Last Saturday morning, after a lazy Friday night filled with Top Chef reruns, I decided it’d be fun to challenge Gardner to play Top Chef. If you’re not familiar with the show, contestants are asked to cook certain things with certain ingredients, techniques, and time limitations. Then, they are judged by a panel of culinary experts and either sent home or advanced to the next round. Tom Colicchio, the head judge, is a famous chef and 2010’s James Beard award winner – meaning he’s one of the best chefs in the United States. (The James Beard award is given to a “working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals.”)
So, in our version of Top Chef at Home, Gardner was the contestant and I was the judge. It may sound like I just wanted to play Top Chef in order to get Gardner to make a meal for me…but, he cooks 92% of our meals, and he enjoys cooking (obviously), so he was just as excited about the game as I was.
I gave him 20 minutes to cook, and told him he could use anything in the house, so long as it involved eggs. He started cooking, and I started tweeting.
I decided to tweet Tom Colicchio himself, because the beauty of Twitter is that you can tweet absolutely anyone, and presumably, they could tweet you back. My first tweet read as follows:
I also posted that to Facebook and assumed that after 20 or so friends had “liked” the post, that’d be the end of my social media experiment for the morning. Gardner was busy cooking away and the house was starting to smell really good. Then, when Gardner was ready to eat, I couldn’t help but take a picture of the meal he had made (after all, it’s kind of a habit around here).
Since several friends had commented on my first post/tweet, I decided to update them with the results. I posted the following on Twitter (mentioning Tom Colicchio again) and included the photo above:
And then, I stopped tweeting – I put my phone away and enjoyed my Saturday breakfast with Gardner. We joked about making Top Chef a weekend tradition and I praised him for his creativity – when he started using red curry I got a little freaked out – but, as usual, he surprised me and it was delicious.
And then, 2 hours later…Tom Colicchio tweeted me back.
Tom Colicchio, one of the BEST chefs in America, saw my tweet, saw Gardner’s creation, and said “looks good to me.”
Maybe you think we are a bunch of losers, and maybe you think this is silly, but WE were absolutely giddy for about 6 hours. TOM COLICCHIO, the real guy, from wherever he lives and in the middle of whatever he was doing, sent us a tweet to say our breakfast looked good. Now that, THAT, is a happy foodie moment.
We haven’t tweeted him again – even though this morning we made a smoked salmon benedict that was ridiculously scrumptious – because if you’ve watched Top Chef you know you don’t want to annoy Tom Colicchio…but let’s just say he’s living up to his James Beard description – he has inspired us and will continue to inspire us to be creative in the kitchen.
Happy weekend and happy cooking!
Oh, and we are both obviously on Twitter, in case you want to follow us there: @gardner_rordam & @MKRordam