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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Food & Games

Fantasy Top Chef Update: All That Potluck Jazz [SPOILER ALERT]

Kermit Ruffins

Last night’s Top Chef celebrated the New Orleans jazz scene with musician (and master red beans cook, according to Emeril Lagasse) Kermit Ruffins. Here, F&W's Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT>>

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Food & Games

Fantasy Top Chef Update: Coveted Tomatoes and John Besh’s Posse [SPOILER ALERT]

Chefs running to the tomatoes.

Last night’s Top Chef: New Orleans headed out of the city and into the country. Here, F&W's Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT>>

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Food & Games

Fantasy Top Chef Update: The Spooky Side of Vegetarianism [SPOILERS]

Top Chef Halloween

Mother’s Day and Halloween collided on last night’s Top Chef: New Orleans. Here, F&W's Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT>>

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F&W Games

Fantasy Top Chef Report: Good Morning Vietnam [SPOILERS]

Top Chef: New Orleans

On last night’s episode of Top Chef: New Orleans, the cheftestants took a break from all things Cajun and Creole and explored the city’s vibrant Vietnamese culture and cuisine. Here, F&W's Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT>>

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Food & Games

Fantasy Top Chef Report: Food Truck Takedown [SPOILERS]

Food Truck Challenge

Keeping with last week’s frantic pace, the second episode of Top Chef: New Orleans didn’t give the 18 remaining cheftestants a chance to slow down and have a Sazerac. Here, F&W’s Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT >>

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Food & Games

Fantasy Top Chef Report: Swamp Soiree [SPOILERS]

Last night, Top Chef: New Orleans wasted no time getting the 19 cheftestants cooking. With no Quickfire Challenge, they were immediately thrown into the fray with a challenge based around Lousiana’s swamps. Here, F&W’s Fantasy Top Chef report. SPOILER ALERT >>

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Food & Games

F&W's Fantasy Top Chef Draft

For most of America, this is football season. But for F&W, it’s Top Chef season—the 11th to be exact, and it premieres on Bravo tonight at 10/9c. Along with the usual array of nail-biting and craving-inducing challenges, this New Orleans-based run promises a slew of great celebrity cameos from fried chicken-fanatic Questlove to Cajun cooking master Paul Prudhomme.

Exciting as the show is going to be, we're raising the stakes for viewers this year with F&W's Fantasy Top Chef. This roster ranks contestants based on work experience, cooking style and wild card extras ranging from great hair to Shih Tzu ownership. Here’s more on our algorithm >>

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Restaurant Dispatch

Top Chef Takeover: Jeff McInnis Lands in NYC

Hard-core Top Chef devotees take note: Top Chef season 5 contestant Jeff McInnis (most recently of Yardbird in Miami) and a new cheftestant, Janine Booth, who makes her debut tonight on season 11 in New Orleans, will be helming Root & Bone, slated to open in New York City’s East Village in January. Taking over a site formerly occupied by an old soul food restaurant, the new spot will celebrate Southern foodways through dishes like caramelized brisket meat loaf with smoky plantain crème, sunchoke and house-made ricotta “tater tots” and Carolina Gold rice risotto with butter beans and pickled egg yolk. To pair with the chefs’ modern takes on Southern dishes, the restaurant will serve an all-American beer and wine list with a focus on craft brews from the South. The chefs are also forming a partnership with Mama’s Bar next door to offer a hip, Southern gastropub late-night menu and weekend brunch. McInnis and Booth, his chef de cuisine, arrived in town only a few weeks ago but they are already inspired by the local produce: “I live near the Union Square farmers’ market and the vegetables are just amazing,” says McInnis. “The flavor of a carrot here is so beautiful and bright. It’s very different from what I could get in Miami.” And fanatics of the crave-worthy fried chicken he served at Yardbird can rest easy: He’ll be playing with different variations on the dish at Root & Bone, experimenting with spicy, mild and crunchy versions.

Related: F&W Star Chef Jeff McInnis
Top Chef Challenge: Fresh Corn Grits with Shrimp

Restaurant Dispatch

Pork Slope's Ode to the Best Dive Bars

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Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro burger / © A. Naro

Having tackled buzzy Asian fare in Brooklyn with the ultrasuccessful Talde, Dave Massoni, John Bush and Top Chef alum Dale Talde turned their attention to building a neighborhood bar: Pork Slope, which opened over the weekend in Park Slope.

Read more about Pork Slope plus the team's favorite dive bars >

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Top Chef

Bravo Gets a Peek Inside Family Meals at Uchi

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At some restaurants, staff meals or “family meals” before service can be as simple as a pot of hastily thrown together chicken and rice, but at the unconventionally Japanese Uchi in Houston, Texas, they are a point of pride. To celebrate the new season of Top Chef Masters, which airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c, Bravo posted an exclusive look inside Uchi's enticing buffet-style staff meals. “We're a little bit spoiled,” says Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui in the short film by Christian Remde. Homemade bread, crispy pork katsu, freshly-fried churros, miso-glazed salmon collar and even a side of sushi-grade blue fin tuna have made the cut. Top Chef fans won't be surprised to find out that there is an element of rivalry among the team. “We had a gnocchi battle when everybody got to make different kinds of gnocchi,” Qui says in the clip. Watch the video, and to find out where Qui eats out in Austin, check out his F&W Insider Travel Guide.

Related: Top Chef Dishes
Top Chef Top 10 Obsessions
Gail Simmons Rescues Top Chef Dishes

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.