Sep 20, 2007

A Classically Wonderful Top Chef

Five Happy Cheftestants Remain

For the quickfire challenge, Sirio Maccione, the suave and talented owner of Le Cirque, got to decide if our cheftestants could prepare his restaurant's secret signature dish: a white sea bass wrapped in russet potato and on a bed of leeks.

The deans of the French Culinary Institute, with founder Dorothy Hamilton, chose the ingredients for the elimination challenge: The simple and classic ingredients of chicken, potato, and onion represent the ultimate culinary test. Combined, these deans represent 200 years of cooking talent.

Gail, who finally returned, was as feisty, opinionated, and fair as usual. She looked beautiful too. Congratulations on your engagement, Gail. You simply glowed.

Each cheftestant was given an opportunity to shine individually. They can give no excuses this time or blame a partner. After they created a dish from simple ingredients, all we had to do was sit back and listen to the judges' comments, which in this episode were fair and knowledgeable. In the image below, Andre Soltner discusses food with Tom Colicchio. Andre, the chef/owner of Lutece in New York City, was this week's guest judge. 'Nuff said.

After not much deliberation in either case, Hung won both the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges, but it's become quite evident that his biggest competition for the title of Top Chef will be Casey.

Brian coasted to the finals with a truly hideous looking dish that apparently tasted divine.

Dale made the final four by the skin of his teeth, while Sara was asked to leave for cooking raw chicken in the elimination challenge. In fact, her meat was raw in both challenges. She must have suffered from nerves, although it was painfully clear as the episode unfolded that she was performing beyond her abilities.

As for Dale, he summed this episode up best when he declared to the judges: "Cooking is love … and you definitely know that you got laid tonight."

Yes, dahling, tonight we all got laid. Thanks, Bravo, for a truly excellent show. This is what cooking is all about.

Next week's guest judge? Eric Rippert. Yum.


ArtfulSub said...

I thought I'd be the only one who liked last night's episode.


she said...

i love yours an artfulsub's top chef reviews. ya'll got me to watching the show. thanks for the visual aids too. i will watch the rerun on sunday night.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, but I wanted to second what "she" said... oh wow, total Michael Scott moment.

Seriously though - love your recaps of TC, Hell's Kitchen, etc.

Do you plan to take on Kitchen Nightmares as well?

Ms. Place said...

Yes, beyond blond, thank you for asking. I wouldn't miss the Nightmares. There's something Chef Ramsey that I find fascinating. Thank y'all for the heads up! You put a smile on my face.

Marius said...

Yes, this episode was much better than previous episodes. Excellent recap! Also, Gail rocks. I love her.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I heart Gail.

And I'm so excited that you're going to be reviewing Kitchen Nightmares, Ms. Place. :) I can't get enough of GR either. Loved the BBC version, and the first US episode this week did not fail to deliver!

Ms. Place said...

I missed the episode this week, Beyond Blond, due to house guests. But will definitely catch up starting this week!

RVA Foodie said...

As we get down to the final four, I'm a little sad. I've only begrudgingly appreciated Casey's competence, prefering to believe that her winning dishes were the result of conspiracy, or smoke and mirrors. But don't get me wrong, I want woman to take the Top Chef cake. Casey just doesn't impress me. I'd rather have seen Sara's commanding kitchen presense translate into culinary perfection. But it wasn't meant to be.

Now, it's shaping up like Hung's drive will have him coast to a showdown with Casey. Hung is inarticulate and obstinate when criticized - obviously no leader at this point in his career. My pick, is Casey by default. As long as she doesn't have to chop onions, the others will elliminate themselves.