Many of the dishes featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, the Food Network's popular compendium of culinary celebs' favorite restaurant foods, automatically become menu fixtures. But chef Seif Chirchi says he won't let stardom trump seasonality at Revel.
Revel's asparagus rice bowl--recently picked by former New York Times dining critic Frank Bruni as the best messy food he ever ate--won't outlast asparagus season, Chirchi vows.
"I don't want asparagus on the menu in October," Chirchi says.
Chirchi says the new episode probably won't air until the spring, giving the Fremont restaurant a chance to put the dish back on its menu before Food Network fans start clamoring for it.
A Food Network crew spent two days at Revel this weekend, interviewing Chirchi and collecting shots of the dining room and the rice bowl's preparation.
"They made a big deal of stirring up the egg with the sauces," Chirchi says, alluding to the episode's theme.
Chirchi says he didn't meet Bruni during his now-famed Seattle trip, but was alerted by wife Rachel Yang to a possible Bruni visit. "Rachel follows him on Twitter, so she knew he was in town," Chirchi recalls. "She said, 'Seif, tighten up Revel.'"
Chirchi apparently did as told. In a New York Times feature read avidly by local eaters and perhaps Food Network producers, Bruni wrote of his Revel lunch, "I had an outstanding riff on bibimbap, the traditional rice dish, with asparagus, pistachios and olives."
Revel will learn the show's air date two weeks in advance, says Chirchi, who's enjoyed the Food Network experience thus far. "It was so cool," he says of the filming.