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'Top Chef' Reunion: What would you cook with $500?

November 5, 2009 |  3:48 pm

Fabio Props to Fabio Viviani for doing a stand-up job as host and moderator on last night's "Top Chef All Star Reunion." Thank goodness he didn't take on the style of Andy Cohen, obnoxious host of Bravo's "Real Housewives" reunions, who is seemingly afflicted by an addiction to Crest White Strips.

There were some classic outtakes and a couple of moments of good drama, but the best part was the announcement of the ballooned-up $500 budget to prepare one course for the communal dinner. Each team, which consisted of two members from each season, was given quite the hunk of dough to put together a single course. Sounds like a foodie fantasy fulfilled to me.

What one course would you put together for 11 guests with $500?

Maybe I'd test out one of the time-consuming dishes from the new Ad Hoc cookbook, since the "All Star" show had no time limitations. Or how about taking a stab at making Joel Robuchon's quail leg stuffed with foie gras with a side of truffle mashed potatoes from L' Atelier (though I probably wouldn't be able to pull it off as well as the Michelin monger himself). That might stack up to a generous $350. I'd spend the rest on a few bottles of killer, reasonably priced bottles of Oregon pinot (under $50), maybe something from Domaine Drouhin or Soter Beacon Hill.

-- Krista Simmons

Photo: Fabio Vibiani. Credit: NBC UMV