CHALLENGER NO. 3
Bill Telepan from Telepan
Scorecard: Like his peers, Telepan succumbed to the sodium temptation, a discovery we made upon our first bite of creamy (though creamless) corn soup. “I always use salt,” he said, a bit too casually, we thought. Next, a fluffy zucchini-and-tomato frittata big enough for four, served with roasted potatoes and wild arugula. “Normally, I would have used really expensive Tuscan olive oil,” said the chef, who swapped in Ronnybrook Farm Dairy butter. So far, so good, but Telepan lost his way a bit with dessert, a gooseberry-garnished wedge of pan-toasted cornbread bought at Greenmarket but made with cornmeal, butter, flour, sugar, margarine, eggs, and baking powder, all of dubious origin. It tasted delicious and cost only $2, two factors that slightly ameliorated the brazen disregard for provenance. And cornbread aside, he scored big (meaning small) in food miles, thanks in part to sniffing out a honey that hailed from a comparatively short distance (141 miles).
Pluses: Beautifully plated, tasty food struck the right seasonal chord, especially the off-the-beaten-track gooseberries. Telepan placed first in food miles and second in cost by a nose.
Minuses: Salt, like everyone else, and some might take issue with the brunchy nature of the meal, not to mention that one errant cornbread.
Finish: First place.