Friday, March 25, 2011

A 'Top Chef' dinner

Ever wished you could try some of the delicious creations you salivate over when watching Bravo's “Top Chef?” You can this Sunday, March 27th, as Ray’s Killer Creek is hosting a Top Chef Dinner. 

The restaurant’s executive chef, Tracey Bloom, will prepare a six-course feast along with four of her fellow “Top Chef” contestants—Tiffany Derry, Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Kenny Gilbert and Arnold Myint. Heather Hurlburt of “Top Chef Deserts” will put the finishing touches on the meal. This is your chance to be wined and dined by some of the best chefs in the country. 

Earlier this year, I, too, had a true Top Chef experience at Killer Creek: My fiancé and I were treated to a gourmet six-course meal by Chef Tracey. We started off with arugula-truffle oil flat bread, then tried a fennel salami salad (incredible), followed by delicious bearded clams, then by perfectly seared lamb chops, and finally traditional Ray’s fresh seafood: Grouper and scallops served Oscar style. 

We did not order any food from the menu. Instead, the chef chose to get creative and prepared each dish using the freshest ingredients on hand. Her preparation was impeccable. The presentation—exceptional. The service—outstanding. 

Every morsel tasted exactly like I imagine the food on the show would taste, and every course was paired with a perfect choice of beverage. My favorites were the bold cabernet sauvignon paired with the lamb chops, Duvel beer with the bearded clams, and the rosé that went so well with the fennel salami salad. 

For desert, we had the most delicious panna cotta, which was topped off with sweet fresh blueberries and served with—you guessed it—a digestif. 

I could go on and on about the food, but let me introduce you to the chef. Her name is Tracey Bloom and you probably recognize her from season 7 of “Top Chef.” She’s one of several top chefs here in Atlanta and has really made a name for herself in this city. She’s known for creating upscale dishes from simple ingredients, exploring different flavor combinations, and she loves having the freedom to experiment with new menu items at Ray’s. 

Chef Tracey is remarkably creative, but she’s also personable and fun. She brought out each course herself and talked us through each one. She shared with us stories about her family, her experience on the show, and her travels. My fiancé and I felt like “Top Chef” judges when tasting each dish—and Tracey won every round. 

THE VERDICT: This is an event you don’t want to miss. Admission is pricy--$150 per person, including tax and gratuity—but it’s worth every penny. Only 200 seats are available for this dinner, so sign up here ASAP.