Top Chef 4/9: Live Blog

So here we all are again. The kids are napping and Top Chef is purring on the Tivo. Let’s go!

Quick Fire Challenge:

So into the Quickfire Challenge. Ming Tsai is our guest judge. I used to watch him on East Meets West and he, like us all, is getting older.

So we are doing a palette challenge. They did pairs in which the chefs had to pick out the higher quality item. They did maple syrup, bacon, crab, chocolate, butter, cheddar, soy, sake, caviar, pork, and olive oil. There were more (15) but those were the ones I saw. The lowest was Stephanie with 6. Ryan and Jen tied for second with 11. The winner was Antonia with 12 out of 15.

Elimination Challenge:

This week’s elimination challenge was the Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chef Ball. They were responsible for the first course. The theme was the 4 elements fire, water, earth and air. They were then split into 4 teams.

Team Water: Richard, Mark, Dish: Suvee Poached Wild Salmon with Watercress Salad and Parsnip Vanilla Puree, Tapioca Faux Caviar

Team Fire: Dale, Stephanie, Lisa Dish: Prawns and Bacon with Chili Salad

Team Earth: Antonia, Zoi, Spike Dish: Carpachio with Wild mushrooms, Sun Chokes Aoili

Team Air: Ryan, Jen, Nikki Dish: Duck Breast with Herb Salad and a Shot of Proseco

Team Fire was having issues in the planning stage because they couldn’t agree on the deviled eggs they are apparently going to do. Then they get to the supermarket and change their mind. Then change their mind again.

All the teams were cooking at a new facility. Team Water set themselves apart from everyone else. Lisa seems very negative towards life and others. Tom didn’t seem impressed with Water’s plan at all with the Suvee. Tom said that Team Water seemed cocky, Air didn’t seem to have a clear idea of the dish, Fire may have gone to spicy for 1st course. Tom didn’t say anything about Earth so do I just assume that they win?

As we are in the last 15 minutes Team Water hasn’t started plating. Then there was a mention of scales on their fish. They decided to check them as they put the fish on the plate. Then Spike on Earth’s team thinks that Zoi’s seasoning is to light on the mushrooms. Richard said that there are compromises in cooking for all these people and implied that scales was one of the compromises. I don’t think so. It isn’t like that is done in the rushed end.

So onto Judges comments during the eating. Ming Tsai got some of Water’s scales and Tom said salmon was one of the things that aren’t good suveed. Then onto Fire’s food. Padma said the shrimp was good and everyone else said it was hot and good. Then Team Air’s was up next. Gail said that they didn’t render the skin. Tom isn’t a fan of the drink with the dish. Then Team Earth was up. Gail said Rosemary was bad and others said it was bland. One of the diners said if they were a judge that someone from the Earth team would be going home. It seems all the judges agreed that the Fire team’s dish was good, that the salmon had no texture, the Air dish Tom didn’t get. Gail and Tom seemed to dislike the Earth dish the most.

Judging Panel:

The Fire Team won right off with out any bad comments. The one winner out of the team won a trip. Lisa won with her interesting Bacon technique with the syrup and miso. Dale is bitter. Teams sent back were Earth and Water. When Team Water was asked who cleaned the fish Richard asked in what way. What was Richard really asking? I think he was deflecting. Ming pointed out to Antonia that she was wrong about the idea of Butternut Squash soup being bad. The judges said that the carpachio was bland except the Rosemary in the mushrooms that didn’t go with the beef. Tom really didn’t like that the Earth team allowed themselves to be driven by the person with immunity. Zoi was sent home for her mushrooms.

Then the arguing broke out. Spike said that it was Antonia’s fault. Then they went back and forth over whether Antonia had said she would do soup if that was what they wanted (which she did). Then Jen makes a comment about sending Zoi home. Then Dale made a comment and Lisa basically said shut up and Dale yelled at her.

So personalities are in it now. Let’s see what happens next! See you all next week.

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