Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top Chef Masters Chains of Love

When we last left our chefs, Susan and Tony had just won the Quickfire Challenge. She Who Does Not Eat now explains that despite the fact that only one person will ultimately be named the Top Chef Master, the chefs will continue to be chained to their partner. This can mean only one thing....Romantic Elimination Challenge because nothing says chemistry like being paired to someone you don't know.
govind and jimmy

The challenge (besides working as a team) is to create a duo dish for 30 couples on their first date. Immediately the stories of Master Chefs cooing and wooing the targets of their affections start rolling in which is frankly more interesting than the chefs shopping at Whole Foods. The best story? Teenager Govind Armstrong working for a young Susan Feniger and having the hormonal hots for his boss.
Picture 25

I will give the young man points for trying but it was not to be. Back at the kitchen the chefs settle down to cooking. Things appear to be calm and productive except for the one chef who has the most Top Chef experience. Govind. Seems that the most important thing he learned from Top Chef is the Art of the Off Camera Confessional.

salad making bitch

For those of you at home playing Top Chef Bingo check your cards for the square containing the Whine: All He Did Was Make a Salad. Bingo? Anyone, bingo? No? Moving on.

Susan's shrimp

At this point, Feniger is starting to scare me. She's chosen shrimp and scallops for her half of the duo. Seafood is tricky to serve for a timed event like this. You have to cook it enough to not have it be undercooked but you have to time it just right so by the time it gets to your customers it's not a tough rubbery lump. Let's hope nearly 30 years of restaurant cooking experience trumps Top Chef TV timetables.

the judges

Welcome back to our judges, James Oseland, Gael Greene, and Jay Rayner. James seems to moving away from his Church Lady persona and drifting more towards...

too close

Which is fine but if this freaky little puppet starts showing up at Judges Table?


I'm texting Andy Cohen.


Shamu's Blessing before this meal? Dear Lord, please bless this bountiful food and please do not reveal unto me or my peeps the Details of any of Gael Greene's First Dates....Amen. Speaking of bountiful food.


Govind and Jimmy serve their duo of lamb. Govind prepared a lamb chop with a cauliflower couscous, swiss chard and a pomegranate reduction while Jimmy made a seared lamb carpaccio with the all consuming baby arugula salad. It seems well received by the judges but in a weird sort of development, the suggested method of eating the lamb chop with one's hands got more air time than some of the chefs. (OK the fact that I don't need a chef to tell me to gnaw meat off a bone could have something to do with too many years spent living in bbq country)

Jerry and Ana

Jerry and Ana serve the most interesting dish of the night. Their method of romanticizing their duo of duck was by seasoning it with very floral flavors. Jerry did a duck breast that was flavored with a lavender rub on top of red cabbage, pomegranates and golden beets (cabbage on a first date? maybe not) and Ana did crispy duck legs nestled beneath vermicelli with orange blossom and smoked cinnamon almonds. That's a whole lot of interesting flavors going on in that duo. The judges rave about Jerry's duck breast but are really put off by the appearance of Ana's dish but not the taste.

tony and susan

Up last is Tony and Susan's Love Potion. Susan's risky Black Pepper Shrimp and Scallops and Tony's home made pasta with Taleggio cheese, mushrooms and truffles. Susan may not be totally comfortable with the whole racing against the clock aspect of TC Masters but she certainly has the dish presentation patter nailed down. Her talk of the "the whole total mythic aphrodisiac of it envelope you and guaranteeing you your second date" talk got She Who Does Not Eat all hot and bothered. Even better is that it appears none of the judges would kick Susan and Tony's food out of their beds. Who would Jay Raynor kick out of his bed?

hopeful James

Sorry James, Keeping Hope Alive might work better somewhere else.

Judge's Table is fairly uneventful at least for the viewers. For the Chefs it's never fun having to face your critics. The one big surprise is that Jimmy's salad got better reviews than Govind's lamb chops. That has got to hurt.



susan and tony

Well you know I'm sitting on a big old pile of happy now that half of my Karmic Dilemma Duo is in the Champions Round.


But where's my French Cheese Ludo?



Making Space said...

YES!!!!!! Orange high tops!!!!! I! am! happy!

Holy shit I was actually on the edge of my seat for this one. If this keeps up I'm gonna hafta WATCH the damn show.

Great great snark, Shamy.

Dani said...

I love how Susan always seems to be laughing and enjoying herself.