I'm still sorting through all of my pictures (like a thousand in 2 days) and trying to regroup and ponder everything I've seen, heard, and thought about over the past 48 hours. There were several recurring themes throughout the event that I can't wait to mull over and write about. In general, I felt that this event was a good step in the right direction for the culinary scene in the US. But more on all of that later. For the moment, here are some shots of Chef Rosendale and Commis Seth Warren. When I talked to Seth today about how he felt about things, he said he did the best he could and was proud of his performance. I thought that was very Iron Chef Zen of him.
There were 2 parts of the competition; one focused on cod and the other on beef. This set of pictures is just the cod presentation. Stay tuned for beef, which I think is especially funny because Harmut Handke is a judge and his facial expressions are priceless.
Okay, there are a TON of photos in this post, so I am going to do the dreaded click-through, lest the few of you using dial up spend an hour trying to load my home page. I do hope you'll click through, though, because there are some great pictures of the competition which tell the story, I think, of the stress and the madness and the sheer number of amazing chefs just strollling around being normal.
the fishbowl kitchen in which the chefs worked:
like I even need to say anything here, this man is the patron saint of American haute cuisine:
Chef Rosendale hard at work. It was amazing how they never appeared to notice the crowds or the people and chefs judging them:
Chef Daniel Humm, deep in concentration. Wonder what he's thinking about?
He's judging Commis Seth Warren's performance, and I mean all of it - cleanliness, precision, communication, everything. There is an award for best commis which includes a trip to France, and probably a lot of job offers:
the pressure is amazing. even more so is the composure exhibited by each of the chefs. Even when there were crowds of people walking around taking their pictures, the chefs were focused on what they were doing - never looking up, never breaking concentration.
you can see just a few of the chefs watching, watching, watching in this photo:
this is Roland Henin, a real charmer. I loved him. He looks just like a character of a French Chef. I almost asked him to "hogh hogh hogh" laugh for me. He will coach the winning US team for 3 months in Yountville, CA. He is also a ham, trying to get the crowd enthused for the event all the time. Don't you just want to pinch his nose?
if I had to guess, Chef R is thinking "if you drop that, I will jump over this counter and eviscerate you with my scariest knife." If the people carrying the platter mess it up, it reflects poorly on the CHEF!