Watch Richard Blais Meet and Compete with Team USA in the Kitchen
A lot goes into becoming an Olympic athlete: endless training, unrivaled tenacity, and, of course, plenty of food. So just what do the world's greatest athletes eat anyway? And is it any good? To answer, America's top athletic competitors and one of its Top Chefs are coming together on "Cooking With Team USA." Hosted by Top Chef judge and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais, the series' newly-released second season features Olympians and Paralympians sharing and learning the recipes that get them ready for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
First, there's freeskier Gus Kenworthy. Blais challenges Kenworthy to an open-faced chicken sandwich competition judged on the same metrics as free skiing: jump height, degree of difficulty on tricks, technical difficulty, style, execution, and overall impression. Kenworthy's smack talk demonstrates how Olympic athletes can be as competitive in the kitchen as they are on the field (or slope, rink, or wherever else they compete), and his use of his own silver medal to create maximum height for his sandwich (which includes an Eggo waffle) gives him a win.
Next, track and field athlete Emma Coburn, who specializes in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, a sort of obstacle course influenced run that includes hurdling, and jumping through a water pit. She tells Blais that the endurance required of her training gives her the chance to eat healthy and stay fit, and the two work together to make the perfect tostada. The addition of a poached egg replicates the water pit that makes the steeplechase such a unique event.
Paralympic swimmer Tucker Dupree then joins Blais to cook a poached Vietnamese chicken salad over rice noodles, entirely in a water bath. Dupree worked as a prep cook and "Sunday omelet guy" at a country club before he lost much of his vision. He describes his vision as "what you can see if you put your fists in front of your eyes," but it's not enough to stop him from winning three medals, or making the dish.