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My Top Chef Texas Experience

On January 16th, I got a very encrypted dinner invitation from my friend @br_webb. I was told to show up at Hotel Vancouver at 6:00pm where further instructions would be given. To my surprise (and delight!) Brian was taking me to the Top Chef Texas finale, being filmed at Coast Restaurant.

Once we were sworn to secrecy ( we signed confidentiality agreements), we were shown inside Coast, where we were to dine on Chef Paul Qui’s Asian-inspired creations.

Our first course was Chawan Mushi – steamed egg custard with ginko nut, pea shoots and shrimp. I’ll be honest, I did not like the consistency of this dish, it was very runny. Watching the finale as I type this, Chef Qui goes to say that he felt this dish was off for the second seating, which was the one Brian and I were part of. Ha! Validation!

Our second course was grilled sea bass on a dashi broth with shimeji and king trumpet mushrooms and picked breakfast radish. This dish was yummy! The fish was perfectly cooked, and there were so many flavours! It was a very unique experience.

The third dish was a modern take on traditional Chinese congee. Topped with smoked albacore, uni and kale, this dish played well with the saltiness of the uni and the texture of the rice. This was my favourite dish.

Dessert was a coconut and jasmine ice cream, served with puffed wild rice and  mangosteen. There was so much texture in this dish, I don’t even know where to begin. The ice cream offering was very small, so I really can’t say much about it, since it was almost melted when we got it.

Turns out that Chef Qui won Top Chef Texas. Being part of a taping of this calibre is an experience I won’t soon forget. To add to my delight, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse who was a judge on the show, was dining right behind us! Thanks Brian!

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9 Comments »

  1. Wow, that’s pretty awesome! I just saw the episode today and I was so glad Paul won. I was just wondering how people get invited to things like this. =) Thanks for posting this!

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  2. Wow, that’s so awesome! I have to admit you are amazing at keeping secrets Mary. To keep that down deep inside. It seems like Vancouver is developing a secret society of eating experiences that are only revealed months later. But the congee plate, sounded magnificent. I’m just imagining the flavours and how all the textures come together nicely. Interesting choice of ingredients that would go well.

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