Monday, December 7, 2009
Our final four chefs have gathered on a rainy train platform to await their final Quickfire fate. Final Quickfires have been rather gnarly. Even bizarre. Last season, they had a Quickfire for the last 3 eliminated chefs (not the final four). The one who won that Quickfire had a chance to make it to the Finale, potentially bumping off one of the four finalists. Jeff won that Quickfire but ultimately could not go any further. Season 4 had a relatively simple Plantain Quickfire but poor Season 3 was cooking stream fresh trout over rock fire pits. Season 2 didn't have a Quickfire in their Finale, they went straight to an Elimination Challenge but Season 1 did have a Room Service Quickfire but used it to trim out the third chef. I was hoping for something special, a Quickfire to really challenge the nerves and resourcefulness of these talented chefs. So what did we get?Cooking on the Napa Valley Express? That's it?Turns out that due to Kevin's potential bouts of motion sickness and Padma's baby bump... ...the train could be re-christened as the Stress Hurler Express.30 minutes to make a dish showcasing Napa Valley grapes. To win a car. There is absolutely no tension or excitement in this Quickfire. NONE. No one threw up, no one accidentally stabbed someone else with their knife. Hell, Padma didn't even demand something like chocolate and mustard to satisfy her pregnancy cravings. So who won?Michael Voltaggio's Grape Leaf Stuffed with Couscous Vinegar Glazed Grape and Scallop Kabob. This looks like a nice dish however I thought it was a little gimmicky but when you're cooking for Michael Chiarello in his backyard of the Napa Valley, using a grape leaf to wrap couscous and a grape vine to skewer grapes and scallops is a very smart way to win a car. Why?Chef Chiarello himself whipped out cuttings from his own Napa grape vines for his finale dishes on Top Chef Masters. Now had Tom been judging the dish?Might have been a different chef driving away that car especially judging from the results of Tom's Diet Coke commercial and his hatred of inedible parts of dishes.