Top Chef: Lock Down in Target
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011 11:40|
Fabio’s departure last week is sad for a few reasons, not the least of which is that it spells the end of the bromantic relationship blooming between Richard and Fabio. He was never going to win, but he made for good TV. Carla is enjoying her recent win and thinks that she has what it takes to win this thing. I am rooting for her.
Quickfire: Create a cookie for Cookie Monster, Elmo and Telly.
Special guests for the Quickfire are some of the characters from Sesame Street, Elmo, Telly and Cookie Monster. Padma can’t even get the challenge instructions out because she interrupted by Cookie Monster who is very excited about the days’ challenge. Create the best cookie you can in 45 minutes. The winner will take home $5000.
As the challenge winds down, Cookie Monster has a near stroke.
Antonia: Dark chocolate cookie, white chocoloate chips, fresh caramel glaze and sprinkles. “Fresh” caramel? As opposed to that canned stuff the other chefs are using? Weird. Her cookies don’t look great—they are just kind of huge and remind me of cow pies.
Dale T.: Pretzel and potato chip shortbread cookie with salted caramel chocolate ganache. Salted caramel is one of my favorite fancy flavors, but this really isn’t a cookie; it is more like a bar.
Tiffany: Shortbread cookie with lemon zest, rosemary, thyme and coconut milk. Tiffany’s cookie is so boring looking, I want to die. Maybe it tastes good, but it just looks like the worst.
Richard: Ice cream cookie with chocolate chips, zucchini and mint
Angelo: Chocolate chip, Belgian hazelnut cookie and chocolate banana milkshake. These cookies look really tasty.
Mike: Mike says he has never made a cookie from scratch before—like I needed another reason to dislike him. I would remove his chef’s jacket for this offense. His cookie is an almond and dried cherry cookie with rose petal powdered sugar. This fancy sugar is pink, and the cookies look absolutely disgusting.
Hootie (Carla): Chocolate chip cookie with cinnamon. Padma takes a moment to educate the muppets about cardamom and cinnamon growing in the same part of the world. Elmo hilariously responds by saying “Really?....TMI”.
Bottom 2: Richard gets called out for not making a cookie, and Angelo’s cookie is called dry.
Top 2: Dale’s sweet and salty mix earns him a spot in the top, as do Antonia’s cow pies (Elmo and I are on the same wavelength as he points out that Antonia’s cookies were not very attractive and that they looked like “cow chips”). Dale comes away with the win.
Elimination Challenge: Take over Target and create a dish for 100 employees. The winner of this challenge will get $25,000. The chefs are suitable impressed. The chefs will use the Target stock to make their food (including all equipment and ingredients).
The chefs take off into the empty Target and start emptying out the appliances section (and other sections). The store is apparently huge and the chefs are getting their exercise. Carla seems to be struggling to focus and get her food started. She seems to be wandering around looking for tablecloths for a long time.
So at three o’clock in the morning, a bunch of Target employees walk into the store and prepare to eat. I hope they are getting paid for this.
Antonia: Parmesan eggs on garlic crostini with almond, tomato and apple salad. This is one dish that I want to eat. Yum. The judges love it.
Dale T.: Rib eye grilled cheese sandwich, and spicy tomato soup. Dale prepared his sandwiches using a clothing iron, which is fun. Dale has hit his mark with the late-night stoner food.
Tiffany: Jambalaya with chicken, sausage and shrimp with a summer salad. Tiffany is wearing a hat she found in Target and it makes her look a bit loony. The judges think her food is just ok.
Richard: Pork tenderloin with green chilies, apples, braised pork ribs and corn pancakes. Richard calls this dish “a play on a ‘rape-us’” which I find startling. I can’t find anything more about what this might be on the internet, so I have to assume it is something offensive. Bourdain says that the dish is butt-ugly, but delicious.
Angelo: Baked potato soup with bacon, sour cream, potato skins, scallions and cheddar cheese. Angelo and Mike sort of worked together on this challenge, and Angelo looks nutty in shorts with black socks pulled up to his knees. The judges say it is way too salty.
Mike: Spicy coconut soup with mushrooms, scallions and lime. The judges don’t really like it. Padma doesn’t like the coconut milk that was used and remarks “I had a teaspoon of it—that’s enough”
Hootie (Carla): Curry apple soup with tomato ginger jam and cucumber apple slaw. Carla knows her flavors aren’t fully developed and is worried about her dish. The judges say it really needs a protein and that it feels more like a sauce than a soup. Ouch.
Top 3: Dale, Antonia and Richard. Each of these chefs is praised for doing difficult techniques with limited equipment, and for making tasty food.
Dale takes the win and $25,000!
Bottom 3: Carla, Tiffany and Angelo. I am worried for my girl Carla, here. I hope Tiffany is sent home. The judges didn’t like Carla’s soup because it lacked flavor and a protein, Angelo’s soup was too damn salty (and he apologizes to the judges for the mistakes), Tiffany is told that her use of a pre-mixed spice blend really hurt her dish. Padma asks the chefs if they have any final words before the decision, and poor sleep-deprived Tiffany breaks down about something…it is hard to say what.
And going home this week is…Angelo! Wow. That is surprising. He was certainly among the more talented chefs left, and his inedible salty dish must have been really bad.