Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top Chef Restaurant Wars - The Quickfire

This is just the episode to clear away the nastiness of last week. Restaurant Wars. I think it was one great episode as Top Chef remembers what makes us watch in the first place - chefs competing in the kitchen.

Since they had already done the Mise En Place relay race I wondered what sort of team building Quickfire they would come up with to match the intensity and passion of the relay race? I have to say what they came up with blew me away.It's simply diabolical. Split the remaining eight chefs into two teams of four. Each team has forty minutes to make a dish. Sounds simple enough. Oh no. Not so simple. Each team member has ten minutes to prepare their portion of the dish. Everyone is blindfolded until it's their turn to cook.Can I just point out that normally many of the contestants would be more than happy to see Padma coming at them with a blindfold, her funky boots and a riding crop. Perhaps even guest judges would enjoy that as well if the look on Rick Moonen's face is any indication. But the blindfold and Tom's relay race whistle? Whole 'nother ballgame entirely. Because not only are the chefs blindfolded, they cannot speak for the entire forty minutes.I know, crazy huh? Basically you have ten minutes to read the mind of the person ahead of you and continue on to a cohesive dish that tastes good. Add on top of that a High Stakes Quickfire with a $10,000 prize to split. I love it. I think the chefs started actually sweating blood. The only thing they get to talk about is the order of the line. Then it's off to the races.

Round One:Really the most important round because you're picking the proteins and setting the stage. Jennifer really kicks in with starting a sauce that's a good pairing with the black cod she yanked from the fridge. Eli goes with steak but his other components look a little iffy.

Round Two:Here's where the mind reading begins. Laurine has to figure out what direction Jennifer wants her to go and then go there fast. Robin has it a little easier since Eli got quite a bit done. No disasters and suddenly their ten minutes is up.
Waiting on the sidelines once you're done? Not so much fun.

Round Three:Bryan jumps right in and starts whipping up a sauce with an avocado while Mike understands where Jen and Laurine are going.

Round Four:
The last round goes to Kevin and Michael. Kevin gets that Jen wanted to poach the fish in olive oil but puts his own spin on the dish by butter roasting the cod instead. Michael makes a couple of minor adjustments but pretty much finishes off the dish. The results?
The Blue Team's Black Cod, Sauteed Mushrooms, Shitake Broth and Radish Salad.

The Red Team's Pan Roasted NY (KC?) Strip Steak with Whipped Miso Avocado Puree.

It's not Crap on a Plate kids for what they had to do to get there. I'm amazed. It looks like the judging was very close and I like that they had to compare a seafood dish versus a beef dish. In the end, Jennifer's Blue Team takes the win but really both teams did a great job on an incredibly difficult Quickfire. And let's give credit where credit is due - the producers who came up with this challenge deserve a big thank you for bringing something new and exciting to the Top Chef table. Almost makes up for last week's stupidity.

16 comments:

MakingSpace said...

Cool!

Though, had it not been for last week's ick, I would never have seen a bacon lunch box. Silver linings, silver linings. Anyway, loved the look of both those dishes. Kewl!

Big Shamu said...

Oh yes, there will be bacon.

Both these dishes looked very good considering the four different members of the team producing them. It was a great Quickfire.

moi said...

This was a clever, fun, and challenging quick fire. And that's all I have to say about that, until we get to Part Deaux and I can bitch to my heart's content about Restaurant Wars and next week's "guest."

frogponder said...

Congrats to Top Chef whoever-s came up with that one!

Big Shamu said...

Oh yes, there will be bitching.

Dani said...

What a great idea they had with this episode! Makes me wish I would have watched it.

Big Shamu said...

Don't worry Dani, it's not like they don't run it over and over again.

LaDivaCucina said...

I loved this week's episode, very exciting! I liked watching Jen squirm about her lack of control over the final dish! Kevin didn't poach the fish like she wanted but it looked great in the end in his masterful hands!

Big Shamu said...

Yeah that was fun. Eli didn't look as nearly concerned as Jen. Jen was bursting at the seams. So much fun.

TROLL Y2K said...

This QF has received good feed-back on the blogs. Maybe they'll make it an annual late-season event.

Boxer said...

I didn't watch last night, but after this post it goes to the front of tivo.

Sharon said...

This was like an exquisite corpse game for chefs. Luv it!! <3

MakingSpace said...

Is it wrong that I keep coming back here to look at Jen's screwed-up face? ROFL

Big Shamu said...

Absolutely not wrong. It's a cute funny face and I'm glad I could grab that face for all to share.

MakingSpace said...

Oh cool. I thought I had developed a weird fascination with Extreme Facial Expressions. LOL

Susan said...

hey ... I'm up with with my punkin bright and early