minutes ago, albarino said:

I honestly don't mean this in a derisive manner but do we think fufu, done well, would even taste good? 

Fufu has been on the show before (maybe Eric Adjepong?) and IIRC the judges loved it.

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31 minutes ago, albarino said:

do we think fufu, done well, would even taste good? 

I've never had it, but I imagine it is akin to mashed potatoes, dumplings (the Pennsylvania kind I grew up with, not one of the myriad other sorts of dumplings), or other starchy things. I sure like those!

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Its a mashed plaintain/cassava.  But its stretchy.  I would say its kind of like mochi in texture.  Its kind of hard to describe.   Its really more of just a vehicle to scoop up the stew.  

That was why I was sure that Kiki was staying, even though she messed up the fufu.  Now if she nailed the fufu, and screwed up her stew?  She probably would be going home.

 

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1 hour ago, albarino said:

I honestly don't mean this in a derisive manner but do we think fufu, done well, would even taste good?

I don't like it, for the same reason I don't like any number of starchy sides/elements, because I tend not to like starchy vegetables.

But such things are a wildly popular staple of many cuisines - a vehicle of starchy goodness to sop up and deliver the juices of the main dish - so I'm not sure what specifically about fufu makes you wonder if it would, like the others, taste good.  (I hate mashed potatoes, but I'm not confused by their popularity.)

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On 4/16/2021 at 4:31 PM, roctavia said:

The "too white" comment was about the dish with the mashed potatoes with the glob of goat cheese in them, right?? I mean... potatoes... goat cheese... also a white colored bad dish :P

Yes, and I think Blais just meant literally the food looked too white, not White, and not that it didn't represent Black cuisine. He hadn't tasted it yet, and probably realized how others at the table were eyeing it.  It was somewhat of a play on words, although apparently up for misinterpretation.  

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4 hours ago, Yeah No said:

You could have fooled me with the way they acted in this episode.  This isn't the first show where I've seen this attitude now, like European food is so last decade already.  I'm just so over food snobbery and trendiness.  They're just giving African food airplay now because a bunch of guilty white people want to make up for ignoring it until now.  I was eating African food 35 years ago in the Bronx, where I'm from.  I'm sorry I realize I see this issue from a different perspective than most.

Riverdale or Arthur Avenue? I kid, I kid. I’m a fellow NYer.

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48 minutes ago, NYCFree said:

Riverdale or Arthur Avenue? I kid, I kid. I’m a fellow NYer.

Haha, both, actually.  I had an aunt that lived in the Arthur Ave. neighborhood and I grew up on Sedgwick, then lived in Kingsbridge/Riverdale.  I've been in CT for decades but my father lived in the Bronx until his death from Covid last year at the age of 92.  My father's good friend and caretaker in his old age cooked some good African food for his senior center and him.  I have not seen her or any of my closest friend in NYC for over a year - hopefully that will change very soon when my second shot takes effect!

53 minutes ago, Rai said:

Better late than never is my motto. And showcasing one culture's cuisine for one episode the way the show has done every season [including German (s15), Italian (s8), and French (s3 and 12)] does not negate all Euro cooking forever.

I'm not sure if your argument is they should have been showcasing wet African food all along, which, no one will argue that! And again, this challenge DID allow them to fuse their own backgrounds to the food, with Shota and Jaime especially doing well with that. Do they not count because their cuisines aren't of European origin?

If you're mad at Top Chef for being on trend, I dunno how you've watched the show this whole time. It's literally their thing. And Joe Flamm won for his simple and soulful Italian food. Eric the west African chef was kicked out of the season 16 finale, which was won by a white, blond, southern chef facing off against a Jewish southern chef, and both were praised for their thoughtful cooking. This focus of balancing fine dining with something personal and full of flavor isn't new nor limited to nonwhite chefs and earlier seasons.

Brittany did her own food a disservice by not giving it the flavor it deserved. Alpine food fused with savory spices from west African has incredible potential. It didn't need to be hot spicy, she could've used allspice and nutmeg strategically, and at the very least, salt. Given the other two chefs on the bottom were chefs of color, one of whom cooks this kind of cuisine, it seems clear no one was set up for failure. It's just Top Chef.

