Valentine’s Day

800px-Chopping_BoardHow fitting on Valentine’s Day that I got to speak on the phone with Josh Valentine (SPOILER ALERT), the most recently eliminated contestant on Top Chef. The foie gras torchon did him in—you cannot pull off in hours what normally takes days to make. Still, he has no regrets and loved his core group of Sheldon Simeon and Brooke Williamson, two of the show’s three finalists. Sheldon, in particular, was credited with introducing to the Oklahoma native Filipino cuisine, “which is really great” and “underrated.” On the other hand, he doesn’t care much for his fellow competitor John Tesar, but since both are now in Dallas, they’ve had their run-ins. “I keep him at arm’s length,” joked Josh (or at least I thought he was joking). Earlier I asked chef Lizzie Binder who she’s rooting for but she demurred: “I can’t say. That may give to much away!” At first I took this to mean she is one of the finalists—she obviously couldn’t say she’d root for herself. But then maybe she is rooting for Kristen Kish. (The winner of Last Chance Kitchen has yet to be revealed.)

You can read my writeup of the latest episode over at

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