Many of Johnny DeVivo's menu items at Porter's in the Forest hint at his resourceful and creative instincts.
Note the lemon cream, pistachios and Parmesan on his spring asparagus, the short-rib fries, the semolina-ricotta gnocchi with charred onion-black trumpet mushroom sauce, the Nutella hand pies and the salmon salad with pine nuts, fennel, cucumber and bacon he cures himself.
So did his entry at the most recent Big Sur Forager's Fest, an inspired "mushrooms five ways" with bits like pickled black trumpet, smoked hedgehogs and grilled chanterelles, with a puff of roasted marshmallow foam on top.
As I wrote after that cook-off, which stars a number of talented chefs and headlines the festival, it was a "smart and technically dynamic dish that might've won best in show if the judges were chefs."
For his next showdown—on national TV, no less—the judges will be chefs, and his kind of creativity might just help him survive Cutthroat Kitchen, one of the more entertaining food shows I've seen.
A press release explains a little about how it works:
Cutthroat Kitchen features four chefs competing in a three-round elimination cooking competition.
However, the contestants face auctions in which they can purchase opportunities to sabotage each other or benefit themselves.
Each chef is given $25,000 at the start of the show; the winner keeps whatever money he/she has not spent in the auctions.
We can't wait to see Chef Johnny in action! He will be filming July 1...we will keep you posted on the air-date to join in all the fun! #TeamJohnny