Top Chef: Restaurant Wars!
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Thursday, 27 January 2011 15:21|
Well it has taken 5 weeks, but finally, my wish has come true. We have only 1 Dale and 1 Tiffany left. Last week, Jamie and Red Hair Tiffani got the boot for their failures at the beachside fish fry. Wow…as Carla points out to us, there are only 3 women left at this point (herself, Antonia and Tiffany). We learn that Antonia has earned the nickname “The Black Hammer” because people she works with on teams seem to end up going home (both in her season and this time around as well). Hilarious.
The chefs head to Le Bernadin (Eric Ripert’s seafood restaurant), and observe a fish cleaning master at work. They seem genuinely awed by his skills.
Quickfire: Fillet and portion 1 cod and 1 fluke (to Le Bernadin’s standards) in 10 minutes
We don’t see much of the action, but it seems that Carla and Antonia both struggle.
Bottom 4: Fabio, Carla, Tiffany and Antonia.
Top 4: Dale, Richard, Mike and Marcel
Now the top chefs have 45 minutes to make a delicious dish out of the icky leftovers of the fish (the heads, fins etc).
Richard tells a funny story about his first job at an exclusive restaurant called McDonald’s. Apparently, being the fish cook there is quite prestigious.
Here are the four dishes:
Richard: Schnitzel of cod belly, ragout of braised collar and fried skin.
Mike: Pan-roasted belly, confit cheeks, charred collar and tomato sauce. Now I don’t know if it is the same for cod and fluke, but I do know that the cheeks are the most desirable part of a halibut. Thank you, Alaska, for all of your teachings.
Dale: Fluke back fin sashimi with cucumber and fluke liver sauce and then a second dish called bacon dashi with salt roasted cod collar. I wonder what Dashi is—apparently it is a class of soup and cooking stock fundamental to Japanese cooking.
Marcel: Cod mousseline, yuzu chili oil, fluke broth.
The winner is Dale! He has immunity for this week.
Elimination Challenge: It’s Restaurant Wars, Ya’ll! The diners will be deciding which restaurant wins (they will eat at both). It seems that both Dale and Tre were sent home on previous Restaurant Wars. Dale is one captain, and Marcel is chosen by Dale to be the other captain, simply because Dale doesn’t want to have to work with him. Marcel gets to pick the first member of his team, and everyone avoids his gaze. The final teams are as follows.
Bodega: Dale, Richard, Fabio, Carla, Tre
This team goes with an idea of Dale’s to make it like a Bodega, but with high end food. The idea is very fun and the chefs are all excited about it. When the judges arrive, Fabio works the floor like a crazy man and the judges applaud his efforts.
Dale: Dale makes the appetizer, which is a bag of potato chips (but you know, classywise). He also makes a Bacon, Egg and Cheese with fococcia.
Richard: Richard makes “tuna in a can” which is raw tuna belly and fried chicken skin with chilies and lime. He also makes chicken-fried codfish and Brussels kraut. Let me just say now, if you have never experienced the wonders of chicken-fried foods (steak or chicken, with cream gravy), you must get yourself to an appropriate southern restaurant and partake. I recommend the Black Eyed Pea (in Dallas, TX).
Fabio: in addition to his front of the house magic, Fabio makes an amaretto cake with candied lemon peel and cappuccino mousse.
Carla: Blueberry pie with dry milk ice cream. This dish seems really simple and like it could put Carla in jeopardy because of it. This makes me nervous. The judges do seem to like it, though.
Tre: Pork shoulder, grits with cheddar cheese, corona and lime sauce. The judges love it.
Overall, this team’s food is extremely well-received by the judges and the diners. They are shown first, and it seems like they are going to be the winning team.
Etch: Marcel, Angelo, Mike, Antonia , Tiffany
Tiffany gets elected the front-of-the-house person for this team, and she is hesitant to accept because they often go home. Extremely early on, this team is arguing and Marcel is getting pissy that no one will listen to him. This is going to go well! We’ll see if The Black Hammer will indeed strike again. Eeks! To start things off, when the judge’s arrive at this restaurant, Tiffany doesn’t greet them, but another server does. Mistake! Tiffany gets criticized for her lack of front of the house talent. She seems very fake with the people and she isn’t managing her staff well. Mike and Marcel have an ongoing bickering match throughout the night and everyone still thinks Marcel is annoying.
Marcel: Roasted monkfish with kalamata olives, peperonata and parsley. The judges really do not like the texture of this dish, but most of the diners have only good things to say about it. One diner points out that (YET AGAIN), the foam on Marcel’s dish doesn’t add anything. Marcel also does a small dessert thing which is a duo of peaches: unripened peach and sweet peach with coconut foam and powder.
Angelo: Crudo of fluke (god bless you), grapes, pink peppercorns and lemon zest.
Mike: Braised pork belly and octopus with cannelloni beans.
Mike and Angelo: These two also combine to make a slow-cooked lamb chop, cauliflower puree, tumeric and honey.
Antonia: Ricotta gnudi, braised oxtail ragout, arugula and lemon zest. Padma says it is too salty (and I don’t think this is the first time this criticism of Antonia has come up).
Tiffany: In addition to doing a not-so-good job at the front of the house, Tiffany makes a Frisee and shaved asparagus salad with egg and chorizo. The judges have a lot of criticisms of her dish and it seems like she is getting the “you’re going home” edit. We’ll see.
The bottom team is Etch, which is no surprise. Only 17 out of 76 diners picked them to win. Ha. Given what we’ve seen, it seems like it will come down to Marcel’s failed leadership versus Tiffany’s crappy food and service. We’ll see. Angelo is criticized for have an overly complicated crudo, Mike is told his pork belly wasn’t seasoned enough, Antonia’s ragout was too salty, Marcel’s foam was stupid and unnecessary, his dessert was gross, Tiffany’s food was not so good and she did poorly at front of the house. Mike calls out Marcel for not being a leader, and they all argue.
This means that Bodega is the top team. Richard still doesn’t believe it…he is a bit of an Eeyore sometimes. Even though Dale was the executive chef, Richard is praised by his teammates for helping each of them elevate their dishes, and many of the judge’s compliments are directed at things he had a hand in. Fabio’s service is praised, as is his dessert. Richard takes the win, and $10,000.
On Etch, it seems that most of the team is in jeopardy of going home. There are critiques of all of their food and of their performance as a team.
Going home tonight is……
|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 07:48|