Sunday, February 07, 2010

Making Baby Food & Top Chef Giveaway

Top Chef: New York (Season 5)I have a cool giveaway for you guys!  Just before Christmas I was contacted about hosting a Top Chef giveaway as part of the release of the Top Chef Season 5 DVD.

So you, my lovely readers, have a chance to win both of these items:

1)  Top Chef Cookbook  (obviously, this is not a vegan cookbook, but you can still expand your knowledge of cooking techniques, spices, food tips, etc)

2)  Top Chef Santoku Knife(so you can take on all those root vegetables and winter squash)

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post* answering these three questions...

- who would you like to see as a guest judge on Top Chef (any answer is okay, have fun, be creative, doesn't have to be a chef/cook, can be a celebrity, musician, etc!)
- what vegan dish or ingredients would you suggest Top Chef tackle on a show?
- you don't need to be a Top Chef to do what?  Link for clue!

And, I've just posted a new article on True/Slant about making your own baby food.  If you find this article interesting, please feel free to share the link on any mothering/parenting/vegan forums where you think it might be of help to other parents with wee vegan ones. 

*One entry per person.  Contest open to residents of the US and Canada.

69 comments:

Joanne said...

Top chef definitely needs to focus more on the vegan/vegetarian food! I feel like it's a really important skill for chefs to have to be able to come up with vegan food that isn't just a boring salad and that tastes amazing!

I would like to see Mollie Katzen as a judge. Or Nava Atlas. That would be awesome.

Totally think they should have a whole episode around cooking with non-animal proteins like beans or tempeh or seitan. I would really like to see what they come up with.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to...make your own baby food! Or just about anything for that matter.

Erin said...

Dreena, thanks for the contest and I truly enjoy your blog! I would like to see Anthony Bourdain as a judge--I know he's not a fan of vegetarians (to put it mildly), so it would be most amusing, especially to watch an episode that centers around TOFU! I think this would be difficult and require creativity just because tofu is so versatile.

And you don't have to be a Top Chef to feed your kids healthy, vegan food : )

nicole aka shayna punim said...

oooh - i've been a happy lurker for a while, but i can't resist coming out of the woodworks since i've pondered this very question.

for the quickfire challenge, i think they should be forced to use a fake meat protein, like tempeh, since they never touch those on the show. for their elimination challenge, i'd give them a full vegan meal - one dish must be raw and one dish must be dessert.

oh - and they must be cooking for some charity event where the recipients of the charity are actually there eating the food - thanks for the awesome challenge :)

as for the judge. hmmm - how about ani phyo or isa and terry?

feastytimes said...

This is a great contest!

- I'd like to see Alicia Silverstone as a judge on Top Chef...it'd be interesting to see what the chefs could come up with to fit her lifestyle, as they have in the past with Zooey Deschanel or Natalie Portman

- I'd definitely like to see the chefs working with tempeh/tofu, mostly because that doesn't seem like a very common ingredient. It'd also be nice to see them working with less conventional ingredients like almond milk, etc

- You don't need to be a top chef to make your own healthy baby food!

Cindy said...

I would like to see Ellen as a judge!
I would like them to tackle a vegan dish with seitan!
You don't have to be a top chef to make your own baby food!

I made my daughter's baby food and I loved doing it! So much better than the jarred stuff!

L said...

Hi Dreena!

Would love to see Mr Gordon Ramsay as a judge on TopChef. Try and pull one over on him!

I would LOVE to see the contestants tackle vegan mac and cheeze. Especially the ones who never cook vegan. To me, vegan mac and cheeze is the hardest dish to cook.

And you don't need to be a "Top Chef" to get started, or to later come up with creative food combinations to keep your baby nourished and happy.

No babies here, but you also don't need to be a Top Chef to cook healthy and flavorful vegan meals for yourself and your loved ones!!

Ashlee said...

I would love to see Alicia Silverstone. I know they have had Natalie Portman on and were required to create a vegetarian meal, but I would love to see them make a vegan meal.

