Friday, October 9, 2009
Top Chef Night 2
Wow. As you can tell, I've been avoiding writing this entry. TC aired on Wednesday. It's Friday now. It's time to get it all off my chest. I just have to say that I thought this whole episode was really weird. I, of course, HATED the ending. I also thought the quickfire challenge was really rushed and I don't know....it all didn't feel right. The whole thing gave me a weird vibe. Ash was acting like a slave, Robin and Mike were team members, the Hedge Hog RUINED Ashley's life! It was all very unsettling. Let me explain:
So I don't know whose idea it was, but Tyler Florence was the guest judge. I have nothing against Tyler Florence. In fact, I think he seems like a pretty nice guy who is reasonable good looking, although constantly bloated. However, they have had Hubert Keller, Eric Ripert, and Wylie Dufresne all who have Michelin stars! Is Tyler Florence REALLY at that level....I think not. But if I ever see Rachel Ray's little pug face on my Top Chef, I'm gonna go ape shit. I have beef with that woman.
Ok, so the quickfire challenge goes like this. There is a big slot machine with adjectives and nationalities. Everyone cranks the slot thingy and gets three words that they have to build a plate around and Tyler Florence decides who wins. Excellent idea for a challenge.
Ash got: tired, tart, Italian. He made a puttanesca sauce which I found clever because a tart is a whore. So good one, Ash! It looked good but very straightforward. C'mon now, I make puttanesca every now and then! Show me you are better than me!
Ashley got: blue, cheesy, middle eastern. Honestly, I think she had the hardest. First off, no food is blue, secondly middle eastern food isn't cheesy! She banged it out by making Sumac Crusted halibut with feta foam. It looked soo good; like a delight! I fell in love even more. *sigh
Bryan (the robot) got: adventurous, crispy, Asian. He's so lame. He doesn't know what adventure is. His snooze fest of a meal was seared scallops with bok choy and tempura beads. Waa Waaaaaa. Seriously, wake up kiddo! It looks fine and all, but make something EXCITING for once. I know you want to be Mr. Straight and Narrow in comparison to your "wild child" brother, but sheesh! Live a little.
Eli the Hedge Hog got: stressed, umami, Latin. This is a VERY cool mix. He could have done SO much. Personally, I would have done a smoky chile verde with tons of cumin for that umami flavor. He does shitaki mushroom ceviche with avocados. Can you imagine how gross that is?? I bet it just tastes like musk.
Jennifer got: adventurous, nutty, American. I would hate that mix of words, but oh well. Maybe I would make a pistachio pesto with manchego instead of Parmesan? Anyway, she made diver scallops with pistachios and caviar on top. She got in trouble because they didn't think she made anything adventurous, and I agree.
Kevin got: stressed, spicy, Asian. He made pork with daikon and a Vietnamese salad. Everyone was impressed because he nailed Asian flavors and he does not cook with them. His dish was also a real pretty color and looked very good.
Lauraine got: tart, romantic, Latin. I would have made a key lime pie ( Miami, hello Latin!) and made a truffle with dark chocolate and chili peppers to go on top. Rad, right? She made a salad with goat cheese and a pomegranate dressing. Oh, has someone been reading my blog for recipes?? I think SO!
Mike Isabella got: stressed, umami, asian. He made raw sliced mushrooms with an yuzu emulsion. His looked gross too. And jeeze people! Umami doesn't mean MUSHROOM! And why is everyone this season so obsessed with yuzu? I've had it. Its not that great!
Mike-the-Devil-may-care got: adventurous, tangy, Asian. That sounds like a personal ad to me...but I digress. He made an yuzu curd with raspberries, Greek yogurt, and a seaweed cracker. It really looked amazing. He is adventurous. I will give him that!
Robin was wearing a TERRIBLE shade of lipstick. I decided the name for that color of lipstick is Lusty Prune. Seriously, the WORST color. Anyway, she got: stressed, umami, middle eastern. She made a veggie hash with cumin and curry oil. Curry isn't really middle eastern. Woman: why are you here? Who did you have sex with to make it on the show?
Anyway, every one's dish looked pretty good! I think this is the best they have ever done. All of them looked restaurant ready besides the Hedge Hogs. Seriously, his made me want to puke. I imagine the taste of avocado and mushroom is like eating spoiled guacamole. Anyway, Kevin won again. His looked great, like I said earlier. I'm pretty sure he's gonna take it. Go red heads.
So the contestants' next big challenge is that they have to prepare a family style dish in teams of two at their house. The must make a meal in honor of a famous chef's cooking style with ingredients the chef has picked out for them. Tyler Florence is the guest judge...again.
So Bryan and Lauraine (who are so boring it makes me feel like I'm in a coma) get paired up. They make a meal inspired by Tyler Florence. It looked good but it wasn't impressive at all. It was Halibut and Sherry-Chorizo Viniagrette Yellow Corn Cake with Avocado Mousse. I'm sure it tasted great, but once again, IMAGINATION!
Kevin and Jennifer are paired up together and their chef was Tom Douglas. I think they were an extremely strong team. They are both excellent chefs, especially when Jennifer isn't hungover. They made Kobe Beef with Tomato-Cardomon Broth, Petit Bok Choy and Asian Pear. They clearly should have won. Everyone was raving about how amazing that broth was. Cardomon is one of my favorite seasonings...so Russian! I bet it was a flavor explosion. Jennifer wins because her broth is so amazing. I wish I could have tried it. It sound so good. I bet it would make a good addition inside a vodka martinni too!
Mike and Robbin were teamed up and had Takashi Yagihashi. This was just hilarious to watch. Robbin seems SO annoying. She was driving him nuts! It was great because he couldn't boss her around because he doesn't know Asian food at all and she claims she does. It was just a car wreck. Robbin is burning food right and left, Mike is all deflated and bruised because he doesn't have any ideas! Comedy. They ended up making marinated Mushroom and Pickled Pear Roll, Seared Tuna and Scallop, Truffle Ponzu. It was kind of a mess.
Michael and Ash were really weird to watch. All of the sudden Ash develops this super man crush on Michael and decides to lick his butt clean and do whatever he says. It was like Stockholm Syndrome. The chef they got was Nancy Silverton. Ash didn't contribute anything. He just sat back while Michael's meth-induced rant came out with some civilized ideas. They made Pancetta Wrapped Halibut with Egg Yolk Ravioli, Fennel and Asparagus. I guess they wanted it to be like a carbonera. It seemed really good. Problem was they didn't get a good sear on the fish because they were cooking on these weird electric woks instead of the kitchen like normal people.
Lastly and sadly, handsome Ashley was paired with the evil Hedge Hog and their chef was Govind Armstrong. They made Grilled Spot Prawns with Red Beet sauce, Creme Fraiche Gnocchi and Kale. It all seemed like it would have been delicious! Eli really wanted Ashley to make her gnocchi. And she did. However, when her back was turned, Eli over salted them and then deep fried them instead of sauteing them. Seriously, Colonel Sanders uses less oil to make chicken. He ended up ruining the gnocchi, and Ashely didn't cook the prawns enough because she was worried about overcooking them. So Hedgehog threw her under the bus and she was sent home. I'm so so so sad. I never thought she would win, but I thought top 4 for sure! She was sent home before her time. How can Robbin still be there and not my lovely Ashley? Sometimes the galaxy doesn't make sense.