Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kansas City Top Chef Masters Watch Party

Have you ever taken a test. I'm sure you have. Have you taken one of those life changing tests, bar exam, medical boards, maybe a mechanical engineers PE exam? Now imagine that you will be filmed while taking that exam. You will be asked about your answers. Once you're done, you will be graded and that grade will be revealed to you, while you are being filmed. You think it's over and your can digest the results in private. No. That experience will be shown to a national audience and you can say nothing about how well or poorly you did and and now you must share the stress and the mistakes you made on your test with family, friends and supporters. I imagine that's what was going through Debbie Gold's head while she greeted her guests at her Top Chef Masters Watch Party at the American in Kansas City on Wednesday night.

debbie and daughter
Debbie and her daughter Misha

As soon as the words "I'd much rather be home watching a movie" were spoken to the assembled 200 or so guests I knew she had not won and feared that she had pulled a Rick Moonen and left food off the plate. I was glad to be wrong about the second part but sad about being right about the first. Still Debby's fans seem to have a fabulous time eating, drinking, and cheering their favorite chef into the wee hours of the night.

Some of Debbie's very young kitchen crew.

ceiling detail

The beautiful ceiling of the American.

Debbie on the HUMONGOUS screen.


You know me, I'm all about the food and definitely all about shooting the food but unfortunately I was totally stymied by 2 issues, the crowd in the cramped quarters but even worse was the dimmed lighting. I did manage to get this shot of a table full of food. Actually it's mostly a table full of pork with a giant bowl of pork rinds I couldn't stop eating, copious amounts of prosciutto, some mini corn dogs on bamboo skewers, and some incredible smoked sausages.


Add to that some damned good chicken drumettes and some spicy boiled (?) peanuts that were just as addictive as the pork rinds. As you can imagine the platters emptied out quickly. There was also a dessert table with plates of little jellied niblets.

jellied desserts

But really I couldn't do them photographic justice under the circumstances so I asked the wonderful women running the show for a doggie box so that I could take them home and caress them with my digital fingers in leisure.

jellied shot of espresso

jellied pyramid

Ahhhhh, now that's some photographic love. It was a wonderful night and a good time was had by all. I only wish it had been one in a series of Kansas City Watch Parties.

UP NEXT: Let's Get Fruity.


Sharon Rudd said...

Your photos warm the cockles of my pork-lovin' heart. Sad Debbie didn't move on to the next round, but so glad to learn more about this Midwest female chef! Dying to know about what's in those jellied niblets. Thanks, Shamy!

Making Space said...

Great recap. That place is GORGEOUS. Wow. I know you didn't like the lighting but I'm glad you at least got a couple of shots of the place.

Your digital fingers do good work.

Pork rinds, eh?

Dani said...

Oh man, that is one good lookin' spread!!!

moi said...

I thought instantly of you as soon as we sat down to watch the show. I'm glad you got to go. Your last shot is amazing.

LaDivaCucina said...

I'm lovin' this and SO GLAD you went and had a good time. I'm checking out her table and can appreciate how she "cheats" by using sausage and prosciutto platters. You just can't make everything for a crowd and it's good sense to use premade stuff to fill in the table.

Jelly niblets? Savory? Very interesting!

Have a good weekend. Come by and see my Sydney fish market post if you have time. Did you have that variety back home?

Buzz Kill said...

The desserts looked impressive but the buffet table looked a little - pedestrian. Maybe I was expecting more or the photo didn't do it justice. The restaurant looks pretty nice. I hope you get to go back on a quieter night.

Big Shamu said...

The Jellied Niblets. The brown speckled one was coffee flavored which is ok but I'm not a coffee fan so it didn't do much for me. The red one I was expecting to be Sweet Tart tongue twisting vibrant....but it was very mild with either a apple or pear juice base. Funny how the mind sees something and builds an expectation of what it's going to taste like. There were many other
dessert small bite choices but this was an interesting choice to serve considering not everyone enjoys gelatin creations.

Yes, pork rinds. They had an incredible flavor. What can I say.

As for the food, yes, Buzz, it was a little uninspiring. I will say there was a lot of passed food which I didn't get a lot of because I was attempting to take photos. I also know that while they had this party they did not want the staff and kitchen crew to miss watching the show. So once the show started, the crew came out of the kitchen so that's why you see quite a bit of make ahead food. That being said I think they missed a great opportunity to wow potential new customers with cutting edge food.

Jenny said...


LaDivaCucina said...

Upon second look, I have to agree with Buzz about the food. You can still make food ahead of time and it be interesting!

And that restaurant is huge!! How high are the ceilings?