leave your inhibitions at the door
At the beginning of the season I said I’d try to post a recipe based on one of the dishes from each episode. Of course, I forgot that there were going to be times like last episode where I had absolutely no interest in making any of them. The Quickfire last week was one of those challenges where they had to make something out of randomly chosen ingredients. While it makes for great TV and are excellent for showcasing the chef’s ability to think on their feet, I’m not interested in making a dish out of sardines, cocktail weenies, celery root, and passion fruit. Though I could.
And the Elimination Challenge featured vegan/vegetarian dishes. What’s that LL?
LL Cool J meme
At the beginning of this episode, they did the usual bit where the remaining contestants go through and give their commentary on the previous elimination. This one was a little lively only because you hear Nina call the recently-booted Michael “a douche.” Otherwise, it’s where some of the contestants start immersing themselves in a mini pity party. This time it was by Sara and I found it pretty damn annoying. Almost annoying as her tiresome Minnie Mouse hairdos.
David Brenner look-alike John Besh and Padma took them all to a farm to do some outdoor cooking. They had 20 minutes to cook a dish outdoors highlighting the very famous Creole tomato with the winner getting immunity.
Bene – chilled tomato watermelon soup
Carlos – olive oil poached tomato with red onions, cilantro & basil plus raw flower marinated in tomato water.
Stephanie – Creole tomato steaks with vinaigrette & olive oil
Nina – chilled watermelon tomato soup with jalapeno, fresh basil & shaved zucchini
Nicholas – caramelized melon, cherry vinegar, tomatoes with watermelon cucumber
Justin – tomato skin tartare with squash blossoms & olive oil
Travis – seared Creole tomato with steak, feta, & wilted arugula
Louis – tomato seed bouillion, marinated tomato, watermelon cucumber & zucchini
Brian – “Toad in the hole” creole tomato with andouille sausage
Patty – Roasted tomatoes marinated in olive oil & cherry vinegar with arugula & asparagus
Least Favorite – Patty, Stephanie, Travis
Most Favorite – Nina, Carlos, Louis
Winner – Nina
Elimination Challenge – Create a farm fresh dish using Philadelphia cream cheese
Huh?!?!? I know they gotta get corporate sponsors, but this is ridiculous. How is Philadelphia cream cheese remotely New Orleans? Or farm fresh? And how come NO ONE called bullshit or at least said with a wink how cream cheese isn’t in the same hemisphere as haute cuisine? Oh yeah, sponsors.
Anyway, they have to cook a family style dish at Besh’s La Provence for all 8 of his executive chefs. Winner gets $10K
Patty – snapper crudo with cream cheese vinaigrette
Brian – summer squash & zucchini tagliatelle with poached oysters & emulsified cream cheese
Carlos – poached beets & pickled carrots with peach, habanero, & cream cheese sauce
Nina – Crispy zucchini blossoms with eggplant & cream cheese puree
Sara – island spiced lamb chop stuffed with cream cheese & curry powder
Bene – roasted chicken breast filled with caramelized onions & tarragon cream cheese
Carrie – vinegar-braised chicken in cream cheese sauce with chilled cucumber
Justin – roasted duck breast with eggplant vinaigrette, chanterelle mushrooms & corn puree
Travis – seared lamb chops with Moroccan succotash & cream cheese aoli
Louis – graham cracker with blackberries & cream cheese mousse
Nicholas – Funnel cake & carrot cake with peach flavored cream cheese
Shirley – “Philadelphia” steamed egg custard with macerated blueberries
Stephanie – cream cheese peach & cherry mousse with cream cheese short dough
Top dishes – Nina, Nicholas, Justin
Winner – Nina
Bottom dishes – Bene, Sara, Travis
Gone – Bene. The veggies were really bad. Not a shocker as he’s been a schleprock the whole season.
– Nina has definitely emerged as the one to beat, with Carrie a close second. But I’d be shocked if Carlos is not there at the end. His dishes have been creative, with intricate technique, and high-concept.
– Getting back to Sara’s hair…
– Seriously, if you’re going to go through all that work to achieve a look, why not make it one that’s HOT? I know she’s going retro but no one finds it hot. Outside of Mickey Mouse. Or your Grandpa.
– And, by the way, Nina rocked the striped shirt better.
– I’ve never heard of the famous Creole tomato, either.
– If you recorded the episode, check out around the 18 minute mark. Stephanie actually smiled.