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Top Chef NOLA Episode 6 – Campfires, Cream Cheese and Countryside

Episode 5

Episode 7


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?

I made this on  Impressed?

I made this. Impressed?

LL Cool J meme

Thank you.

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.

TC NOLA Sara 2


Quickfire Challenge

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.


Random Thoughts

– 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…

TC NOLA Sara prep**

– 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.



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

3 comments on “Top Chef NOLA Episode 6 – Campfires, Cream Cheese and Countryside

  1. Pingback: What To Do With Suck-ish Tomatoes | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  2. Pingback: Top Chef NOLA Episode 7 – Jazz Hands | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  3. Pingback: Top Chef NOLA Episode 5: Lea Michele’s Halloween Bash | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2013 by in Television and tagged , , , , , , , .
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