And seeing Kiki moved to see her own cuisine represented on Top Chef after all these seasons is worth this exploration. She deserves her moment of representation just as much as Brittany does. So. Yeah. Being a new yorker does mean we're a little spoiled for choice as far being exposed to food options here. But far too many areas in the US are either without these communities or overlooking them, like Gabriel mentioned he had been doing in Portland. They deserve their spotlights, and the smaller areas outside New York and LA deserve to have their diversity highlighted especially, so that we can break the negative stereotype of the white-bread Midwest. That's the kind of snobbery I dislike -- acting like places with more rural and suburban populations don't have access to diverse cuisines or sophisticated dining. Showcases like this help counter that narrative. And then nothing has to be siloed as a "trend" if more people are aware of it and accept it on equal terms with other cuisines. Ta da!

You are right of course.  I admit I'm just an old cynic and need to see the bright side.  I've just had the worst year of my life (haven't we all, but see above) so I definitely need my faith in humanity restored.

I think Brittany might have gotten too far into her head about what to serve and over edited it.  They  have to be under a lot of pressure to give the judges what they think they're looking for.

The best way I can describe Fufu is that it's like a dumpling and I've liked it but I like dumplings, LOL.  I've had good and bad African food and when it's good it's really, really good and when it's bad it's really, really bad.  I suppose you can say that about any food, but let's just say I've had goat and hated it and had goat and loved it so it really depends on the skill of the chef.  Anything my Dad's friend cooks is wonderful, which is one reason why she used to cook for his senior center.  Her Southern cooking is amazing too!  Man, I miss her - and my Dad of course....

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44 minutes ago, Yeah No said:

You are right of course.  I admit I'm just an old cynic and need to see the bright side.  I've just had the worst year of my life (haven't we all, but see above) so I definitely need my faith in humanity restored.

I think Brittany might have gotten too far into her head about what to serve and over edited it.  They  have to be under a lot of pressure to give the judges what they think they're looking for.

My favorite thing to hear is being told I'm right, so I'll run with it! 😀 And yes, although we all had a tough year, yours does sound especially hard. My condolences and hopes for a less stressful 2021.

Totally agree on what happened with Brittany.

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8 minutes ago, Rai said:

My favorite thing to hear is being told I'm right, so I'll run with it! 😀 And yes, although we all had a tough year, yours does sound especially hard. My condolences and hopes for a less stressful 2021.

Totally agree on what happened with Brittany.

I second the condolences.

And in LCK Brittany pretty much said that's what happened.

 

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On 4/16/2021 at 4:25 PM, AntManBee said:

He likes it?  That should be explanation enough.

Not a good look for him.

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2 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Haha, both, actually.  I had an aunt that lived in the Arthur Ave. neighborhood and I grew up on Sedgwick, then lived in Kingsbridge/Riverdale.  I've been in CT for decades but my father lived in the Bronx until his death from Covid last year at the age of 92.  My father's good friend and caretaker in his old age cooked some good African food for his senior center and him.  I have not seen her or any of my closest friend in NYC for over a year - hopefully that will change very soon when my second shot takes effect!

You are right of course.  I admit I'm just an old cynic and need to see the bright side.  I've just had the worst year of my life (haven't we all, but see above) so I definitely need my faith in humanity restored.

I think Brittany might have gotten too far into her head about what to serve and over edited it.  They  have to be under a lot of pressure to give the judges what they think they're looking for.

The best way I can describe Fufu is that it's like a dumpling and I've liked it but I like dumplings, LOL.  I've had good and bad African food and when it's good it's really, really good and when it's bad it's really, really bad.  I suppose you can say that about any food, but let's just say I've had goat and hated it and had goat and loved it so it really depends on the skill of the chef.  Anything my Dad's friend cooks is wonderful, which is one reason why she used to cook for his senior center.  Her Southern cooking is amazing too!  Man, I miss her - and my Dad of course....

