Someone was going home for a box lunch–that was every remaining contestant’s fear on Wednesday’s Top Chef. Challenged to cook a healthy lunch for Chicago’s police force, the chefs had to wean their diners off their beloved burgers and fries. And while some took to the challenge with gusto … – Antonia, who boasted that she excelled at healthy cooking, impressed the judges with her curried beef dish … others struggled. In last night’s bottom three: Spike, who served an uninspired chicken salad; Lisa, whose brown rice nearly burnt; and Andrew, the self-professed raw food enthusiast and, lest we forget, trained nutritionist, who was sent home for his weird take on sushi that failed to satiate his diners.
Calling from New York (where he just woke up), Andrew opened up about his love of heathly cooking, his spat with Lisa and why the cameras love him. Plus, he shares an exclusive recipe for cured hamachi. (After the jump.) –Brian OrloffAndrew’s Green Tea Quick-Cured Hamachi100 g sugar 100 g salt 30 g matcha green tea powder 1 tbsp chopped chives 2 tbsp chopped cilantro 40 g mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine) 1 lime, juice and zest 40 g sake (preferably Nigori) 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 2.5 lbs. hamachi loin, trimmed, with bloodline removed
•Combine the salt, sugar and green tea powder in a bowl. •Place the chives, cilantro, lime juice, zest, ginger, mirin and sake in a blender and puree until the chlorophyl has turned the mixture green. • Incorporate the dry ingredients into the sake mixture a little at a time until a paste consistency forms–this becomes your “cure.” •Place plastic wrap across the cutting board and smear a layer of the cure in a strip long enough to cover the bottom of the hamachi. Place the hamachi onto the plastic wrap and begin to spread the mixture across the entire fish until it is fully covered. •Tightly wrap the plastic around the loin and let it marinatae in the refrigerator for 2 hours. • Take the plastic wrap off of the fish and allow it to rest in the fridge uncovered for another 2 hours before washing the cure off, drying it and slicing it on the bias into sashimi-style pieces. • Serve it with sushi condiments.
(If hamachi isn’t readily available, try this recipe with cobia, fresh albacore or fluke.)
Do you agree with what the judges said about your portion size and your approach to the healthy eating challenge?For them to tell me anything about nutrition is retarded. I don’t know what they were talking about it not being enough food for cops. To live healthy, you have to change your entire lifestyle and the way you eat. That’s why diets don’t work. You have to incorporate eating healthy into your entire life.
Talk more about your nutritionist background. It started when I was working next to a nutritional store, and it was in the middle of nowhere, so it was the closest place I could get something to eat. I just started researching and reading the books–and from that point on it turned into a lifestyle. I never thought I would be that person because I used to be a big junk food monster, and here I am eating vegan wraps.
Do you think Lisa calling you out in front of the judges had anything to do with your elimination? Are there any hard feelings?It was a desperate move because she felt like she was going to be bounced. That was her one-two punch to me. I was like, ‘You didn’t need to do that. I probably would have been kicked off anyway but that just made you look like s— on TV.’ At the time, there were emotions involved but I would never take something like that personally. That’s what happens when you back a raccoon in a corner.
You’ve said you were just being yourself throughout the season … – and you’re certainly a strong personality. Why do you think you make such good television?I think that my personality fits that. I say a lot of ridiculous things. I guess I’m the king of the one-liners. Top Chef was a vacation for me. I didn’t want to go back to work. That was the whole point of staying on as long as I did.