My random thoughts (I should take notes):
- Rick Bayless sure is slim for a chef, isn't he? And Mexican food isn't known for being terribly slimming. I like the idea of creative tacos, and would have loved to have tried some of those creations, but I don't understand the idea of a "fine dining" taco. A bunch of stuff folded in a tortilla (or, heaven forbid, a lettuce leaf) is going to be messy, which I don't think lends itself to fine dining.
- Shopping at the neighbors' houses was kind of contrived -- those people were all too willing to give up huge bags full of groceries. And how about the long close-ups on the products the chefs just happened to find in the cupboard? The product placements on the show are getting to be a bit much.
- I knew the mac and cheese would be a mess, because Velveeta always turns back into a brick at room temp. I'm not sure how that would make for a positive product placement for Velveeta.
- The only picnic dish I really wanted to taste was the pork and pineapple skewers. And maybe Richard's "paella." Sliders and soggy corn dogs, eh. If you had to do hot dogs, instead of doing corn dogs, why not a gourmet take-off on the Chicago-style hot dog?
- Fewer close-ups of Padma eating ... but did anyone else think the s'more was headed right down her cleavage? I was sure we were in for a close-up of a messy marshmallow nestled between her boobs.
- The judges are nitpicky, I think, when it comes to what dishes are "supposed to be." I think the chefs would be better off taking a page from the world of cooking contests -- instead of giving the dish a specific name like "paella," they should give it a less specific name, like "Spanish Inspired Rice with Sausage and Seafood." Then they couldn't have nailed Richard on the lack of crusty stuff on the bottom of the pot.
- No "turd award" this week.
- Less swearing, although Andrew has regained the "annoying" title. I hope he leaves soon.
- Hooray for Stephanie! I'm pulling for her.