Being a Top Chef contestant can be grueling and exhausting and crazy fun. When we're all wiped out from nonstop competition, we do what we do best: eat good food. Some of my most memorable meals with those talented chefs involved banh mi, traditional Vietnamese sandwiches that layer cured meats, sausages, and pickled vegetables in small, soft versions of French baguettes. I love anything with pickles and fresh cilantro! I've put those flavors in a burger patty here and sandwiched them in my favorite French roll: buttery brioche. The rich bread makes all the difference, as does high-quality pork.
Simple table salt can be transformative on food -- imagine unsalted potato chips or french fries. Paul Breslin, a professor who researches taste perception, explains how salt affects the taste of food.
Rumi Spice is a company that sources saffron directly from farmers in Afghanistan. "What we aim to do at Rumi Spice is to help build up that Afghan brand, to make everyone realize that it's a place worth investing in, that the people are worth investing in," says co-founder Kimberly Jung.