Comfort me with Top Chef

top chef contestantI love TV night at the neighbors. It’s rare that I have time to watch TV since most of my free time involves entertaining with food or catching up on reading. So every other week our neighbors Bern and Claudio invite us over to share dinner and enjoy the Tivo replay of Top Chef. Talk about “top” TV – whoever produces and writes that show has my vote! I must admit – it comforts me to see these guys in kitchen, the fear, the panic, the joy, defeat and victory, everything that a good chef has experienced at one time or another in their career.

What a gem of a show really – but can we talk about the healthy comfort food episode? For goodness sake, what were those chef/contestants thinking? When I saw Alfred Portale eating that meatloaf, I cringed.

My granny cooks amazing comfort food, although she would make some pretty elegant creations when it struck her fancy. She is famous in her neighborhood for her family meals, but Granny taught me that food should be beautiful, no matter what you cook. After all, the eyes eat first.

Why do folks think “healthy” and “comfort” means ugly? No way, real comfort food is packed with love! It’s enticing because it looks creamy, crunchy, silky, rich and colorful, as food should always be, healthy or not. So my advice to the contestants on Top Chef – go back to the home dear souls and re-learn that lesson from mothers, fathers, grandfathers, and grandmothers. Learn from those who specialize in this craft, making dishes that actually comfort, beautiful on the plate and soft on the palate.

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