It would be neat if the chefs could make a meal consisting of 'dairy' products and have to incorporate almond or rice milk. Or, any other ingredients that would make eating vegan a little more appealing to meat eaters.

And, you don't have to be on Top Chef to create your own baby food.

Michelle said...

guest judge... Terry and Isa, Nava or Deborah Madison.

ingredients.. quinoa! or tempeh.

you don't have to be a top chef to make your own baby food!

Jessica said...

hm.. how about dennis kucinich?
i'm curious how a challenge solely on raw foods and nuts would work out especially with having to make a dessert. or there should totally be an oatmeal challenge.
you don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food

Crystal said...

Great questions!

Guest Judge: Rick Bayless. Love him and think he is super smart.

Vegan Dish/Ingredients: More tempeh! Would also love to see vegan nachos.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to...get started making your own baby food?

Sarah said...

Moby! Madhar Jaffrey! Both.

And at the risk of being repetitive, because it's true, it'd be awesome if they were forced to cook vegan with a tofu, tempeh or seitan. Or! Oooh. Remember when they had to make frozen meals and sell them in a supermarket? They should create their own Gardein entrees!

And baby food!

Kate said...

I agree with Joanne. More vegetarian and vegan options please!

I'd love them to figure out a good mac-and-cheese recipe!

JASSandMoo said...

I'd love to see Isa as a judge!

Agree with the others that they need to make a meal based on vegan protein standards (seitan, tempeh, tofu).

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own healthy baby food!

Sharon said...

Totally would love to see another episode where school kids were the judges. Kids are picky eaters, without a doubt.

I think they should tackle something on beans! I need more ideas on making bean burgers, salads, and other recipes.

....make your own baby food!

Lara said...

I would love to see the amazing Alicia Silverstone as a guest judge on Top Chef! Her new book is super awesome!

It would be great to see foods such as tempeh and seitan featured. Most people, especially non-veggies have no idea how great they taste or how to prepare them.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food!

Joanna said...

1. I love to see Isa/Terry, Ellen, or Dennis Kucinich as a guest judge.

2. I definitely would love to see them tackle seitan/tempeh/tofu as I feel like they rarely use these ingredients. I also think it would be great to see them create a menu for a party or celebration - something that involves multiple courses.

3. You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food! (I also don't think you need to be your a Top Chef to make your own seitan. :)

Robb & Nancy said...

I'd love to see Isa as a guest judge on Top Chef - they need another vegan challenge (and do a better job at it!)
A vegan ingredient they should use is some sort of soy protein (tofu, tempeh, etc.). That way they can't wimp out with a vegan challenge and just use vegetables.
You don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food.
What a great giveaway!

Nichole said...

I would love to see Ellen as a guest judge. She's so well-known as is doing a great job introducing vegan food on her own show. The chefs would defintely not want to let her down!

I'd like to see the chefs tackle a dessert that doesn't include fruit. At so mant restaurants all they have to offer is a fruit plate while my friends are oohing over creme brûlée or death b chocolate. Come on now!

Lastly, you don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own bab food. Great introduction to that in your post!

letsjustescape said...

Someone already said it, but I'd like to see Ellen as a guest judge on top chef too!

I'd love to see the chefs make something that is "accidentally vegetarian," meaning something that an omnivore wouldn't think twice about eating. I'd really like to see them use nutritional yeast too! That'd be hysterical!

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food!

Maureen said...

Top chef needs to focus on vegan recipes that do not use tofu.
The judge I would like to see is Alecia Silverstone.
You don't need to be a Top chef to make your own healthy baby food.

radioactivegan said...

I would like to see some regular non-celebrity judges on Top Chef. Just some lady off the street who eats food and can articulate what she likes

I would like to see them saddled with a nice vegetable like parsnips. Or maybe give them more gluten-free, vegan challenges like when Zooey Deschanel was on. I think that really made them think outside the box.

