Top Chef 4, Egg Whites, and Filipino American Dale Talde

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Season four of Top Chef starts next week - March 12th - and as I was looking over the cast bios of the cheftestants I couldn't help but think to myself how white the cast was in comparison to last season.

It's not that the current crew of cooks don't seem full of personality or talent, or that I mind watching white people (because white people, I've been watching you for a while now) - but I was expecting more diversity, more color, more individuals.

At least Top Chef still had the sense to get Filipino American chef Dale Talde on its cast for this season (and be on the lookout for Manuel and Nimma too).

Here's his Top Chef info:

AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Chicago, Il
PROFESSION: Sous Chef at Buddakan
CULINARY EDUCATION: Culinary Institute Of America
FAVORITE SIMPLE SPRING RECIPE: Grilled matsutake mushrooms, shaved myoga, spicy truffled ponzu

BIO: Dale, a sous chef at Buddakan, one of New York's hottest restaurants, was born and raised in Chicago, where he helped open the renowned restaurant Jean Georges Vong. In Chicago, Dale worked with distinguished chefs like Carrie Nahabedian and Shawn Mcclain. With his Filipino background, Dale focuses on Asian flavors. "I love the balance that Asian cuisine offers the salty, sweet, bitter and sour and the textures it provides for different experiences in every bite." One of Dale's kitchen favorites is a dry aged kobe rib eye. Dale says cooking meats is one of his favorite things to do in the kitchen and the technique that goes into properly searing and basting a rack of lamb or steak shows a lot of love. A motto that drives Dale is "expect perfection , because if you fall short your left with greatness."
For the full list of this season's hopefuls, check out the Top Chef Season 4 bios here, and if you feel like dropping an e-mail out Bravo's way asking why they decided to take a step back in diversifying their cast, jump on over to their contact page.