Yeah the funny thing was that when Brittany served her plate.  I actually thought it looked pretty good.  Her concept of fusing German roots actually looked okay.  But it just seemed like execution wise killed her.  Where she added a bunch of coconut milk, and one of the owners (not the judges) said that her fritter was not fried correctly.  So it seemed that she had other issues other than just seasoning.  Whereas Gabriel presented his dish and I was like what that looks really weird to put olive oil mashed potatoes and goat cheese (and potato chips) with this red stew but apparently it was good for him not to be in the bottom 3.  So go figure.
 

I do wonder if the whole European/African (seems like we are talking about more West/South/East Africa) fusion is more challenging not because of "political correctness", but because just ingredient wise there is a lot less overlap compared to Africa/Asia or Africa/Latin America.  Like it seems a lot easier for to have Asian or Latin America fusion with different African cuisines because of similar core ingredients (ginger, corriander, cumin) Asia or (scott bonnetts/Habaneros) Latin America/Carribean.  Also the use of cooking with peanuts/peanut butter has a lot over overlap as well. And you have countries like Tanzania/Kenya food which have very similar items to Indian cuisine (because there is a huge Indian presence in those countries).  So they have Sambusas which are their version of a Samosa and their own versions of curry.

Not saying that you can't do European/African fusion.  But it does seem a bit more challenging, while other fusions seem easier, because of more common ingredient overlaps.   Like the only real common core ingredient is tomatoes?

The one type of "fusion" which may be more natural is Somali food.  Since Italy had colonized Somalia, so Somali food has automatic overlaps (where they would serve angel hair pasta on the side of their stews, and have their own versions of Lasagna).

Edited by seltzer3
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10 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I think Brittany might have gotten too far into her head about what to serve and over edited it.  They  have to be under a lot of pressure to give the judges what they think they're looking for.

yeah, I love it when the chefs say "just cook YOUR food." But ultimately you do have to cook to whatever is in the judges mind about the challenge (and of course it has to taste and look great).

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14 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Haha, both, actually.  I had an aunt that lived in the Arthur Ave. neighborhood and I grew up on Sedgwick, then lived in Kingsbridge/Riverdale.  I've been in CT for decades but my father lived in the Bronx until his death from Covid last year at the age of 92.  My father's good friend and caretaker in his old age cooked some good African food for his senior center and him.  I have not seen her or any of my closest friend in NYC for over a year - hopefully that will change very soon when my second shot takes effect!

You are right of course.  I admit I'm just an old cynic and need to see the bright side.  I've just had the worst year of my life (haven't we all, but see above) so I definitely need my faith in humanity restored.

I think Brittany might have gotten too far into her head about what to serve and over edited it.  They  have to be under a lot of pressure to give the judges what they think they're looking for.

The best way I can describe Fufu is that it's like a dumpling and I've liked it but I like dumplings, LOL.  I've had good and bad African food and when it's good it's really, really good and when it's bad it's really, really bad.  I suppose you can say that about any food, but let's just say I've had goat and hated it and had goat and loved it so it really depends on the skill of the chef.  Anything my Dad's friend cooks is wonderful, which is one reason why she used to cook for his senior center.  Her Southern cooking is amazing too!  Man, I miss her - and my Dad of course....

I’m so sorry about your father, I spent thirty days in the hospital with Covid, and am having ongoing lung issues so I empathize greatly. I lived for 48 years in the UWS near a lovely Ethiopian restaurant for over a decade. Most recently in Riverdale for six years. Due to weird circumstances of the pandemic, I’m in a tiny village in upstate NY for a few years before heading back to Riverdale.

I loved your continued dialogue on the topic of West African cuisine, your father’s friend sounds like an amazing cook!

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2 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

Kwame likes it.

I, for one, think he looks sharp.

 

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On 4/18/2021 at 12:15 PM, Yeah No said:

I was eating African food 35 years ago in the Bronx, where I'm from.  I'm sorry I realize I see this issue from a different perspective than most.

This is the key.  All of the grandstanding and virtue signaling typically comes from white people who have lived segregated existences in their comfy class suburbs.  Most of them have not even walked through a black neighborhood, let alone patronized a restaurant in one.     

