Top Chef: Conch Romp
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:47|
All of the chefs lament Carla’s exit last week, and they genuinely seem to respect her. Antonia admits that she was spooked by the fire last week and is worried that now she is second-guessing everything she is doing. Mike claims to be on a roll, and I still hate him.
Quickfire: Create 100 dishes showcasing consistency and precision
The four chefs will be in two teams, and must make these dishes for a restaurant full of hungry diners. Mike and Richard pick each other, and Antonia is glad to get to work with Tiffany. The judges will select their plates completely at random, which is how they will test the consistency.
Mike and Richard
Mike immediately starts off bragging that he and Richard are the favorites here….um….Richard is, maybe? Shut it, Mike. Mike is making fresh pasta, which seems like a huge risk given the challenge is all about consistency. Richard thinks that their food is far superior (because it is more complex), and he also thinks their plates look great. I think their plates look terrible. It is a big scoop of pasta on a white plate. Their dish is pork bolognese with fresh macaroni and pecorino cheese. Richard is starting to annoy me. He used to be one of my favorites, but he is coming off really arrogantly in this episode.
Tiffany and Antonia
Tiffany starts plating almost immediately, as she knows it will take them a long time to plate 100 dishes impressively. Their plates are much prettier and more along the lines of the chef-style plating we are used to in this competition. Their dish is beef tenderloin salad with cilantro, mint basil and chimichurri sauce.
The judges (Padma and some woman who has some show…I don’t care who she is) like Mike and Richard’s dish, and compliment them on their pasta. They say that the plating was consistent. They seem impressed with the plating of Tiffany and Antonia’s dish, but do not comment on the taste. Mike, of course, says (in an interview) that their dish was easy. Shut it, Mike.
The winning team is Antonia and Tiffany! Yay! Mike and Richard are some sore ass losers. I love it.
Elimination Challenge: Create a lunch to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Nassau yacht club
We “dive” right into the Elimination challenge (see what I did there?). A commodore has invited the chefs to cook for him. How fun. The chefs are warned that they will need to work with conch, which is apparently tricky. The chefs swim up to a beach (sort of, just go with it), and find their ingredients waiting for them. They also find that they have no conch, but will have to dive for it. Fun! It doesn’t look to hard…the water is pretty shallow and they just grab the conch. Poor Richard isn’t a great swimmer and he is struggling a bit. He seems to get some, in the end. There are some humorous attempts at retrieving the meat from the heavy shell of the conch. I am surprised no one gets injured.
As it gets closer to the time when the guests will arrive, these poor chefs have to put on their big black chef jackets. That must be freaking hot. The guests and judges arrive and are all wearing white and khaki. They look like members of an island cult. Or Roman Grant’s immediate family (sans the prairie hair bump).
Richard: Sweet potato linguine with conch and spiny lobster
Richard is nervous about his dish, as always. He did a bit of a take on linguini with clams, and his dish isn’t overtly tropical. I am betting he will still do well. The judges generally like it, although one of the judges finds some raw-ish lobster.
Mike: Banana leaf wrapped grouper, braised pineapple and conch vinaigrette
Mike is unsurprisingly a jerk when talking about his dish and how it compares to the dish that got Elia sent home in the second week. I think he thinks he is some sort of technical master. Shut it, Mike. Mixed reviews from the judges and the guests on this one. There is a comment throughout that he might have had too much going on.
Antonia: Red snapper with conch tartare and lobster nage
Antonia struggles to keep her fire at a high enough temperature to properly cook her fish. The locals really like the dish, but the judges aren’t sure. Gail almost chokes on her ceviche. Tom has a lot of critiques of it, too. His fish isn’t cooked properly, and the conch is buried in spice.
Tiffany: Conch and coconut chowder with sweet potatoes and conch ceviche
I am surprised that Tiffany only put up a cup of soup for this challenge. The judges say it would be good, if it was hot. Ouch. The soup is apparently quite cold. That has to be a death knell, no?
Antonia is critiqued first, and the judges liked her food, but found it a bit conventional. Richard is complemented for his unique pasta, and for his flavors, though his lobster was undercooked. Tiffany’s dish was good, but cold, and slightly sweet. The judges aren’t making a big deal about the cold soup here, but we’ll see. Mike’s dish is really praised by Tom and Gail…Gail is in love with the braised pineapple. I don’t know where they are going to go with this one. I guess my money is on Tiffany to go home…cold soup!
Mike takes the win…damn, I was afraid of that.
Packing their knives today is…Tiffany.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 12:23|