When B-Side and J-Unit suggested we do a special Thanksgiving tribute to The Food Network, I have to admit I was a little hesitant to participate. For one, I don’t watch TFN. For another, I have the culinary skills of Jeffrey Dahmer. But hey, as the three regular readers of my RAW recaps can attest, I’ve never let ignorance get in the way of making fun of somebody. In this case, that somebody is Warren Brown, host of TFN’s Sugar Rush.
Still, in the spirit of the holiday, and to be fair to Mr. Brown, I decided to try out this “Google” thing I’ve heard so much about. And boy am I glad I did. Otherwise I’d never have learned how much porn there is on the Internet. Did you know there are people out there who like to be pooped on?! Does John Ashcroft know about this?
I also learned that Warren is a self-taught pastry chef, and prior to opening the CakeLove Bakery and Love Cafe in Washington, DC, he was a lawyer litigating health care fraud on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. Oh, and he still sucks his thumb. As they say in Pastrytown, however, that’s just the tip of the proverbial chocolate iceberg. (Or at least as I imagine they’d say, if there were such a place as Pastrytown. And what a happy place it would be, too, what with everything made of pastry and all.) Because when I tried to document the growth of his hair through a Google image search, I discovered Mr. Brown has also been a Friar, a drunk redneck and defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns.
Anyway, this particular episode of Sugar Rush was entitled Chocolate Fantasy: Chocolate Burritos. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a chocolate fantasy, a chocolate burrito isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. (I can just imagine what those filthy scatters would do with something like that.) Still, who am I to judge…
Over the course of the show, Warren introduces us to the pastry chef at Wynn Las Vegas, takes us behind the scenes at a pastry competition in Phoenix, meets the creator of “El Diablo” (voted “Best Desert in Seattle”), and finishes with a visit to a chocolate shop in Providence, Rhode Island. In between segments he shares his secret recipe for Chocolate Burritos. (Hint: they’re made with chocolate!)
One interesting thing I learned from the Vegas segment is that there’s actually such a thing as modeling chocolate. And it looks a lot like plastic explosives. If the plastic explosives were made of chocolate, that is. Which got me to thinking how much fun the writers of 24 could have with something like that. Can you imagine the look on a terrorist’s face when Jack cripples him with his pinky, before nonchalantly eating the bomb? That would totally rule!
A few tidbits from the pastry competition worth sharing: dark chocolate is harder, so it’s good for structure. White chocolate is good for color. Chocolate artistes warm their chocolate with hair dryers, and cool it with canned air. So chances are good it has cold hair in it. Something to remember the next time you eat a chocolate sculpture.
Meanwhile, the creator of Seattle’s “El Diablo” believes the best part of cooking to be “knives and fire.” Man I hope she makes the next season of Hell’s Kitchen. And the owner of Garrison’s Confections in Providence feels people shop for chocolate the same way women shop for a man: “Looks matter. The design does enhance it, because people buy with their eyes. Even if something is really pretty, but the one next to it isn’t as pretty, but tastes a lot better, they’ll take the one that’s really pretty.”
Finally, what would a one-shot recap of Sugar Rush be without the wit and wisdom of one Warren Brown, Esq.?
“Temperature is the vehicle that alters the impact of the chocolate flavor in this dish. In this melted and warmed state, the chocolate escapes into the recesses of the throat waking up taste buds that are far off of the map from the tongue. Feeling the effect of pristine chocolate, not hot and not cool, paired with the sharp citrus accent and richly textured nut meats adds dimension and lengthens this favorable chewing experience. Don’t use chips. There is something added to them which prevents the drippy effect of chocolate which looks great upon cutting and has a cleaner, unobstructed flavor.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, my trytophan is calling. Have a happy Thanksgiving.