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‘Top Chef’ talk: Oh, Fabio!

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‘Top Chef: New York’ is just two shows into the season and the competition between Stefan Richter and Fabio Viviani that started to gel in the first episode is now resoundingly on. Stefan won the ‘Elimination’ challenge in the first episode, and Fabio won Wednesday night’s, impressing the judges with his beef carpaccio. Reason No. 1 that Fabio should be Top Chef: He gives good narrative -- the Italian fable about ‘it doesn’t matter how many dragons you slay, what counts is who gets the princess’ (or something like that) was touching (sniff!). And he had everyone in stitches when he went into a lengthy defense of his carpaccio even before the judges said they didn’t like it (obviously, they loved it). Reason No. 2 that Fabio should be Top Chef: He wows with spherification. The olive oil ‘spheres’ (he sort of explains how he makes them in a calcium bath, so that a gel forms on the outside and encapsulates olive purée) are so El Bulli 2007. But having been lucky enough to experience said olive ‘spheres’ at El Bulli, and more recently at José Andrés’ Bazaar, I can say that the ones I’ve tried are pretty darn delicious. Tom was into the olive ‘spheres’ (Gail loved the grilled lemons).

Read more in Denise Martin’s Show Tracker blog.

-- Betty Hallock

It certainly does seem to be all about the Stefan-Fabio friendship/competition at this point. At least it feels like that for those of us watching in L.A. The fact that they are both European and bubbling over with bravura only adds to the fun. (Also, it’s kind of ridiculously awesome that Fabio works as William Shatner’s private chef.) If the Euro duo decided to open a restaurant together in the City of Angels, I’m willing to bet it would be a smash hit. They could call it Fab & Stef’s, or Rich & Fab. Yeah, I like the sound of that.

-- Jessica Gelt


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