Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top Chef - 2.12.09

(Sorry for the late recap. I've been way too busy for words)

Stefan and Fabio are not sad about losing Jamie, and Leah is feeling vulnerable. Turns out, Carla used to be a model. That's interesting. I wouldn't have guessed that.

Quickfire Challenge

The Guest Job is Wylie Dusfresne, a molecular gastronomist and innovator, who is apparently obsessed with eggs. The Cheftestants have to create something with eggs that will surprise and delight Wylie, and will win a significant advantage.

Fabio is making eggs, a dessert that looks like eggs, and is using an egg shell as a bowl for something else.

Hosea is doing a "sushi roll" with thin fried egg instead of nori, and is also trying to do a tempura fried egg.

Steffan is making a panna cotta with a mango puree inside, and a poached egg with bernaise.

Carla is doing Green Eggs and Ham. I kind of like that.

Leah didn't mention what she is making, but she is nervous.

Stefan - Eggs two ways: Poached Egg on Brioche with Ham and Bernaise, and Panna Cotta with Mango Puree, and a sweet bernaise. Wylie called it very clever.

Leah - Quail Egg in Potato with caviar and brioche with bacon hollandaise. Wylie calls it very nice.

Carla - Green eggs and ham with green tomato salsa and jalapeno oil. Padma and Wylie appreciate it very much. It looks wonderful. I kind of want to try something like it.

Hosea - Egg white roll with salmon and asparagus, Egg white sticky rice with shrimp and avocado aoili, and avocado and tempura fried egg salad. Wylie called it a neat idea.

Fabio - Quail egg with buckwheat pancake, coconut milk panna cotta with mango puree (which looked like an egg), and lychee soup with melon on yolk (in a green egg shell. I love cool colored eggs)

Fabio's landed on the bottom, because he didn't really showcase the egg. Hosea's didn't really flow. Leah's potato ravioli was heavy and greasy. He appriated Carla's humor and Stefan's dish. Carla won it, and I am happy. It was very very clever.

She will get an advantage in the elimination challenge.

Now, it's time to draw knives.

Fabio is thrilled to draw Lydia Bastianich (which I have spelled terribly, I'm sure). She is "the queen of Italian cooking in this country." Good for him.

Hosea draws Susan Ungaro, who is the president of the James Beard Foundation.

Stefan drew Marcus Samuelsson.

Leah drew Wylie.

Carla drew Jaques Pepin.

The Famous Chefs were asked what their last meals would be. The cheftestants have to cook that for them.

Carla is to cook roast squab with fresh peas.

Hosea is to cook Shrimp scampi with tomatoes provecal

Stefan is to cook roasted salmon and spinach.

Fabio is to cook roast chicken, with roasted potatoes and a leafy salad.

Leah is to cook eggs benedict.

Carla is given the chance to switch with anyone, but chooses to keep her own.

They have to create a 5 course meal for the chefs and the judges (each chef's dish will be a course). They'll have $300 and 30 minutes at Whole Foods, and they will present their meals at an exclusive place in Manhattan.

Before their final meal, they all went to eat at Harold (from the first Top Chef)'s restaurant. They got to chat with him for a bit, and that was cool. The restaurant is called Perilla.

The next day, the Whole Foods Supermarket Sweep is on. Fabio and Stefan laughed about Organic European Butter. Leah is not going traditional with the Eggs Benedict, and that could either be a good idea, or come back to bite her.

They have 2 hours to cook, and are staggered, 30 minutes.

And Fabio broke his finger. He denied an offer to go to the hospital. He said that he would sear his finger on the flat top so it wouldn't bleed anymore, and deal with the hospital after the challenge. Appetizing. But, I admire his tenacity. He said he could cook with a hand behind his back, put on a four fingered latex glove.

The problem is that he has to do a whole lot of peeling, and that's darned near impossible one-handed.

Carla questions Stefan's idea of changing up the meal from what was asked for. Fabio said that he would rather have his last meal prepared by his (dearly departed) grandmother, not Top Chef contestants. Tom went into the kitchen to very briefly tell the cheftestants not to embarrass him.

Leah is going first with her eggs benedict - Eggs Benedict with a slow-poached egg and bacon on challah, and added a salad. Wylie thought the egg white was a bit watery, and didn't appreciate the added salad. Some of the others appreciated the runny white.

Stefan's dish is second - Salmon with spinach two ways, roasted potatoes and dill sauce. I love salmon with dill sauce. Marcus Samuelsson is from Sweden, so adding the dill sauce was smart. The salmon was quite overcooked. The two kinds of spinach were indistinguishable from one another. That's not good.

Hosea is next - Shrimp scampi with tomatos provencal and beurre blanc. The tomatoes are called disappointing, and the seasoning is questioned a bit. Tom wishes he had gone a bit more traditional.

Fabio was having a terrible time, but ended up plating well - Roasted Chicken with Herb-Roasted Potatoes & Caramelized Cipollini, and with a nice leafy salad with vinaigrette. The chicken is called awesome. Wylie called the salad airplane food worthy. Everyone seemed to love the chicken, saying it could go straight on a restaurant menu.

Carla was worried about her squab temperature and served - Squab with Lemon Thyme butter, demi-glace and butter terragon peas. One of the judges said that Carla made her a convert to squab. Marcus thought the squab was overcooked, and Tom agreed. The peas are called scrumptious. Jacques said he could die happy with that meal. That's good.

Tom was proud of the cheftestants and thanked them for not embarrassing him.

In the Holding Room, the Cheftestants enjoyed a drink before going back to Judge's table.

Leah is called out for her Hollandaise being too thin, and Padma says she thinned out the flavor, too. Stefan is incredulous that his salmon was overcooked, and for his failed attempt at spinach two ways. Toby wanted the potatoes to be crispier. Hosea's Tomato Provencal was called too refined. Fabio is thrilled that his dish went over well, but his salad was disappointing. Carla admitted that her squab was overcooked a little, but it was still called tender. The fresh peas were out of season, but ended up being delicious.

The judges weren't sure if they were going to take Fabio's broken finger into account. Jacques says that the peas from Carla and the potatoes from Fabio were both perfection. Leah had a problem with the thin Hollandaise and the eggs needed a bit more cooking. The judges were all pretty disappointed in Hosea...

The winner of the Last Supper Challenge is Fabio, with his hand almost literally tied behind his back. That's impressive. He won a (GIANT) bottle of Terlatto Angel's Peak wine, and a three day, two night trip to the vineyard. Carla is also safe, and did her very best Tortoise impersonation, overtaking the hares who are at the bottom in this challenge.

Leah, Stefan, and Hosea are all in trouble. In the end, it's Leah, and I think it was her time. It was probably her time a while ago.

So, the Final Four is Stefan, Hosea, Fabio, and Carla. Fabio was cradling that bottle of wine like it was a baby.

They head to New Orleans next, for Mardis Gras it looks like, and I saw Emeril in previews.

Can't wait to see how it goes from here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!