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"Top Chef Fact Check: Are Spherical Olives New American?"

By Josh Friedland

You may have been surprised as I was when Fabio's dish of beefcarpaccio with "spherical" olives was crowned the winner of lastweek's "Top Chef" elimination challenge. I was particularly puzzled athow the olives, created with a technique borrowed from avant gardechef Ferran Adria, could even meet the competition's basicrequirement -- to prepare a lunch menu of "New American" dishes.Impeccably sourced California olives brined in small batches from anAmerican artisanal purveyor, sure! But, a concoction of olive pureeand alginate to form jelly-coated balls -- huh?

I don't doubt that Fabio's dish was the best tasting of the competition.But, if this was New American cuisine, what does New American mean anyway? lives, created with a technique borrowed from avant garde chef Ferran Adria, could even meet the competition's basicrequirement -- to prepare a lunch menu of "New American" dishes.Impeccably sourced California olives brined in small batches from anAmerican artisanal purveyor, sure! But, a concoction of olive pureeand alginate to form jelly-coated balls

 

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Quotable

For the first time Iappreciated the strategic importance of the sesame oil–saltdip—not just becauseit tasted good, whichit did, but because thesuckers on the tentacles are still fullyfunctional.

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