This is it folks. The show down is on Sunday at 9:00 p.m. This battle is right up there with the "Thirller in Manila" (Ali vs. Frazier), Knicks vs. Bulls (circa Ewing and Jordan), Red Soxs vs. Yankees.
Rachael will be teamed up with Mario Batali and Giada with Bobby Flay. Unfortunately Jeffrey Steingarten (sp?) the tough food critic from Vogue will not be one of the judges.
I think Rachael will win. She is the most popular personality on the Food Network, her daytime show is produced by Oprah, and technically she is the underdog so of course she will win. Giada is a trained chef, worked on the line at a very busy restaurant and can actually cook. I wish they had teamed her up with Batali. Flay is fine but I love Batali and now will have to root against him.
It should be Rachael vs. Sandra Lee of Semi-homemade. This seems more like a P.R. stunt ( a very good and effective one at that. Hello, I will be watching).
Speaking of food, last night on the Travel Channel they started airing a series Jamie Oliver shot in Italy for British Television. He spent a month traveling around the country in a van, eating and cooking. Last night he left London for Sicily and the second show he was on a small island off the coast of sicily where he worked in the kitchen.
Seriously, I want to just sell my crap and go. I would love to be back in a place where people enjoy eating and food is not just a means to an end. A meal doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Some of the dishes from last night were very, simple. Jamie was told that some of his spices were overwhelming the flavors of the fish.
Some of my happiest moments in Rome had to do with eating. I would wake up the morning some days and the most pressing question was "Where to eat today?". I could sit on the fountain of Santa Maria in Trastevere and eat gelato all day. The pizza bianca (pizza with just olive oil and a little salt) from the Forno in Campo dei Fioro is worth standing in line for. I still think about the fava bean, truffle oil fava bean dish and Le Mani in Pasta. I also dropped a size in Italy. Let's see, now I eat less but I weight more. Something is not right. :)
In a few weeks I will be in another place where food is very important. I remember last year at Christmas my dad and I had to drive all over the island to find fresh mushrooms for a dish I wanted to make for dinner that. So much has to be imported and if you do not get to the supermarket early, the veggies will be sold out, or look very wilted. I learned my lesson. This time I will see what is available then cook with that. It's the same with the markets. My mom would rush out of the house so she could get to the outdoor market in Marigot before her favorite stand sold out of the yams, plantains and other food she needed.
Cannot wait until December 20th.