Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Chef Season 5, the bridal shower episode

Top Chef was on last night and you know, those dang chefs just aren't giving me much to work with! Dreamy Fabio lost some of his sexy swagger and Stefan emerged as the egomaniac of the season, but he doesn't seem nearly as annoying as some from the past ... like scary Lisa from last season.

I'll keep up with my weekly musings but I'll keep it snappy. Holiday preparations call.

The thing about Stefan loving Jamie is too funny. Does he think he'll recruit her to the other team?

The QuickFire -- tasting soups and naming ingredients in them -- was cool. It reminded me of being with some friends at a cooking class last week. The demo had been a pumpkin risotto, and when we tasted it, we agreed the risotto tasted "off," as something was overpowering all of the other flavors. It took me about 10 minutes of tasting to figure out that it was too much nutmeg -- and I had the recipe right in front of me! I've got to hand it to the chefs for their discerning palates. And it was gratifying to see Stefan get beaten by Hosea.

The Elimination Challenge -- cooking for Gail's bridal shower...
- How cool is Gail's job? To get some leading chefs to cook for your bridal shower -- not a bad perk! Think the host had to pay for any of it?
- The theme of the challenge -- something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue -- was clever. Just difficult enough to make it a challenge, but broad enough to let the chefs cook some great food of their own styles.
- The "old" team doing "heirloom" tomatoes was right on the money. The dishes didn't appeal to me but they were smart to start off with dishes that were light.
- The "new" team (mostly Eugene) waaayyyy overthought the challenge and that derailed their food. Haven't they watched the show in the past? The judges will overlook a team bending the rules (with a scolding from Colicchio, perhaps) before they overlook bad food. And it called for "something" new, not an entirely new cuisine. How about something with new potatoes or baby greens? Or incorporating Beaujolais Nouveau?
- Poor Carla. Yes, she has funny expressions but she seems to be a talented chef and a decent human being. Did you see the cute wonton bowls she was making for the salads? Loved them. She did everything she could to not throw her teammates under the bus. But she's going to have to grow a pair (or something) if she's going to stick with the competition for the long haul.
- The "borrowed" team was a good example of using the theme very loosely -- borrowing from someone's culture? The lamb dish looked absolutely gorgeous but those foodie women are a different breed than the women I know. I've never been served lamb at a bridal shower and can't imagine it. In these parts we ladies eat salads and chicken at bridal showers.
- The "blue" team had it the roughest in terms of theme. Using blue cornmeal was clever, as was Fabio's idea of cooking food from the blue ocean. As much as I love Fabio, that dish didn't look or sound very exciting.
- Ariane winning the elimination challenge? Seriously? It seemed like all she did was put the lamb in the oven and take it out! She should have shared her goodies with her team.
- Colicchio is starting to irritate me. "If I could, I'd send all three of you home." If the chef thing ends up going south, he could find a career in being an elementary school lunch lady. Or bus driver. Ha, ha, I can totally picture him in both roles.
- It could be argued that Gene should have been cut because he dreamed up the make-your-own sushi roll and then forgot to explain it to the ladies. It would have been disappointing,though, because it seems like he has a lot of talent. I think the right guy left.


Kristen said...

I thought the blue team should have made something with bleu cheese, possibilities seem endless with that ingredient! I was relieved to see Daniel leave, had about enough of him.


Tracy said...

Kristen bleu cheese is perfect! Even blueberries would have been ok.

Judy said...

Even something with blue corn tortillas would have been an improvement. Fabio didn't seem like he was trying very hard this time, but I guess every chef has an off day now and then.

Tracy said...

They used blue corn in the coating for the fish, but it looked like they didn't use much of it.
Blue corn tortillas could have worked. Even little fried strips as a garnish (which probably is totally passe outside of Rochester).

And I don't think Fabio really "brought it" in the challenge. I think the team thing is hard for the chefs -- maybe that was it.

HoneyB said...

The look on Ariane's face said it all - she didn't expect to win. I didn't expect her to win either! I still don't have a favorite yet. I guess I haven't seen enough of what anyone is doing to pick. BUT I agree. The right person did go home.

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