Now that Robin is gone, I think the group is pretty neck and neck.
Bryan is worried about his restaurant bills getting paid. Red Beard misses his wife. Eli's mentor is Richard Blase (from previous seasons). Jennifer feels that she started off strong but has become unfocused. Agreed.
Padma is in the Quickfire with Gavin Kaysen, who represented the US in an Olympic-style cooking competition about classical French cuisine.
Cheftestants have to create a version of Gavin's Bocuse D'Or - Protein, in a protein, in a protein. 90 minutes.
Jennifer decided to do a Turducken. That's expected, isn't it?
Red Beard thought that the Voltaggios are doing things that are risky in the given time.
Eli made a Bacon Crusted Breakfast Sausage with a Six-Minute Egg center. I love Scotch Eggs, so I think adding bacon around them is just this side of genius.
Michael made a poultry terrine with turkey, bacon, and turkey.
Jennifer made calamari steak, salmon, and shiso with a salad. Padma welcomed her back.
Bryan made a rack of lamb with merguez sausage and caul fat with puree of carrot, curry yogurt,and a couple other sauces
Red Beard made a cornmeal fried catfish with scallop and shrimp. Yum.
Red Beard's catfish was called overcooked. Michael V. didn't capture the spirit of the challenge. The winner of the challenge was Jennifer. Good for her. She's going to get an advantage in the elimination challenge.
It's the Top Chef version of Bocus D'Or. Each chef needs to create a presentation platter with one protein and two (complex and intricate) garnishes.
They have a choice of lamb or salmon for protein and will use a traditional mirrored platter for their presentation.
They have four hours to cook the next day. Jennifer gets an extra 30 minutes to cook. That's slick. They will be cooking for 12 judges, including representatives from Bocus D'Or. Thomas Keller will be one of the judges, and he's a famous American chef. They have to show taste, creativity, and execution.
After Whole Foods, they watched a dvd of the Bocus D'Or and it was insane. Kevin asked the Voltaggios advice on how to cook with the sous vide. Bryan was fine with sharing the information. He admitted that he wasn't sure if his brother would have done the same thing. I say, bravo. It was a good thing to do, and not a jackass move.
Cooking the next day, they got to meet Thomas Keller when Tom brought him to the kitchen. Then, they got to cooking. Michael decided that the food Kevin cooks is the food he cooks on his day off. Tom did a walk through, and then told the chefs that the winner of the challenge will get $30K. Wow.
Red Beard presents first. He's serving lamb loin, sherry glazed golden beet with swiss chard and asparagus with sunchoke cream and toast. Sounds good to me. The judges seemed to think it tasted good, but Thomas Keller thought it was a little elementary.
Michael served a cauliflower and chick pea cake, sous vide salmon with crab and zucchini, tzatziki stuffed cucumber with salmon roe. The flavors were called disparate. One of the judges found a bone. It was said that he had a lack of harmony.
Jennifer was super nice and helped Bryan out when he was running out of time. He served a crusted loin of lamb, crusted with parsley, and something I can't pronounce, and a play on mac & cheese with sheep's cheese and a very cool garlic chip. The plating was impressive, but the lamb was undercooked. His ideas were lauded, but it was obvious that he ran out of time.
Eli made a lamb sausage crusted in pistachios. His garnishes is a carrot puree with yogurt foam and tomato and pepper marmalade on top of a crouton. He carved tableside. I don't know that's a good idea. The lamb was badly cut, and undercooked.
Jennifer gave them poached salmon with caviar and enoki mushrooms, shrimp flan with snap peas, chervil, and truffles, along with celery root with shitake mushrooms. The dish was called all over the place and some of the plates were undercooked.
Thomas told them that one of them would get a spot in the 2011 Bocus D'or competition. Wow.
The chefs scrubbed down the kitchen when they were done cooking, and that's the first time I think I've seen that. It was kind of nice.
Judge's Table for everyone!
Michael's mediterranean theme was blasted, and the bone in his salmon was not good. Bryan was told that they felt if he had more time, it would have been perfect. Red Beard was accused of playing it too simple and safe. Jennifer's salmon cooking method was interesting, but didn't work. Eli's meat was very very undercooked.
And the winner of the challenge? Red Beard! Go Red Beard! He gets to go to Bocus D'Or. I think he was about to cry. All that, and $30K. Slick.
I am not surprised when Eli is sent packing. I think that's how it should be. He did well, but he was out-cheffed.
What do you think?