Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Surf & Turf, Masters Style

Our chefs are faced with the daunting task of creating a Surf and Turf dish with some very exotic proteins. Rick, who won the Quickfire, had the entire table to himself and went with the Monkfish liver and the Black Chicken. This challenge could be seen as playing right in Susur's wheelhouse. The same with Rick and his seafood repertoire, I would think all those surf offerings are things he's worked with before. Turns out that Rick and Susur think alike since they took the exact same proteins. As for the other chefs, it's a crap shoot.

Shopping Fill in the Blank
The Chef went to _______ _______ and had ______minutes and _______dollars to shop. _____ lost his cart while shopping. _______ told a story about eating rooster testicles. ____ claims to be in a fog where the ingredients are not talking. _____ does not have much faith in her dish, explaining her dish would make the cashier puke. ________ got a chair massage while still in ______ ______which seemed to piss _______. A double ________ salute was raised.

Picture 2

Everyone went back to the kitchen in the ________ provided Pimpmobiles.

The End.

Back in the kitchen, the proteins are not getting a whole lot of love.


geoduck jokes


Wrong show Susan but I like the way you think outside the pot.

The chefs continue to wrestle with their unfamiliar ingredients, trying to decide to the best way to deal with an unexpected texture or flavor. Apparently one thing they don't have to wrestle with are dirty pots and pans.

Background Spotting with Big Shamu

I love looking at all the little details (not involved with product pimpage) in shows like this. Sometimes you see maintenance guys working on a stove while a chef is trying to cook, you might catch someone making a face behind someone else's back, or you might see production PAs washing dishes.


Dishwashers are not what's got me curious. No, it's the rubber glove taped to the one guy's back? What the hell is that about? Maybe I'll text Andy my question on the next Watch What Happens.

Day One cooking is done, onto Day Two. Rick is using chemistry to fix his broken mousse. Tony is feeling a bit cramped from Susur's manic cooking methods. As for Obi Waxman?

Obi Waxman weeds

He is struggling mightily. It's just not his style of cooking to use exotic products. He's putting stuff on the plate but he's not loving his dish. The Dark Side is definitely creeping over him. No matter, it's time to eat.

Among our diners for tonight's meal are Andrew Zimmern, famous for his TV shows Bizarre Foods and Bizarre World where he eats much more bizarre foods than he will be eating on Top Chef Masters. Don't be fooled by Andrew, he's done his time as a chef and apparently was top notch. He lives food, on the radio, on TV and in print. He knows his stuff.

Rick is up first.

rick surf turf

Rick's Poached Black Chicken Mousse & Roulade, Monkfish Liver Torchon with Buttered Leeks. He generally gets good marks but James Oseland thinks he could have done without the leeks.

tony surf turf

Tony's Crostino with Calamari in Zimino, and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Braised Goat Sauce. I had to google Zimino to try and get a handle about what we're talking about. Google further confused me. It looks like it refers to an Italian sauce consisting of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and some sort of greens (chard or spinach) and hot pepper that is used for braising seafood. Looks like that's what he braised the giant squid in. (True Italian cooks, feel free to clear my confusion). The crostino makes everyone happy but the lack of goat on the ravioli is immediately called out.

susur surf turf

Susur yanks out the big guns by mixing French and Japanese cuisines with his Poached Monkfish Liver, Black Chicken Velouté and Black Chicken with Monkfish Liver with a Burned Butter Sauce. Right off the bat it's a much more elegant looking dish than some of the dishes Susur's done in the past....once you get past the clawed chicken foot. It seems to be hitting on all cylinders and his monkfish outshines Rick's preparation of the same product.

Jody surf turf

Jody follows Susur with her Sicilian Spiced Roast Goat, Geoduck & Chickpea Chowder and Homemade Harissa. She immediately gets pinged for the overly rare roast goat but her chowder receives nothing but praise.

Picture 17

Marcus presents his Geoduck and Kangaroo Sausage, Geoduck with Pearled Couscous and a Geoduck and Kangaroo Tartare. It looks like a hot mess. Or should I say Hot Mess Jr.?

Picture 18

Wow. Jonathan's Giant Squid Fritto Misto, Fried Duck Tongue, and Fideo with Duck Tongue.
Honestly? It looks like a big plate of fried road kill. Some of it gets praise but wow.

Picture 19

Last but not least, Susan and her slug. Marinated Sea Cucumber, Fried Sea Cucumber, and Kangaroo with Juniper Sauce. Her plate isn't much better in the plating and appearance department than the last two but her flavors and preparation seems to please the diners.

Back in the Stew Room, no one is looking forward to Judge's Table.

Picture 23

Picture 22

You know, at this point of the competition, the chefs seem to be going one of two ways when it comes to dealing with the judges, strongly defending almost to the point of telling the judges they are wrong or kinda sitting back and chanting the age old Top Chef mantra, It is what it is.

So the top four are Susur, Rick, Susan and Tony. As they pointed out in Judge's Table, Rick, Susur and Tony were the first three chefs to choose their proteins but Susan, by going last, got whatever was left and still ended up with the winners. The big winner?

Picture 25

Susur with another amazing score of 19 stars.

As for who is going home?

Picture 26

I know who I would have picked. It certainly wasn't who was sent home.

Picture 28

Yes, half of my Girl Power Team is sent packing which makes me sad. Jody has a sly wit and never say die attitude I very much enjoyed.

So tell me, do you think they sent the right chef home?


Boxer said...

ahahahaha. you said geoduck.

Dani said...

You're right about Jonathan's dish. Way to much going on there!

intuitive eggplant said...

I was so sad to see Jody go. Also, mesmerized by glove on back of dish-washing PA. You don't miss anything, do ya? Hehehehe

Dani said...

I have a thing of Maytag Blue Cheese in the fridge. Any ideas on what to do with it?

LaDivaCucina said...

I was really surprised that jody went home and much prefer her style of cooking to Marcus. I think HE should have gone home.

I thought Susur's dish was disgusting, the way it looked especially. But eating this kind of stuff does not entice me, I'm with the Obi Waxman all the way on this one and glad he was not sent home.

Dani, I love Maytag! I like it with Steak, in salad with peppery mangoes or in a dressing, add it to white sauce for over pasta with roasted tom. and spinach. (and maybe some grilled chicken too?)

Heff said...

The pictures on your blog sure are BIG, SHAMU...

Big Shamu said...

The better to see mysterious rubber glove, Heff.

moi said...

I wouldn't have sent Jody home. Much as I love him, probably Obi Waxman for that hot mess of a plate. Yew. And this time around, too. What is it with this guy? The Force, indeed.

Making Space said...

First of all, HOW did I miss this post? It's Thursday and I just saw it from Tuesday? I need to refresh my browser more often. Damn me.

Second, I sort of regret reading this while eating my afternoon snack.

Third, JODY! Bwah!

Fourth, I want to know what Susur's wife said to him this week. Seriously.