Friday, October 16, 2009

Bravo, Spike!

c and spike

Those of you who attended Macy’s Come+Together event at the Ala Moana store last night know what I’m talking about. It was a huge success, not only for Macy’s but also for the Hawaii Foodbank, beneficiary of the event.

Spike Mendelsohn, cheftestant of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 4, was the main attraction, and what an attraction! In addition to the RSVPstyle fans who turned out, we had a good number of Top Chef fans who were dying to see for themselves if Season 4’s bad boy was seriously that over the top in real life!

c demo at macys

Well, Spike was picture-perfect. He was extremely nice, friendly and fun! After a meet-and-greet pupu hour, I opened the show with a quick lesson on how to put together four very different tablescapes worthy of Spike’s menu, all with items from Macy’s home department (you can see our Tablescape article series beginning next week at Mixing colors, styles and textures is not just for your rooms, it’s for your table as well (and even for fashion! Check out the $49 INC top I found at Macy’s just the day before).

c tossing food

Then I joined Spike in the kitchen, where I admittedly do not spend much time, and that’s when the fun began. The only way I know how to stir ingredients on a stovetop is with a spatula. But Spike told me to go ahead and try my hand at flipping his chutney in the pan. I warned the people in the front row that this could be dangerous! Sure enough, a quarter of Spike’s chutney flew out of the pan! Fortunately I didn’t burn anyone.

c eating spike's dish

Spike made a seared tuna to go on top of his Korean pear chutney, with a simple palate cleanser of Big Island hearts of palm and cilantro—yum! We all got to sample it—along with amazing pupus and desserts prepared by the awesome student chefs who helped out.

Then we opened it up to Q&As, which gave the audience a chance to ask questions about cooking, Top Chef and Spike’s brand new handmade burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery, in Washington D.C. The night ended with a chance for people to get an autographed Top Chef cookbook and a photo with Spike.

It was a fun night. Spike was a great guy. Even though he was the cheftestant you loved to hate, in person you could only love Spike. It was his first trip to Hawaii, but we look forward to having him come back soon!