December 4th, 2008 1:39 am |
Well here we go! First of all sorry I didn’t have a Top Chef 5.3 recap from last week.
Sadly, another Team Rainbow member has been sent home. Richard and his banana smores weren’t a big hit with the Foo Fighters.
It was really sad to see him go. I’d really like to meet him.
This week’s Quickfire Challenge we find Padma and Rocco DiSpirito in the kitchen as our chefs walk in. Behind Padma and Rocco is a table of “breakfast foods”. The challenge? Create a breakfast amuse bouche (one bite highlight). After some interesting choices, only two people stood out for Rocco. Leah and Jamie. Who won? Well, by definition an Amuse Bouche is supposed to be a one-bite highlight. Jamie’s was a two-bite dish, so Leah won the Quickfire. This is her second Quickfire win and she will have been safe from elimination for two shows now.
Show off a dish that shows who you are in a live 2.5 minute demo presentation. The went shopping at Whole Foods Market and they have 30 minutes and $100 to shop.
Once back at the TC Kitchen, they have 1 hour for cooking prep. They all get going. What I’m wondering is if any of the chefs will actually “stage” their food so they can fit it all in a 2.5 minute presentation. You know, thru the magic of TV, here is the dish as it would appear at this stage, then have a final version to present a the end? Or, will they all try to actually “cook” their dish in 2.5 minutes. Sometimes the Top Chef folks will throw a curve ball and they say it’s for a 2.5 minute live presentation, but they never said it had to be “made”, so to speak in the 2.5 minutes. Let’s find out. The chef’s are all ready and they setup a “faux” studio set in the kitchen and they each go up and do their demo. To my surprise, some actually tried to cook their meal, but most of them knew of the “thru the magic of television” routine!
Here’s the breakdown of the dishes in this Elimination Round:
Ariane – Jersey Beefsteak Tomato Salad with Watermelon & Feta Cheese
Jamie – Bitter Green Salad with a Duck Egg, Bacon & Caviar
Radhika – Sweet Shrimp & Cucumber Salad (didn’t make the clock)
Carla – Tortilla Soup (didn’t make the clock)
Fabio – Tuna with Roasted Carrots & Aspargus Salad
Stefan – Minestrone Soup with Pancetta & Herbs
Melissa – Blackened Habanero Shrimp
Alex – Rose Infused Creme Brulée (didn’t make the clock)
Leah – Duck Breast with Corn & Blueberry Hash (didn’t make the clock)
Eugene – Tuna Sashimi & Pea Shoot Salad
Danny – Ginger Soy Skirt Steak with Cabbage Salad
Jeff – Malfouf (Cabbage) Roll with Shrimp & Muhammara Sauce
Hosea – Crispy Ahi Tuna Roll with Wasabi Peas
So the judges talk about their least favorites. They talked about Jamie’s raw egg, Leah’s low confidence and then there was Alex’s creme brulée. They also talked about Carla and how she ran out of time, but they liked her dish. They loved Ariane, Jeff and Fabio.
In a weird twist, Padma comes to the waiting room and tells them who the bottom three are (Alex, Jamie and Melissa) and who the top are (Ariane, Jeff and Fabio). Padma then says it’s late, we’ll see you all at Judges’ Table tomorrow. Tomorrow??
So our chefs come back to the apartment, there is discussion about how they did, Alex talks about how he is getting married in 20 days and if maybe this is a blessing in disguise. So everyone is asleep and Tom comes into the apartment in the middle of the night. Tom wakes up Ariane, Jeff and Fabio and asks them to come out to the living room. Tom tells them that they are going to be on the Today show and they will be choosing the winner of the three. They have to prep and cook at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. As it turns out, there is a restaurant right next to the studio which is run by the Patina Restaurant Group called The Sea Grill. The Patina Group is based here in Los Angeles and headed up by Joachim Splichal.
They get started and they are doing the candid “words of wisdom” from our chefs and Jeff has the audacity to pre-judge the hosts of the Today show by saying that he is pissed off that he is up at 6:30am cooking for judges with unsophisticated palettes.
What??? While he might be right, he could also be wrong! Don’t go on national television and voice your opinion about that.
Meanwhile, the other chefs in the house are just waking up and realizing that three of their comrades are missing. They go into the living room and there is a TV setup. They are watching the Today show that morning along with the rest of the Nation. So, the Today Show hosts only have to taste it, they aren’t demoing it on the show. First up is Ariane’s Tomato Salad. Turns out Meredith Viera doesn’t like watermelons, but everyone else likes the dish (even Kathy Lee). Next up is Fabio’s Tuna dish and then Jeff’s dish. Oh my god, Kathy Lee is spitting out Jeff’s dish on live television! Guess who won?? It’s Ariane!!! Good for her!
So now, Judges’ Table. The three top chefs are up there. Ariane not only wins a spot on national TV, she will cook her dish LIVE the next morning after that episode is on the air. (???) Wasn’t it just live on the show?
So now we have Alex, Jamie and Melissa up at the table. Melissa defended her shrimp dish, but all the judges said that picking a habanero was way too much, especially for the home cook. They each said it was way too hot. Now up to Jamie’s raw egg. She said she new better and that there were options to making sure the egg was cooked. Alex wanted to step out of the box and do a dessert was his defense. He said he set himself up for failure. I think he is giving himself up for release.
So after the judges deliberated who should go home, their choice was Alex.
Congrats on your upcoming marriage and I hope to try your cuisine at whatever your next venture will be here in Los Angeles. Alex was with Restaurant 15 in Echo Park. That restaurant was closed just prior to the Top Chef premiere. As of this blog post, the Restaurant 15 website is still up and running. The restaurant was purchased and is now the Allston Yacht Club.