Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Top Chef - 6/4/08

It's time for Puerto Rico. My parents have been there a few times, and it's one of their favorite places.

Stephanie was traveling through Asia during her time off, and Antonia opened a restaurant. Richard didn't say what he's been up to, but says it's game on. Lisa cut off all her hair.

It's Quickfire Time!

Beachside fritters served with cold beer are traditional snacks. They have to do two different fritters using plantains. Stephanie says that she doesn't really love plantains, but she's been experimenting with them.

Stephanie made Tostones with seared tuna. She also made pork and shrimp fritters with brown butter lime and basil sauce.

Antonia made crispy oysters with cilantro plantain jam, and the other one is fried yellow plantain with slaw.

Lisa made tostones with pan roasted duck with spicy mango papaya salsa, and sweet plantain with red onion and chorizo fritter with chutney slaw.

Richard made Pork meatballs with cilantro and herbs, and green fried plantain chips with raw plantain salsa.

The chefs all got good reviews, but Antonia didn't use plantains well. Richard's also was underwhelming. Stephanie got good marks for everything, and so did Lisa. Lisa's meat was sliced a little big, but overall good. Stephanie wins the quickfire, and I am happy.

The contestants are all going to a party to get to know Puerto Rico a little. Fun.

There will be a garden party with 100 vips and chefs. They are getting a pig, and they have to make at least 2 dishes using different parts of the pig.

Enter help! Dale, Nikki, Spike and Andrew are up! Stephanie gets to assign sous chefs, and she chooses Dale for herself, Nikki for Antonia, Spike for Richard, and Andrew for Lisa. The sous chefs will be shopping at the farmer's market, and the contestants get to butcher their pigs - or Wilbers as Stephanie calls them.

Richard earns a lot of respect from me when he tells Spike "You are not my sous chef; you're my partner."

Chaos ensues in the market with Andrew trying to pick produce using his Dora level Spanish.

Richard very cleverly brought labeling tape as one of his "secret ingredients." Lisa bitches out and makes everyone uncomfortable. And ooooopsie, after picking up for the night, Dale left out Stephanie's pork belly. Wisely, she decides not to use it.

Richard's menu consists:
BBQ Pork shoulder with coffee bbq sauce (my husband is skeptical, but I can see it being yummy)
pork belly with pickled watermelon
fresh ham & beans
Ribs with Malta (malt beverage) glaze.

Antonia's menu consists of:
Pork belly with sweet peppers
fresh pork sausage with pigeon peas and rice (which the consistency gets messed up on)
Curried pork

Lisa's Menu consists of:
Yuca & Pork Rellena
Citrus braised pork belly
Adobo roasted pork tostone

Stephanie's menu consists of:
Chicharrones (crispy pig skin), fruit, and prosciutto salad (that was her rescue dish, Dale's inspiration)
Coconut pork with plantain pancake
Pork satay on sugar cane

Judge's Table:

It all seemed to go over really well, but Lisa and Antonia had more criticisms than others. Antonia's peas were a bit dry.

Richard and Stephanie were brought back as the top 2. The winner is Richard, and I think he deserved it. He wins a 2009 Toyota Corolla! Sweet!!

Lisa and Antonia are in the bottom 2, and Lisa is looking angry as always at being their. Tom questions why Lisa went in the Latin American direction instead of going more Asian. Her dishes are criticized for being more focused on the garnishes than on the meat, and her puree was too sweet. Antonia admits that her pigeon peas were undercooked, but claims that she tends to like her beans more "al dente". She is criticized for putting all three dishes on one plate, and they became indistinguishable from each other. Ouch.

After the judge's deliberation, the chefs return and Lisa crosses her arms and looks peaved. As usual. And we will see her looking peaved again next week for the finale, because Antonia and her al dente pigeon peas are heading back home. I liked Antonia a lot, too.

Lisa is not congratulated when she returns to the holding room, and she gets pissy about that, too. Richard says "You just won the f-ing bronze medal. Congratulations. There you go." Of course, he said that in his confessional. I wish he had said it to her face. I would have loved to have seen her reaction.

Anyone know if there is a reunion show before the finale?

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