February 1, 2011

Top Chef Tuesdays: S08 E05

Join me on my blog for Top Chef Tuesdays, as I recap each episode. I'm aware that Top Chef All Stars has already been airing in the US and we Canadians are a couple (*ahem - maybe more than a couple) episodes behind. So please, all you folks who are ahead of the watching, please, no spoilers. I'm recaping in my own personal opinion and it is all in good fun. Please join me in the comments.

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Padma explains that the Quick Fire is to test the chefs speed against one of the nation's top chefs. So many fantastic top chefs, who can it be? Did anyone else get a big smile on their face watching Tom Colicchio confidently walk in? I couldn't help myself!

The timer starts and Tom is cool, calm, organized and collected. He makes it look so easy prepping and cooking his black sea bass in 8 minutes and 37 seconds. 8:37! I can't even make a salad in that time! I laughed out loud when he threw the fish and nearly hit Padma.

Seeing the chefs make a run for the fridge made me think of my kids playing soccer. One ball and the entire team, collectively running after it. Smarty-pants Marcel took Tom's leftover sea bass therefore bypassing the congestion in the kitchen.

It was obvious that 8m 37s was not enough time for most of the chefs. Padma and Tom's least favorite dishes were Dale's embarrassing 2 noodles on the plate (didn't it look so sad?), Jamie's lonely clam and Angelo's raw dish. Oh dear Angelo, when Tom specifically says to cook a dish and you ignore it and still serve a raw dish, you are an idiot.

Richard's foie gras is delicous, Marcel's fish is great but ultimately, Jersey Mike's great flavored branzino fish wins him a Toyota Prius and immunity. Marcel does a fantastic jersey impression of Mike in his new car... "fist-pumping in Jersey asking for a quarter coffee". haha. What a crackpot.

The chefs are told of their Elimination challenge of taking over a dim sum restaurant lunch rush in Chinatown before they head home for the night to plan. Fabi'oh' is worried because making Chinese food for him is "like nightmare on elm street". People are amazed Jamie wants to do 2 dishes since she is so slow and hasn't been cooking much throughout this season. As the evening continues, the hijinks start, except, it's the ladies drunkenly laughing nonstop and taking off their bras to scare the men away. Woman can hold their own in the silly department too. Fun times.

The next day, the chefs attend a chinese supermarket. Very much like my own visits to the local T&T Supermarket or Lucky 97, the chefs wander around trying to decipher what it is they are buying since everything is written in chinese and aimlessly trying to find someone who speaks english.

Mark my words: I predict that the turtle will be the new "it"animal, replacing the Hollywood desperate housewife chihuahua lapdog. When Fabi'oh' sees the turtles in the aquarium, he's upset and we are shown a clip of him walking his pet turtle on a leash. I just didn't think I could love Fabi'oh' more, but gosh darn it, am I a total sucker. Dear Fabi'oh': please consider, like the sister wives, you and my hubby can be my brother hubby's, my door is open, send me a tweet!!!

Maybe it was too much drinking the night before but the chefs in the chinese dim sum restaurant kitchen are not remotely close to the zen-like movement and graceful speed depicted in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They know they are totally failing, well before the customers are getting impatient and walking out, angry over "caucasium dim sum". Even Tom has to go down to the kitchen and lay some smack on the chefs. Can you say embarrassing?

Susur Lee is the guest judge (he's NAIT's Hokanson chef-in-residence this year and I just got tickets to his Element of Taste luncheon - super excited!) Tiffany D's pork bun makes the top 4 as does Angelo's spring rolls and Fabi'oh's ribs, which the judges were impressed with especially since he has no experience with chinese food. But, really, was it any doubt that Dale's modern take of sticky rice was going to win? The dude grew up eating and preparing this type of food!

Carla winced at Susur's comment that her dish was cooked with her eyes instead of her stomach. Antonia and Jamie's disastrous green beens were the least favorite, as well as Tre's liquidy "hospital food" dessert and Casey's undercooked chicken feet and "heavy like lead" pancake.

At this point, I was so certain Jamie was going home. Even Jamie herself was sure she was going home and gasped out loud when they announced Casey's name. Sorry Casey, I guess you really "Dim sum and lose some".


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