Top Chef 5/14

So here we meet again. The kids are in bed, NerdDad is programming, and I am all comfy with my cookies and my laptop. Let’s go!

Everyone is up the next morning after being up all night the night before. I am wondering if the tiredness will play a factor. Spike is whining about Dale. Andrew is a bit wired and that makes him scary. He says he feels he is either going to stab someone or make great food. Freak!

Quickfire Challenge:

Season 2 finalist, Sam, is the guest job. Salads will be the subject of this challenge. They have 45 minutes to create a modern “sexy” salad. Padma was talking about creating the next Waldorf or Cobb salad. To me that screams a relative simplicity but that is not at all the direction the chefs were going. Lisa seemed to forget when you add bananas in something it really dominates. The bottoms were Richard, Stephanie, and Lisa. The top was Spike, Antonia, and Dale. Spike won!

Elimination Challenge:

Padma and Spike bring out trays of greasy foods. It is the lunch from the Chicago Police Academy. They are going to make gourmet boxed lunches using 1 ingredient from each of the whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Spike’s advantage is an extra 10 minutes shopping and 1 ingredient from each food group that only he can use.

So they are off to Whole Foods. Spike is picking chicken breast, tomatoes, bread and lettuce. These foods were picked specifically to mess with people. Andrew has studied nutrition for 2 years so he is sure that he has an advantage. For service they will hand the officers the food with instructions and the officers have to do any microwaving needed to heat it up. They have 2 hours in the Top Chef kitchen to cook and pack to go. “Someone” has turned up Lisa’s rice so it is burned on the outside and raw in the middle. She hope by putting cooking liquid over it that the rice will steam in the microwave.

Spike: Chicken Salad without Mayo, Raw Veggies
Lisa: Veggie, Edamame, and Shrimp Stirfry with Brown Rice, Berries and Yougurt
Richard: Lentil, Quinoa and Tuna Burritos
Dale: Lettuce Cups out of Cabbage and Marinated Bison
Antonia:Curry Beef with Jasmine and Brown Rice, Fresh Berry Fruit Salad
Andrew: Sushi Roll with pureed Parsnip and Pine Nuts as rice, Salmon TarTar with Veggies
Stephanie: Mushroom Leek Soup with Meatballs

I don’t think that Andrew has properly gaged the interest, or lack of, in salmon tartar. So we will see if they like them. Spike is only putting 2 on the table at a time to make people think they are going quick. Andrew didn’t use a whole grain. When he said he was going raw I wondered how you could do a whole grain raw, apparently you can’t.


The judges see Dale and Stephanie first. They are the top 2. They commended Dale for the bison choice and commended Stephanie for good seasoning. The winner was Dale and received a bottle of Rutherford Hill wine and got a trip to the winery in Napa.

Then the judges wanted to see Spike, Lisa and Andrew. They were the bottom 3. Andrew said studying nutrition repeatedly. The judges said it wasn’t hearty like it was supposed to be and he asked if that was in the rules. Padma said it was supposed to be hearty, nutritious and delicious. Ted also said that he didn’t take the audience into consideration. When Tom said it wasn’t good Andrew said 2 people came back for more. Tom said that was only because it wasn’t enough and they were still hungry. Spike was accused of not using the tomatoes, lettuce or bread well. Tom said the combination of olives, grapes and chicken wasn’t good. Spike simply said, “Salty and sweet, what don’t you understand about salty and sweet”. Come on Tom, let one of the punks have it. Lisa’s long beans, shrimp and brown rice were raw. She said that someone messed with the burner. But that didn’t out weigh the other raw ingredients. When the group was asked if there was anything else. Then Lisa pointed out that someone didn’t use a whole grain. The judges said they were aware. Andrew went off and when Lisa said that he would have done it too, he looked like he was going to punch out someone and cry. Andrew is out!

I have to say that I think Lisa was fine in saying something. She knew that she was on the chopping block last week when she had an impeccable dish but had missed a rule. If someone hasn’t said something and then some else was cut, you would hear all kinds of whining. If it would be a big enough deal to complain about later you best say something before judgment.

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