Degrees of Separation

Top Chef is one of my most favorite TV shows of all time.

The food, the restaurants, the young chefs, the veteran chefs, the competition are all so exciting.

Chef Tom Colicchio is one of the driving forces on the program and one of the reasons for its huge success. His Craft restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and Texas are chic and sophisticated and serve up amazing dishes.

Tom Colicchio was my daughter’s boss for several years. Riene worked as an assistant manager at Craft in New York and she said he was a great boss. Thanks to that connection, I got to eat there a couple of times and the food and experiencs were most memorable. To be just one degree of separation to such an influential and famous chef is pretty cool. I’ll write about another in a future post.

Now Tucson (and therefore myself) has a really cool connection to the Top Chef.

Gregory Gourdet, a chef in Portland, didn’t win but he came in a close second after having created incredible dishes all season long. He ended his time on the show with a short rib mole that knocked the socks off of all the judges (Tom Colicchio being one of them.)

Anyway, Gregory was interviewed for ‘Portland Monthly’ about his experiences and when asked about the mole he credited Tucson’s own Kusuma Rao for teaching him how to make moles (he actually made two different ones on the show.)
Kumi, as she is known, is a fabulous cook. She now lives in Portland where she has pop-up dinners called Ruchikala.

When she is back visiting Tucson, if we are lucky, she will have one or two here.

I went to one last year with Karyn Zoldan, from Circle of Food, a fun, foodie blog.
We had a fantastic time and had some fabulous food and drink.

Kumi’s food is the epitome of fusion food. Normally, I hate that term. People put together two elements from different ethnic foods and then call it fusion. It is almost always a major failure because the word fusion means coming together to create a whole new result. Most of the time that doesn’t happen.

Not so with Kumi’s food.

Kumi has roots in India and she grew up in Tucson and these along with other elements and Kumi’s talents result in crazy good food.
Kumi I am so proud of you. I can’t wait until you are back in town. I’m wishing you all the best. PS I stole the picture from your Facebook page, Chiles en Nogada! Ayeeeh!