And obviously you don't need to be a top chef to make baby food!

Thanks for the great giveaway, and the great info!

makingfoodandotherstuff said...

It would be great to have Joe-Schmo off the streets as a judge. Or some really devoted hard-core meat eater (at least for the vegan episode).

As for ingredient, I would love to see nutritional yeast, becase a lot of people dont even know what it is, or they are scared of it.

And you don't need to be a top chef to make baby food. Or any food. You just have to have a little time and creativity!

Henson Clan of the North said...

I would like to see Adam Roberts, the amateur gourmet, be a guest judge. His enthusiasm at judging a contest normally done by professionals would be amusing to watch.

I would like to see the top chef candidates attempt meals with tempeh and, my favorites, chick peas, but they CAN'T make hummus, too easy.


You don't need to be a Top Chef to make baby food!

Matto the Hun said...

1.I would like to see Ellen as a judge cause she would be funny.
2. Vegan pizza, tofu.
3.You don't need to be a Top Chef to...make your own baby food!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I would love to see some veg. or veg-friendly celebrities on Top Chef. Ellen or Oprah would be fun!

As others have said, I'd love to see them tackle a vegan meal or vegan ingredients like tempeh or seitan.

And of course you don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own Baby Food. (I made all of mine 20 years ago and people were completely dumbfounded. I mean, really! All I did was puree fruits and veggies and they treated me like I WAS a Top Chef...)

Courtney said...

I would love to see Rosie O'Donnell as a guest judge, just because I think she is hilarious and it would be funny to hear what she has to say, lol.

I think it would be really interesting to see what they would do with nutritional yeast...I love the stuff and would love to see what they would do with it!

You don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food :-)

Courtney

Amey said...

fun contest!
I'd like to see Madhur Jaffrey as a guest judge - she'd be great!

Also, I think they should have an all-veggie day, but short of that, I'd say it would be cool if they focused on Tempeh. I bet they'd come up with some interesting ideas.

Lastly... you don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food! Also, it really helps if you're NOT a Top Chef if you want to make a tasty vegan meal!

thedalyn said...

Awesome! Top Chef combines my two favorite things: Food and reality TV. So, here's the answer to your questions:

1. Can I vote for Ted Allen as a permanent judge? I love him.
2. Vegan proteins. Their veggie challenges rarely have protein and even the cookbook "Great Chefs Cook Vegan" is light on the protein.
3. You don't need to be on Top Chef to make a fool of yourself on TV...?

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

answers to the questions;
1) I'd love to see Alton Brown as a judge on Top Chef (because he's hilarious)
2) I'd like to see Top Chef tackle RAW vegan foods.
3) You don't need to be a Top Chef to get started making baby food or to create foods to keep your baby healthy and happy. "You don’t need to be a ‘Top Chef’ to get started, or to later come up with creative food combinations to keep your baby nourished and happy."

vijita said...

1. I agree with some others that Isa Moskowitz deserves to be a Top Chef judge, and since she's a fan of the show, it'd be great! The contestants would be forced to make something vegan and Isa would put them in their place when they come up with pitiful tasteless things (like they did for the veg challenge last season!)

2. They should have to make seitan. Any vegan knows how many amazing possibilities there are for making different types of seitan, that knowledge should be passed onto to high-end chefs!

3. Baby food. :) (that would be an interested quickfire challenge though!)

Deborah said...

1. I'd like to see a (small, not big corporate) vegetable farmer as a judge on top chef. Who better to say if an ingredient is used to its fullest potential?

2. I'd like to see Top Chef tackle ramps on the show.

3. You don't need to be a Top Chef to make baby food at home.

Lindsay said...

Okay...

1/ I would like to see Annemarie Colbin, director of the Natural Gourmet Institute cooking school in NYC, as a judge.

2/ I think they should tackle a vegan version of 'fois gras'. PETA is holding a contest for the a vegan version of fois gras right now (prize is ten thousand bucks!!!). I would love to enter, but it has to reproduce fois gras exactly and I've never tasted it (and am not about to try it now!). So I think it would be fantastic to see how competent chefs tackle the challenge.

