Bravo Television’s Top Chef, season 5, saw the talented cooking of New Jersey chef, Ariane Duarte. Duarte is a native Jersey girl and currently runs her restaurant CulinAriane. She was not a winner of Top Chef, but continues to stay connected to the show and take part in activities such as Top Chef Tour.
Her competitor was Ash Fulk. A strong competitor and laid-back TV personality from season 6, Fulk is a native from California but now resides as a sous chef in New York City. Completely self taught, this charismatic chef finds “fear” as the hardest ingredient to work with.
These two amazing chefs were not only fun to watch but could produced delicious food in just a matter of minutes. Top Chef Tour came to Federal Way, Washington and gave viewers the opportunity to try the critically acclaimed food that Padma and her judges get a chance to taste on Top Chef. The challenge gave Fulk and Duarte 12 minutes to cook local copper river salmon in a way that will wow the judges and the audience.
My vote was on Fulk the entire time. I liked him on the Top Chef season 6, and he was even more entertaining in person. Definitely trying to score brown-nosing points with the judges, he made sure to compliment the company that provided the salmon for the challenge.
Duarte’s secret technique involved using a Earl Grey tea brine when pan searing the salmon and cooking her asparagus and garlic aoili sauce. Fulk used hazelnut oil and curry powder to give the lentils and zucchini a kick, with a tame perfectly cooked salmon.
I was so excited to hear that one of my favorite shows was coming to little ol’ Federal Way, Washington. Nothing ever comes to Federal Way. If Top Chef Tours is coming to your city, I recommend checking it out. San Diego will see chef Brian Malarkey cook off against Tre Wilcox on June 25th.