leave your inhibitions at the door
Just about everyone on the internet hated how last week’s show featured a bunch of gimmicky challenges that had nothing to do with food. The hatred got so bad that many of the commentators said that this season has been so awful that they quit watching weeks ago. All this while still giving their opinions of the episode. (Nice try, hipsters.) The hatred for the episode even gave rise to a lot of conspiracy theories about rigging it for Beverly to come back. I guess we’ll never know if there was a concerted effort to keep Bev in the competition. I do know I didn’t mind all the gimmicks, simply for the entertainment value of watching Sarah fail at skiing.
What bothers me is when they have the contestants cook for the cast of “Ben Hur”, thus making it “Top Caterer” instead of “Top Chef”. So when I saw the previews of this week I was disheartened to see them cooking for 150 people. It may have been basement-level expectations, but they pulled through with a good episode.
We got shut out the last week on the Sarah Grueneberg drinking game. I saw the episode twice and didn’t see one OMG! reaction. She made up for it this week.
Quickfire – Team Up with a Top Chef Master
The chefs were matched up with three Top Chef Masters alumni – Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, and Takashi Yagihashi. I once ate at Takashi in Chicago and it was good. Not very exciting or innovative, but the execution was excellent. Since he’s in Chicago, of course Sarah is good friend of his. And of course, since they are good friends, she freaks out when he enters the room.
The contestants and masters took turns creating an Asian-inspired dish. Neither teammate knew what the other was doing until they switched off every ten minutes. The winner got $20K.
Elimination Challenge – Fire and Ice cocktail party
Each chef had to prepare a dish and a cocktail for 150 of Vancouver’s “culinary elite”. They must include both a fire and an ice element, the definitions of which were open to interpretation. I still hate how it’s more of a catering challenge, but at least the crowd is considered “culinary elite” as opposed to the some garden-variety redneck in a cowboy hat. The winner gets a trip for two to Costa Rica.
The judges could agree that none were perfect, but that’s about it.
Winner: Kundun. The only complaints were that it could be slightly spicier and Tom hated the piece of arugula. He wins the trip and a spot in the final.
Also going to final: Sarah. Her pasta was perfect, but Gail’s mousse was frozen solid. And yes…
Sent home: Penishead. The remoulade overpowered the fish and overall didn’t seem to have much direction.