3/Could it be... baby food!

Lisa said...

Exciting giveaway - thanks, Dreena!

- I'd like to see Quarrygirl as a guest judge on Top Chef. I love her restaurant reviews and think she'd be a good critic with high standards.

- I'd love to see an episode focused on sooking with non-animal proteins like seitan, tempeh, tofu, and beans.

- You don't need to be a top chef to make baby food!

Mary said...

I would like to see Ellen as a guest judge.

Definetly do a challenge with tofu.

You dont need to be a top chef to make an awesome healthy pizza!

vanessa said...

Ooooh, what I wouldn't give to win that Santoku knife!!!

1) I would like to see Alicia Silverstone as a guest judge. Got her book for Christmas, and I love that while she has a vast knowledge of cooking skills and traditions, she uses her intuition to guide her in the kitchen. I think she'd have offer a balanced viewpoint on the show.

2) TOFU! This is such an unfortunately misunderstood food; it would be great to have it tackled by some top chefs (if only to see IF they could tackle it!). That or tempeh, just because it's foreign and sounds totally weird to most people. Poor little fungus.

3) Make baby food! My friend swears by her Baby Cook (I think that's what it's called)...steams and purees all in one machine!

Bonus of choosing me as a winner: no shipping required! (We can just meet at our favorite hangout, Choices! Haha...).

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

What a fun giveaway :)

1. I would like to see Stephen Colbert on there as a guest judge. How entertaining would that be?!

2. I'd like to see them do something with tempeh, mostly because I would like to experiment with it more myself.

3. And you don't need to be a Top Chef to make baby food!

Em said...

I'd love to see Emily Deschanel as a judge.

If they did an episode focusing on vegan cheeses, I think that would showcase the versatility and "differentness" of vegan food.

And you don't have to be a top chef to make baby food.

Renata said...

I would love see Ginnifer Goodwin as a guest judge. I just love her...

I suggest Top Chef tackles vegan marshmallows, and any dish that could be made from it...

You don't have to be a Top Chef to make baby food!

Heather said...

Yay--great contest!


Guest judge: I'd love to see Martha Stewart on TC!

I'd also love to see some sort of "veganize American classics" show--contestants veganize mac and cheese, hamburgers, casseroles, cakes, etc. They can show that you can still eat "normal food" (though why would you want to?) and be vegan.

Finally, you definitely don't need to be a Top Chef to make your baby healthy, delicious food.

:)

Kara said...

- I'd love to see Paul McCartney on Top Chef! :)

- Quinoa is awesome. Everyone should eat it, and it should be featured on Top Chef.

- You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food! I'm not a mom yet, but I look forward to making my own baby food for a little one some day.

Megan said...

I'd like to see Isa Chandra Moskowitz as a guest judge.

I have to echo the other commenters that I would love to see a veg episode focused on beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and similar proteins. Most of the chefs on the veg episode with Natalie Portman made vegetable plates; they were so dull!!

You don't need to be a Top Chef to...get adventurous with food! I'm always telling my friends to just cook with some trial and error. See what works, and what doesn't and go from there. Most of the time, even my worst kitchen mistakes are still edible so there's nothing lost by trying out new foods, techniques, seasonings, etc.

Bridget said...

I'd like to see Joshua Katcher, The Discerning Brute as a judge.

I wish they would make vegan custard-type dishes, perhaps using sea vegetables like agar agar or Irish Moss

You don't need a to be a Top Chef to make baby food!

Mary-Kate said...

Oooooh, this is fun! I would like to see MYSELF as a guest judge! LOL! I can only imagine how great it must be to get to sample the cuisine from some of the top chefs in the country!

I would love to see more vegan/vegetarian challenges incorporate on Top Chef. I remember a Thanksgiving episode with the Foo Fighters where they had to cook vegan and all the chefs completely froze!

