Top Chef
Snacks On A Plane

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Chopping Broccolini
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We're pretty lucky that our local bar is Absinthe on Hayes. After our first visit --where our wrists were nearly sprained flipping through the pages of the massive cocktail book -- we knew this was our new watering hole. The guys at Absinthe champion old, forgotten cocktails, and excel at inventing new ones. Pouring myself into Absinthe's tender ministrations, I experienced my first Aviation, and the following is a take on their recipe.

Aviation Cocktail

2 oz. gin (I've now tried Citadelle and Plymouth, but still prefer Gin 209 or Hendrick's)
1 oz. grapefruit juice
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
Lime wedge

The Shake:
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, grapefruit juice, and maraschino liqueur. Shake hard and fast and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with the lime wedge as garnish.

Soothing, dawnzer-spreading-lee-light music plays as morning breaks and blackbirds speak. "See, they really are asleep! Really and truly! They aren't already miked -- no they aren't!" shots of all the cheftestants. CJ moves an arm, and Sara buries her head in her motel blanket. Grinning, Padma creeps into Top Chef Towers and tiptoes around. Ten bucks said she tripped and crashed through several doors before they had to reshoot the whole scene. Padma opens the door to Sara and Casey's room and gallops in, bellowing, "GOOD MORNING!" She pulls the covers off Casey and tickling may have been involved, but I wouldn't know because I was far too worried that Casey slept in the altogether and had thrown the back of my pale Victorian hand across my eyes, shrieking, "BAD NAKED! BAD NAKED!" And because the guys clearly slept through the girl-on-girl tickle session in the next room, Padma creeps over to one of their rooms, stands in the middle of the room, and announces, "Good morning!" I have an idea that a previous, quickly scuttled take had Padma rashly whipping the covers off most of the guys and being exposed to several prominent sights. CJ tells us, "To my delight, and absolute glee, I was awakened gently and, you know, very tenderly by Padma." In the bedroom, CJ lunges for Padma and grabs at her, saying, "My has dream come true!" Padma shrieks and giggles. Aw. "I mean, the sun shines brightly," CJ tells us, "but I think Padma might shine even brighter than that." Padma grins, "I have a surprise for you." "Ohhh," a knit-capped MALARKEY! says sleepily and then cackles suggestively. "In the other room," Padma adds. "Surprises areā€¦" MALARKEY! says, trailing off as he tries to remember what Brian told him about surprises. "Maybe she made us breakfast," Hung says as he, Brian, and Dale crawl out of bed. "I heard she can cook," Dale adds. Hee. Dale tells us that the other cheftestants (read: the other MALE cheftestants) were excited to see Morning Becomes Padma, but all his gay self could think of was, "Breakfast challenge. I know it." Aw, poor Dale.

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