Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art Smith, Rick Bayless showdown on Top Chef Masters finals?!

Art Smith of Table Fifty-Two (Photo: Table Fifty-Two)

More Top Chef news to report:

Art Smith of the glorious, down-home haunt Table Fifty-Two blew away the competition on Top Chef Masters, reports The Stew:

"Art focuses on the chicken, doing it two ways: one piece fried, the other smothered. He girds the latter with grits, talks about Southern cooking, his mom and love, again. And to cap it, 'who don’t like a pie?' Well, Art, gotta agree with you there. At the tasting, though, it seems an odd combo: two pieces of chicken and a little mango pie? No veggies to speak of. But, no. Though Saveur editor James Oseland dings him for cooking in his comfort zone, and then for the two chicken preparations that fight each other, the remaining judges feel the love on the plate, especially the pie. 'Extraordinary,' says Gael Greene.

At scoring, she regrets that she can give him but 5 stars. Art wins and cries. It's sweet. He really is a 'big honey bear,' as chef Jonathan Waxman calls him."

He'll join Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill/Topolobampo) in the finals, which begin next week.

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