Top Iron Fork Chef

What a week. Monday and Tuesday sucked, but the rest of it? BRILLIANT.

Here's my quick recap of Wednesday's food-tivities.

Top Chef contestants Casey Thompson (Season 3 and All Stars) and Richard Sweeney (Season 5) were in town at the Nashville Farmer's Market to battle it out in front of a live audience, creating a dish with a fan-voted ingredient. Ours was pork because, y'know, Southern something blahblah people in Nashville wanted pork.

Richard used a Dr. Pepper glaze which added a nice flavor to his dish and I thought his sides had a lot of flavor but if I had to pick the better piece of pork it was, hands down, Casey's panko battered pork chop. She used Makers Mark in her side (succotash) and had some pea puree (which brought on some snickers and "ooOOooh"s from the crowd. Evidently everyone watched Season 7!)

Left, Richard's Dr. Pepper dish. Right, Casey's fried piece of heaven. I'm borrowing Beth's picture of the food because I was too busy stuffing my face to stop and take one.

Makers Mark. mmMmMmm.

Our very own Arnold Myint (Season 7 and local restaurateur) was the host for the day.

Vivek and I took the Top Chef Aroma Challenge and both won bag clips. The four things we had to smell were truffle oil (although I still maintain it wasn't truffle oil but something spicier), white pepper, curry powder and dijon/spicy mustard.

The day didn't end there. I went with my good pal and Forever Plus 1 Abby to Iron Fork at the Country Music Hall of Fame. SO much food, but we inevitably filled up on sweets. Our favorites were from Fido's table where they served a sampling of their Hot & Cold fare - chiquitas from Las Paletas (caramel and chocolate chili) dipped in hot chocolate. They had mini bluberry muffins topped with a lavender buttercream, another muffin topped with beet buttercream and a third I can't recall but I do remember each tasting so fresh and delicious.

Food wise, there was a ton of pork and truthfully, if you didn't go that evening you didn't miss much. The best dish was probably Rumbas' Flower Pot which was sweet potato chips, braised pulled pork and cabbage atop a small helping of coconut rice.

I'll be back with the recap of the Tsunami Relief Dinner at Cha Chah soon. Seriously. SO much food last week and it doesn't end on Thursday!! Believe me, I'm not complaining.