You don't have to be a top chef to make your own baby food! (Great post by the way!)

Soyager said...

I love this blog and I love Top Chef and hoped they would tackle something vegan when Natalie Portman was a judge--vegetarian was as far as it went and the chefs failed miserably :(

I'd like to see Bryant Terry or Isa Chandra Moskowitz as guest judges! I also second whomever mentioned Alicia Silverstone.

I'd like to see the contestants tackle tofu--so simple yet supposedly intimidating...

You don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food! =D

Great info, Dreena!

East Village Vegan said...

I would like to see Paul McCartney as a guest judge.

I'd like to see them tackle making the tastiest vegan burger.

You don't have to be a Top Chef to make great food!

Love the contest:)

ceci said...

Ohhh no... I was going to say i wanted Paul Mccartney to be a guest judge... Oh well, I want him and Ringo Starr to both be judges then.

I think they should focus on vegan proteins, tofu, tempeh, nutritional yeast. I'd like to see how they handle nutritional yeast.

You dont have to be a top chef to make veggie broth or anything else. In fact they dont make homemade veggie broth on top chef.

annalene said...

1. I would love to see Isa Chandra Moskowitz as a guest judge, how perfect would that be?

2. Anything dealing with making a vegan cheese.

3. Make baby food!

Effortless Health said...

- I would love to see Tom Waits be on top chef!
- STEVIA! Just for ideas!
- Make baby food!

Samantha said...

A top chef doesn't need to "come up with creative food combinations to keep your baby nourished and happy."

For a guest chef, I'd love to see a rock star or something- ex: Axl Rose hahaha

Hmmm vegan pizzas maybe? Or something classic like veggie "meatloaf and potatoes"

Katy said...

For a guest judge, I love the idea that some other people have mentioned about Ellen. She would be a great person since she's so well known and people seem to respond really well to her. However, I would love to actually see a vegan chef on there too. Someone who really knows how to cook vegan food.

I agree with the majority about the food too....definitely vegan proteins (tofu, tempeh, seitan). They never seem to know anything about these which is really shocking to me. At this point, contestants should be prepared for a veg challenge.

3veggies said...

1.I would like to see Barack Obama judge, maybe that would get America a bit more healthier.
2.Love to see some raw food dishes.
3.Make your own baby food.


Cool contest!!!

fadingnebula said...

1. I'd like to see Ellen Degeneres as guest judge on TC
2. I'd like to see the contestants make a rockin' vegan version of comfort foods - which include proteins, because the last vegetarian challenge was a pathetic joke. Vegans eat real food too!
3. You don't have to be a vegan to make baby food!

Stevie said...

I'd like to see Sarma from Pure Food and Wine; Chloe Jo Berman or Kris Carr as judges.

Fun to see the chefs take on raw foods.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food!

Michal said...

I love watching top chef! Someday I would love to go on that show and show everyone who's boss :)

1. I would love to see Isa or Ani Phyo on there as a judge that would be really cool!

2. More raw foods on the menu! A great challenge would be making a full on raw dinner complete with a dessert.


3. Make your own baby food! That would totally taste much better than the jarred stuff,

annie said...

i would just LOVE to see Ellen Degeneres and her wife Portia as judges on top chef. They are so intelligent charming, and beautiful and has done such a great job of brining veganism to TV and magazine.

oohh, the second question is so hard! if we were to go with ingredients, i'd say mushrooms or asparagus, simply because i love them. but if we were to go with dishes, i would have to choose a comfort food dish of some sort. something everyone loves and is familiar with- maybe a vegetable pot pie or a "cheesy" pasta dish of some sort. i'd love to see a fresh, modern, vegan take on any old comfort classic.

and you don't need to be a top chef to make your own yummy, healthy, babyfood!!

xoxo,
annie
jesuisannie.wordpress.com

whynaturally said...

