Top Chef Recap 1/7/09

Now that it is the New Year, it is time for a new Top Chef!

QuickFire Challenge:

Our guest judge is Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli (who apparently has a new Bravo show called Chef Academy). Their quickfire was to create a sweet treat without any kind of sugar in 45 minutes. Pastry and dessert seems to be a downfall of many seasons so I am curious how this goes. Considering the fact they have honey and fruit I don’t think it is a huge problem. Carla apparently thought she would be able to freeze whole bananas in 45 minutes, I think that was a bit short sited.

The bottom was Carla, Arianne, and Jamie. The top was Radhika, Leah, and Jeff with Radhika winning.

Elimination Challenge:

The new judge is Toby Young who is a restaurant critic from England. Padma tells them that they all have the day off. Does anyone every find that relaxing?

Tom shows up at the apartment to talk to the chefs. He tells them that the chefs are going to judged without being associated with their food (blind tasting) so the new judge can know them food first. They are also going to be feeding a group of foodies and critics. They are to fix a family style meal but what ever they want to make. 2 people will be eliminated this week. They will be breaking into 2 groups. The groups were formed by knife pull and then Radhika picked which one she wanted to cook with. They each have $100.

Eugene is planning on making a daikon noodles with a tomato-basil sauce and I agree with Jamie, I don’t even think that goes anywhere near each other. Eugene says how creative he is and that no one else would think of that dish. I hate to tell him, that might mean something. Carla was once again waiting for her intuition to speak to her in the grocery store. Oy! Fabio has a rare lamb! Radhika’s bisque was bland and off but she sent it out anyway. Leah is making something she has never done before. Why does she think that is a good idea. You need to make what you know because that is what represents you.

Eugene: Crispy Red Snapper with Tomato, Basil and Daikon Fettuccine
Melissa: Ahi Tuna Crudo Tacos
Jamie: Seared Scallops with Fennel, Garlic, Oranges and Olives
Radhika: Curried Crab Bisque with a Lemon Scented Crab Salad
Hosea: Bacon wrapped Halibut with roasted vegetables in a Beurre Blanc Sauce
Fabio: Rack of Lamb with Cheese Ravioli and Mushroom Sauce
Jeff: Trio Tapas: Oyster, Seared Tuna, Avocado Sorbet and Grilled Peaches
Carla: Pea Risotto with Scallops with a Gremolata
Adrianne: Skate Wing with Pineapple and Cauliflower Puree
Leah: Seared Rouget encrusted in Bread with Fried Beans in Chorizo Sauce
Stefan: Roasted Duck and Braised Cabbage with Bread Dumplings


The twist is that the not at the moment cooking chefs are the food experts. The panel is on the tv in the kitchen so that the chefs can see (ie, group A that hasn’t judged yet got to see how they were judges). Toby is deliciously horrible. Of course Fabio’s dish got slammed for be too rare but they like the ravioli. Tobey said Radhika’s soup was the missing weapon of mass destruction. Jamie got kudos for a well done scallop dish. Toby thought that Eugene’s whole dish was bland and the warm daikon wasn’t a hit with the group. They thought that the ahi tacos need salt and were fishy. Toby said the ahi tacos tasted like cat food. Tom liked Stefan’s whole dish even though others weren’t sure about the dumplings. Toby liked Jeff’s but Tom didn’t. Eugene just thought there was too much going on Jeff’s plate. Arianne was a hit. But Carla had too much raw garlic in her gremolata.

Tom was much happier with the offerings this week. First the judges wanted to see Jamie, Stefan and Arianne. Of course they were the top. Jamie finally won! Then the judges wanted to see Melissa, Eugene and Carla. 2 of them is going. The consensus seemed to be that Carla should have added the gremolata into the risotto. Melissa said she learned a lot watching the critique. Tom told Melissa that she had a failure of imagination. Tom didn’t like the daikon with tomato and basil. Jean-Christphe said the fish was over cooked and Toby said it was bland. Eugene just kept saying that he had been too creative. Melissa says she has so much more. Carla said if she just hadn’t done the scallop her dish would have been perfect.

Toby stood up for Eugene. Tom things that Melissa showed who she was and Toby said that was why she should go. They also said Carla wasn’t confident enough to be herself. Tom told Eugene that his skill needed to catch up with his creativity. In the end Melissa and Eugene were sent home. I think that is right because Carla has excelled previously but the other 2 really haven’t at any point.

Next week Hung is back at least in the quickfire! So come on back next week to see what happens!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *