Last night was the part of the “Top Chef” season that everyone looks forward to–contestants, judges and viewers. But it was especially cool for “Top Chef All-Stars,” and the show began last night with Antonia mentioning how she seems to be bad luck to fellow teammates, who kept getting eliminated around her. Anthony Bourdain hosted the quick fire challenge at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin restaurant, and this dude, Justo Thomas, was butchering fish like a madman. This guy is amazing…he can cut perfect portions of fish while leaving a carcass and skin, and do it in like 8 minutes. The challenge was to do this in 10 minutes, butchering portions of cod and fluke. The top four would compete for immunity by making a dish or dishes using all parts of the discarded fish–head, bones, skin, etc. (BLECH!!!!!) in the elimination challenge. In the bottom were Fabio, Tiffany, Carla and Antonia, and the best were Dale, Richard, Mike and Marcel. Dale won with his Fluke backfin sashimi with fluke liver sauce, and he had immunity for the main challenge.
Continue reading »
Thankfully, last night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox was just one hour, or one episode instead of two lumped into one. They must have realized that if they kept doubling them up, the show would be over by Thanksgiving. Anyway, here is our recap of last night, and we’re now down to five chefs!
Initial challenge: Amuse-bouche (quick bite) challenge with guest judges Ludo Lefebvre, Quinn and Karen Hatfield, Suzanne Tracht, and Michael Cimarusti
Mistakes: One judge said Nona’s shrimp and grits smelled like “body odor.” Ouch! And Trev’s frog legs were also a mess
Winner: Russell, for his hamachi broth
Prize: Tour of LA Market, and lunch with Gordon Ramsay and executive chef Kerry Simon. Russell was allowed to bring one person with him and he chose Gail since she finished second in the challenge
Punishment: Cleaning the dorms and having to listen to Trev whine
Dinner service: Tableside Steak Diane
Mistakes: Gail undercooked scallops; Trev overcooked pasta; Gail’s fish stuck to the pan; Jillian over-salted mashed potatoes; Gail “poached” her grilled salmon; Russ’ beef was raw in the middle. Ramsay pulled them all aside and said, “No more mistakes!” They straightened up for a bit before screwing up more. Russ’ steak was raw again, and that set Ramsay off.
Quote: Ramsay, to all chefs: “Get out!”
Winner: No winner. The remaining six chefs had to come up with a consensus two nominees for elimination
On the block: Trev and Sabrina. Sabrina started whining, though, about how she thought Gail screwed up more than she did and waah, waah, waah! Man, she’s annoying.
Going home: Sabrina, because the producers have mercy on us.
So that’s it, we’re down to the final five—Trev, Nona, Russ, Gail and Jillian. Does that seem to you like the weakest final five ever? You have to believe it’s Russ’ job to lose. But we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!
Don’t be shocked….I will get to the yuck part in a minute. But first, last night’s episode, the third in the inaugural season of “Top Chef Masters,” began with the introduction of the four contestants….Rick Bayless from Chicago; Cindy Pawlcyn of Napa, CA; Wilo Benet from San Juan; and Ludo Lefebvre from Los Angeles by way of France. Their Quickfire challenge was another favorite “Top Chef” challenge, the color theme, where each draws a color and then has to create a dish based solely on that one color.
Rick had green and made a roasted vegetable dish with green mole sauce over a banana leaf. CIndy drew yellow, and made a vegetable curry over yellow tinted grits with corn tortillas. Wilo had orange, and made a salmon tartare with carrots and orange edible flowers. Ludo had red, and made a beet gazpacho and steak tartare. But he forgot the tomatoes, and then the wait staff forgot his beet juice, at least temporarily. The judges, former “Top Chef” contestants, liked Wilo’s salmon the best, giving him 4.5 stars. Rick scored 4, Cindy 3.5 and Ludo 3. Ludo, the Frenchman that he is, was bitter in falling behind so early.
Continue reading »