1. I would love to see Gordon Ramsay on Top Chef as a guest judge.

2. I've recently been advised to go dairy-free in my own diet and would love to see Top Chef use dairy alternatives in at least one episode.

3. You don't need to be a top chef to be creative in the kitchen! (or to make baby food!)

We are Team Brummy said...

Great giveaway
1) I'd love to see Dreena Burton on the show!
2) Even though I havent had meat in years I still love the smell of bbq, Id love if they could have a bbq challenge
3) You dont have to be a top chef to make baby food~

a said...

I would love to see Ellen Degeneres as a judge on the Top chef show.

They would cook vegan mac and cheese or something out of the Artful Vegan Millenium cookbook (because that stuff is beautiful and would be fun to see done)

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own amazing babyfood!

Tabby72 said...

I'd really enjoy seeing Ellen as a judge on Top Chef!

Perhaps it would be fun to see them create interesting meat substitute dishes with vital wheat gluten. I just made some easy vegan sausages with wheat gluten and nutritional yeast as a base and was amazed that I could make my own!

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food.

blonderland said...

Others have said this too, but I'd love to see Ellen as a judge.

I'd be happy if they focused on any vegan dishes, but it might be nice to see them work with foods that are naturally high in protein and iron (like quinoa) so that omni viewers would realize that they can get these in their diets without eating animal products.

You don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food :).

Vegan Wanna Be said...

Thank you for this post! I am making my own baby food, but was stuck in a rut of only pureeing sweet potatoes. My 9 month old pretty much was eating the same thing every day, and I'm sure he's tired of it, plus, I want to introduce him to more foods, so thanks again!

enthusiastic said...

I'd love to see David Suzuki and have him comment on food sustainability. Or else, Morgan Spurlock (from Fast Food Nation) because I find him interesting!

I would love to see an episode with them all cooking gluten free (since my mom's gf, I need inspiration when she comes for dinner)! or else on eating local... everything has to come from a 100 mile radius or something.

Oh, and you don't need to be a top chef to make your own baby food!

shelley said...

Guest judge - Jamie Oliver. He is so enthusiastic about good food, and the contestants could do a challenge to create a "school dinner" for a set price with specific nutritional requirements.

Vegan food - I love the veggie burger idea, as well as the vegan cheeses, but I would like to see vegan desserts (with extra points for non fruit based ones)

You don't need to be a 'top chef' to make awesome baby food.

Susan said...

Tope Chef NEEDS more vegetarian/Vean challenges. I hav admit that we don't watch TV much and have never seen the show, but I have heard enough about it to guess that...

As far as the guest judge- How about YOU as a judge, Dreena!! You would be a great voice of reason!

You don't have to be a top chef to make tofu!!

Debbie said...

Dreena, I would like to see you as a guest judge!

I love chickpeas, so it would be interesting to see what the contestants could do with them.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to make baby food. I made baby food when my kids were babies (over 30 years ago).

Candi said...

Hmm a judge... woody harrelson

Food ? ... i have never seen a quick fire or challenge on tofu.. so simple.. but never thought of!!

You don't need to be a top chef to make your own healthy baby food! Yay for veggies!

Lisa said...

I'd like to see Alicia Silverstone as a judge.

I would suggest that in general they just use more vegetarian/vegan friendly main components (tofu, tempeh, etc.)or give suggestions for vegetarian/vegan alternatives.

You don't need to be a Top Chef to cook your own healthy baby food!!

The Wyett Family said...

For a judge: Alissa Cohen, raw vegan chef- love her ideas and books! OR Michael Polin would be a great judge.

Definitely some vegan or even raw vegan desserts- like a chocolate macedemia nut pie.

You don't need to be a top chef to make creative, healthy, and flavorful meals!

Joanne said...

1.I would like to see Isa Chandra Moskowitz as a judge. How cool would that be? She wrote the book on vegan cooking!

2. Tofu and beans! (Since the chefs always seem to forget the protein in the vegetarian meal)

3.You don't need to be a Top Chef to make your own baby food!