Monday, August 10, 2009

Clash of the Titans

It seems our Chefs were lulled into a false sense of juicy burger security by the Quickfire. Little did they know the extent of the mighty challenge ahead. Challenge, thy name is Zooey. You see, Zooey has some food issues.

Our chefs try to concentrate on their dishes and shopping.

Finally the chefs get to the kitchen to start their prep. For as much as I thought the Quickfire was boring and uninspiring, I think this challenge is fantastic because it pushes the chefs to a level they don't often push themselves. You never know what you what might be achieved by stretching that culinary muscle.
Rick is looking fairly basic and true to his Mexican persona.

(A slap chopper? Really?)Keller also seems to be roaming around in his comfort zone.
Anita seems a light on substance which is not good considering her 1 1/2 star Quickfire score.Michael seems to be rocking after having found some suitable pasta at Whole Foods although some folks might grumble at his using boxed pasta. I think it's nitpicking, you don't see anyone making their own cheese do you?Art is the one pushed to the edge of his limits and he makes a fatal choice to go with the Rice Ice Cream. I'm sure you were groaning at your tv. Now I have a bit of a conundrum which is how did he make that brittle? The recipe on Bravo's site says there's butter in the brittle but the judges specifically praise Art for making the brittle without butter. There are vegan peanut brittle recipes out there I'm just surprised Art pulled it off considering the choice of ice cream he made.Keller is uncharacteristically scurrying around the kitchen, hard pressed for time but gets some lucky karma in the form of some good natured help from Michael, along with a good natured imitation of Monsieur Keller. This is a good thing for Michael because......when his table full of food starts to prematurely fold, who has Michael's back? That's right, L'ange de Hubert. Karma baby, believe it.However it's pre-planning and experience that saves Hubert from not one but two overturned shooter glasses.Both Keller and Bayless get good comments from the diners but it's Chiarello's pasta that satisfies the challenging crowd. Anita and Art's dishes leave much to be veganily desired. Despite her Quickfire score Anita holds on to cook another day as Art packs his knives to go back to Chicago.We will certainly miss his gregarious spirit.


moi said...

While someone like Zooey would last around me personally or professionally for about 2.5 seconds, I think this was one of the more interesting and creative of the shows so far. It really pushed the chefs and they rose to the occasion beautifully.

LaDivaCucina said...

What I like about TCM is the lack of major whining when challenged, you don't hear "I don't do desserts, I'm out of my comfort zone" quite so much. And hell, if La Diva can do a variety of cooking styles, why can't they?

Secondly, who the f*ck is Zooey Deschanel and why do I care what she eats? Ive never heard of her. Is that because i don't have kids?

I thought Anita would be excellent at the vegan challenge as there are so many vegan Asian dishes, I was disappointed with her offering.

I also thought the judges were nitpicking about the pasta, as far as I'm concerned it's a pantry staple and I much prefer dry pasta over fresh.

Big Shamu said...

I loved this challenge. Restaurant chefs are challenged every day with patrons like this and as she said, no one really ever wants to cook for her. To get beautiful delicious food is a credit to the chefs.
Zooey is mostly an actress and is currently in 300 Days of Summer which is probably why you are seeing her now on TCM. Cross promotion.

moi said...

Zooey is Hollywood royalty. Dad Caleb is a famous cinematographer; mom, a well-known actress (she was the one in the show that Zooey made the snotty comment about "home" to); sister Emily stars in the TV series Bones. Apparently, the entire family is vegan, too.

Most Italians (including the fifty gazillion on my father's side of the family) prefer dried over fresh pasta, so that debate was sort of pointless.

Big Shamu said...

I'm trying to remember if anyone on Top Chef has made their own pasta?

MakingSpace said...

The droopy eye got me. ROFL

I was, as usual, rooting for Rick. I'd be in love with him if I could be. Well I might be a little, don't tell. That pasta looked fab though. Anita is a scream. LOL I wouldn't want to meet her and her knives in a dark alley though.

Aunty Belle said...

in a word: exhaustin'!