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17 hours ago, NYCFree said:

I’m so sorry about your father, I spent thirty days in the hospital with Covid, and am having ongoing lung issues so I empathize greatly. I lived for 48 years in the UWS near a lovely Ethiopian restaurant for over a decade. Most recently in Riverdale for six years. Due to weird circumstances of the pandemic, I’m in a tiny village in upstate NY for a few years before heading back to Riverdale.

I loved your continued dialogue on the topic of West African cuisine, your father’s friend sounds like an amazing cook!

Thank you and the others for the condolences - I am so sorry to hear about your ongoing lung issues.   I know a lot of people that have left the city for now.  I just sold my father's apartment in Riverdale to a couple fleeing Manhattan.  It was heartbreaking as it and many of the things in it were in my life since I was 15 and that was 47 years ago.  I miss his friend and her cooking too.  She lived steps away from an African restaurant that we used to go to every now and then.  They would cater parties and had a nice buffet, which was great because I could avoid things I didn't care for.  I admit that some of the flavor combinations were not ones that I or most Americans would love.  I only knew a few dishes by name.  My father's friend was a saint to take care of him like that.  He paid her but it was really not about that because I know he wasn't paying her enough, LOL (I am going to give her a gift to help offset that).  She truly loved him and that touched me so much.  We have kept in touch by phone and Facebook for now.  Hopefully I'll see her in a month or so at our favorite little "red sauce palace" in Yonkers we often went to pre-Covid that I hear now has a patio for outdoor eating.  I'm still a little cagey about doing that but now that we're all vaccinated maybe we'll feel better about it soon.  I've been double vaccinated but still being very careful as I'm older and overweight and at high risk.  I hope you get some relief from your lingering Covid issues soon.....

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7 hours ago, BarneySays said:

This is the key.  All of the grandstanding and virtue signaling typically comes from white people who have lived segregated existences in their comfy class suburbs.  Most of them have not even walked through a black neighborhood, let alone patronized a restaurant in one.     

Yes, that's it exactly.  I have been living in a community in CT like that for about 8 years now.  Before that I lived in a city in CT that was more like the Bronx in that it was full of racial and cultural diversity everywhere you went.  So I have a lot of feelings pent up about the people you describe above since they are all around me now.  Many of them talk the talk but I know they would not be willing to walk the walk.  I think they would be shocked if they knew what my life was really like before I came here!  They couldn't even relate to it but they want everyone to think they're cool and enlightened and part of something they really have no experience with whatsoever.  So when I see stuff on TV that seems to come from that place it makes me bristle!

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I love Talenti gelato, but have never had the layered type.  

I think Brittany got into her own head.  She stated earlier in the episode that she had "survivor's remorse" which really surprised me as it's not like her partner died, but Brittany took that elimination really to heart.  They both thought that they had such a strong dish in the previous elimination challenge that the loss may have led her to really questioning her choices.

I am glad that Kiki made it through, but there have been many instances of chefs being sent home when they made something with which they were familiar/experienced so it would not have surprised me had she been sent home.

Like an above poster, I would have loved to have heard more from the restaurant owners during the meal rather than the former contestants/judges (but not judging this challenge).  

Shallow warning: I don't know if I would try goat meat, but I would try everything else (okay, I could definitely be talked into goat meat...).

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1 hour ago, seacliffsal said:

Shallow warning: I don't know if I would try goat meat, but I would try everything else (okay, I could definitely be talked into goat meat...).

I haven’t had it in a curry but marinated and grilled over coals and I thought it was delicious. It’s a little gamey but not nearly as much as lamb, which I don’t like. I recommend it!

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(okay, I could definitely be talked into goat meat...).

I tried the goat empanadas at Girl & the Goat, TC champ Stephanie Izard's place (she beat Blais!) So good. But that might have been her😁

Having enjoyed Ethiopian food over the past 40 years, I'm hoping  restaurants serving other African country's cuisine will be available when it's safer (for me) to go. In the meantime, I've found some recipes I need to get out of my rut and try.

While Gabriel got off on the wrong foot with me (I worked for Tom!!) and gave Dawn a hard time, he clearly can cook. Hope he settles down and shows what he can do. And then Shota or Dawn or Sara beats him.

 

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