In this weeks Top Chef episode, the contestants had to make a Latino inspired plate for the cast of a telenovela from Telemundo. Now, most latinos grew up eating the food that their mothers and grandmothers cooked and it is very well known by every Latin@ that Latin mothers can cook great food; however, Hung had the great idea that he could make “arroz con pollo” better than any Mama or Abuela. In order for chefs to wow the cast from the telenovela they had to make something that was different to them and that they did not eat every single day of their lives growing up. Lets be honest, there is only so much you can do with “arroz con pollo” (rice with chicken) and if you are a latino you know this.
Hung’s arrogance didn’t annoy me as much as hearing other chefs ( like the now eliminated Lia) say the term “Spanish” when really they were referring to Latin Food. Latin food is basically all the food that is common to most Latin American countries. That includes rice, beans, mojitos, chiles etc. Spanish food is food from Spain which is in Europe, not Latin America. Now, when I think of Spanish food I think of paellas, saffron, smoked paprika, jamon serrano, manchego cheese etc. And yes, a lot of the ingredients may be somewhat similar, but Spanish people cook very differently than Latino people cook. Moreover, just because Spanish people and most Latinos speak Spanish doesn’t mean that Latinos are also Spanish. If that was the case then everyone that speaks English in the world should be called English instead of Australian, American, Indian…
OK, that matter aside…. I though that Sara’s Chiles Rellenos was a very good idea and it certainly looked very tasty as well. Howie’s plate seemed to have worked for him (Braised Pork Shoulder with Yucca Sour Orange Mojo) and I also thought that it was a very unique idea. Both of their plates were very original and very Latino inspired. That is what I think the judges were looking for.
On a side note: I noticed that it seems that Padma usually has the bitchiest comments when it comes to judge the food. I though she was only the host. God she’s gotta be very annoying!!!