THE BOOK REPORT: Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook
Some things that have kept my eyes glued to Top Chef the past five years are the constant challenges the cheftestants are put under to make creative and well executed dishes in a limited timeframe. One challenge all viewers have come to know and many of the rising chefs have come to fear is The Quickfire Challenge, where in under an hour, the chefs have to prepare a dish with certain requirements, with the winner receiving immunity from being chosen to pack their knives and leave at the end of the episode. Many highly creative as well as badly executed dishes have been born in previous seasons and the result of this challenge, which has become a staple of the show, is Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook. The book not only cleverly examines the ins and outs of the show, acting as sort of a scrapbook, but also provides step by step recipes of many of each season’s top recipes.
With a foreward by Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi, she gives valuable insight into the show, the challenge along with valuable details on how she uses this test herself in building her own creations. With five seasons to go through, I found the organization and layout of the book just as fun and interesting as its topic. The table of contents is basically broken up into each season with chef bios and standout recipes along with valuable info on techniques we’ve seen and heard repeatedly like plating and the cooking technique involving molecular gastronomy. There’s plenty of info in this book to help you do your own Quickfire Challenge as well as a look behind the scenes of the show, a glossary of foodie terms, info on all the judges who have taken part, quizzes, cooking tips, and the reasoning behind Season 3 winner Hung Huynh’s infamous Smurf Village dish. For fans of Top Chef as well as fans of cooking, Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook is a great resource for learning, understanding, and implementing some new recipes and techniques in the kitchen.