Top Chef
Cooking By Numbers

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Eating On The Dole
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The cheftestants get up in the morning -- Casey takes some time to sharpen her knives on a diamond block -- and do a group cheer before they head out to the kitchen.

When it comes to Bombay Sapphire Gin, nothing befits such a clean, crisp flavor as a basic martini, pure and simple. Growing up, I learned how to make martinis watching Patrick Dennis do it in Auntie Mame, where I also learned, "stir, never shake -- bruises the gin." A few years ago, Bombay Sapphire was my ultimate in gin tastiness, but I have since discovered Gin 209, Sarticious, Hendricks, Junípero, and Tanqueray Rangpur (best in a gin and tonic; it's too much like a l'Occitane eau de parfum in a martini). However, Bombay Sapphire is the gin of the night, so here you go. You can apply this standard recipe using any brand your gin-soaked heart desires.

Classic Martini

2 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 ounce vermouth
Olives, citrus peel, onions, or what you will

The Stir:
Fill both a cocktail glass and a shaker with ice. Add the gin to the shaker and stir with a long handled spoon. Over a sink, dump the ice out of the cocktail glass and fill the glass with the vermouth. Swirl vermouth around the glass, coating all sides, and dump into the sink. Strain the stirred gin into the glass and add the garnish of your choice.

Sip -- ahhhh.

So, as I might have mentioned before: Bombay Sapphire Gin is in the house and there are lurid cocktails a-plenty strewn about the display table. Dale is totally stoked because his last consulting job was pairing cocktails with food. Predicting that she'll have to deal with a Lemon Drop, Camille sucks in her cheeks. Casey is nervous because she's accustomed to pairing wine, not cocktails, with food. Padma introduces their guest judge, but can we just talk about how much I love her clothes today? The ruffled lavender vintage-y top is perfect with the chocolate brown pencil skirt. Tasteful, understated, very nice. Okay, so Jamie Walker -- the guest judge -- is the "global master mixologist" for Bombay Sapphire Gin. "Dear Keckler, Um, I love your recaps but I just wanted to let you know that I go to Harvard and it's actually 'Mumbai' now, not 'Bombay.' Thanks!" You think I'm joking, don't you? The cheftestants have to whip up some foodstuffs to pair with the cocktails Jamie made earlier. After he gives us a brief but patently obvious Bombay Sapphire commercial, Jamie tells us that more and more restaurants these days are adding "master mixologists" to their staff. These folks are on hand to perform the same duties as a sommelier. Does that open the field up to future cheftestants who will feel Colicchio's wrath? "This is Top Chef, not Top Mixologist!" The cheftestants draw knives for their cocktails -- when Hung pulls his, he mutters long and completely inaudibly to himself -- and get to work.

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