Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Restaurant Wars - The Blue Team

Coming out of the Quickfire, seeing who made up the Blue Team I thought they were a lock to easily win this thing. I thought at the very least they would make it close. Not even close. So what went wrong? They immediately start their 30 minute planning allotment by playing it safe. They jettison the dessert course. Their logic is that since most desserts fail during Restaurant Wars, they weren't even going to try. Hmmmm, half of me agrees, most of the time I've filled up on such great food I'm too full for dessert. The other half realizes that it's still America and America loves her sugar. Plus there's Tom who is sure to point out how risky it is to not do dessert. That settles it, if it pisses off Tom, I'm all for it. Next decision has Laurine volunteering to take the Front of House responsibility.
Hmmmmm....could be problematic.....because Laurine is not exactly...dynamic. But here's the problem. Mike I. would probably work great out in the front of house but can Laurine handle being on the line? We all know the service comes very quickly and the weeds have never seemed so thick. It seems a safer bet to put her out front.
Shopping for the Blue Team, aside from getting pushed from Faux Momma, is boring. Back at the condo?The back of the house decides on a name, Mission. Without Laurine. DUN DUN DUUUUNNNN (unless she's there and I just don't see her?). They also revisit the dessert gamble and continue to play it safe. The next day's three hour prep seems to start uneventfully.Why shouldn't it? Kevin and Jen have been rock solid in the kitchen, Mike I. does better when paired up with someone with better instincts and Laurine, while not in the top four, seems dependable.Anyone else blown away by the menu or is it just me who thinks it' Boring and safe for a team that has Kevin and Jen on it. Not only that, they are slow. So slow that they are way behind. Laurine breaks away to prep for service. It's here, with Tom's walkabout, that she makes a fatal mistake.People! You don't have to talk that much to the man. Is it so worth the face time to say something you might regret later?
Jen, on the other hand, totally knows how to deal with him. Which is as little as possible.
Suddenly all of Restaurant Mission's time is up and these people are hungry.Bet they'd like a nice glass of Pellegrino. No time for that now, it's time for the Judges and our First Courses.

Asparagus and Six-Minute Egg

Arctic Char Tartare

Normally when dishes are presented, the hostess describes what's in the dish. Laurine didn't feel this was necessary so if my dish descriptions are a little light, blame Laurine.Great! Now she's gone and pissed off Padma. It doesn't get better with a bland tartare and boring asparagus. Do these restaurants not have salt and pepper on the tables? Or was this the Judges passive aggressive way of pinging Mike for under seasoning his dish? Not that it matters because they waited so long for their next course they forgot all about the first courses.No wonder Laurine stayed away from their table. Back in the kitchen......looks like there's a bit of equipment malfunction going on in Mission's kitchen. It can't help Jen's cause nor is Laurine able to pacify the hungry masses. Finally the main courses arrive but even Padma realizes that she's going to have to drag the dish information out of Laurine.

Trout with Brown Butter Emulsion, Hazelnuts & Braised Endive

Alaskan Halibut with Mussels, Clams & Saffron Aioli in Consommé

Both of Jennifer's dishes fail to impress the judges. Considering how long they took to get to the table and the weakness of the dishes, I start sweating that my early season pick to win the whole thing was going the way of Tre Wilcox. But it's not like Kevin or Micheal are taking up any slack. Kevin can't seem to find a happy medium to cook the Laurine's lamb dish.

Lamb with Carrot Jam, Green Bean Salad and a Morel Mushroom Sauce

Pork Three Ways, Glazed Pork Belly, Pork Sausage, Cornmeal Mousseline & Red-Eye Gravy

The lamb dish is blasted for it's rare state. Kevin's pork is the only dish that is granted a grain of faint praise. Toby mourns the loss of his dessert but considering some of past Restaurant Wars desserts, perhaps Toby should quit while he's ahead (no, really, quit).
Disaster. For chefs so talented, a complete disaster. Planning, execution, , menu selection. The real question is who goes home?
Do you get rid of the leader of the team and who's two dishes failed? Who perhaps overestimated her own ability to clear the weeds? Do you get rid of Kevin who couldn't execute Laurine's dish, fell back on his strength, pork dishes? He was also in on the decision to punt on dessert. How about Michael? If you can't season a simple tartare and can't come up with something better than roasted asparagus with a six minute egg dish for Restaurant Wars, do you deserve to stay? As for Laurine, what ever experience she's had running front of house left her woefully unprepared for this episode.

In the end it's Laurine who is takes an auffing for the Blue Team. She takes it well, much better than Kevin who shows a little bit of unresolved anger but we're left to wonder exactly why. Maybe he'll explain why in the beginning of the next episode. So put another Restaurant Wars in the books folks. It was a good one.


Buzz Kill said...

I still have not seen this episode (it's on tonihgt but so is the World Series and I don't record), but I like your recap. I agree that the dishes look totally uninspired. Especially the Asparagus dish and the tartare (looks like salsa).
I'll have to reserve my opinion on who should have gotten the boot until I actually see the episode. Maybe the game will get rained out tonight.

Big Shamu said...

This was a really tough call. I'd have to taste the food to help me out in this one. What I don't get is how they got SO far behind? Were they expecting some twist that never happened? Did someone take way too long on one dish counting them out of helping with other dishes? Did the decision to not make dessert put more pressure on getting the savory dishes to the tables?
Not good, really not good.

h said...

Those guys crouching on the floor are trying to catch rats. One of the most "sustainable" foods on the planet! Grrherhahahhahahahha!

Big Shamu said...

I take it you're not a fan of the Sustainable Seafood movement Troll?

moi said...

What a gulf between these teams! And anyone who says a chef gets sent home exclusively based on what they do (or don't do) for that specific show, is wrong. Laurine was sent home because she has proven herself the weaker chef over the others over all. Despite their complete forking up, Kevin and Jennifer are too good in general to go home.

As for tonight's episode, I can only shudder at what yet another Stooopid Celebretard brings to the table.

LaDivaCucina said...

Padma's necklace is FABULOUS.

LaDivaCucina said...

I thought they got behind because Jen was in charge of doing two time consuming dishes?

At least they found some freakin' hazlenuts!

Making Space said...

Goodness! This sounds like me in the kitchen! Except it'd be burnt mac and cheese or something. Sans rats, natch. Ick.

And may I say, Shamu, you are on a posting ROLL! Now go tell me the significance of the toaster oven. Whip!

Anonymous said...

Nice catch on the screen grab with the workers in the background. I wonder if that was the source of the problem with the lamb not getting up to temparture in a timely way.

Big Shamu said...

Not sure Anony. I am sure that they wouldn't diss the state of the equipment in Rick Moonen's restaurant so there may have been an issue that made Kevin angry we won't ever hear about.