Top Chef 12/10

I loved the quick fire tasting challenge. I’m surprised they didn’t guess more ingredients in the sauces though. I think 6 or 7 was the maximum of correct guesses. The elimination challenge was a bit blah for me. I don’t really enjoy the whole “create a theme from one word” kinda thing. I laughed at how Gail’s friend’s giggled when the Italian dude was explaining how green and yellow create blue. Um, no.

I thought it was a little sad they could just name “salt” as an ingredient. I mean…everything has salt in it.

I didn’t understand the quickfire at first until I realized they had to up their “bet”. That was a good way of doing the challenge.

At first I thought Fabio just misspoke and he meant something like “blue and yellow make green.” But then he specifically said colors of light, which still doesn’t work. And it looked like those little green blobs were originally blue in the squirt bottle.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many unhappy people in the winning groups before. I really wanted Jeff to win just to rub it in Stefan’s face more. And I think Arianne’s made the biggest and quickest improvement in Top Chef history. She went from first episode fodder to chef to beat.

Does that Jeff dude ever smile?

Stefan is King Douche for sure. I thought that mantle belonged to Fabio but I actually don’t mind him that much now.

I’m glad that some of the random people who you know won’t get far are getting thinned out. The guy who got the boot is like the third or fourth heavyset guy with dark hair and facial hair to get sent home. I want to send that blonde with the straight-cut bangs home based on her haircut alone.

Another thing, TC judges: stop trying to sell me on the fact that well-trained chefs aren’t making palatable food. At least nobody spat in a napkin this week. I get the sense that the food is generally good to damn awesome, but the stuff that gets people turfed is supposed to be inedible. Now Hell’s Kitchen can sell that bill of goods, but I don’t think you can…

Yeah, for the first episode I was really rooting for Stefan and I didn’t like Fabio. Now that’s flipped.

I loved how Fabio couldn’t think of blue food. The first thing that hits my mind is… blueberries.

I’m not a chef or anything but I’m sure I’ve seen entree recipes with blueberries, and maybe they could come up with one of their own even!

I thought of blue cheese, but I don’t know how much they could have done with it.

It looks like they’re trying to give Stefan a villain’s edit, but I kind of like the guy. Hosea and Jeff are both bigger douches than he is.

Cochliccio (AKA The Pope) said blueberries are purple.

I get Jeff, but whats wrong with Hosea?

I think they probably could have guessed more than 7 ingredients in some of them (especially given that they could say things like “salt”), but perhaps not without naming an incorrect ingredient along the way. I think no one wanted to bid too high, because it’s too many chances to screw up.

They still look bluer than corn and greens, even if you mix them together.

How about those blue/purple potatoes?

From Lee Ann’s blog on

The Bouillabase: olive oil, chicken bones, lobster bodies, shrimp, carrot, yellow onion, celery, leeks, garlic, shallots, fennel, tomato, parsley, thyme, coriander seed, dried red chile, black pepper, white pepper, salt, sugar, bay leaf, juniper berries, orange peel, saffron, brandy, white wine, Pernod, sherry vinegar, heavy cream, lemon juice

The Green Curry: vegetable oil, chicken bones, yellow onion, carrot, celery, Thai green chilies, ginger, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, thyme, bay leaf, cilantro, Thai basil, shrimp paste, fish sauce, coconut milk, rice vinegar, salt, black pepper, granulated sugar, brown sugar

The Mole: Vegetable oil, chicken bones, yellow onion, celery, carrot, garlic, ginger, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, dried pasilla chilies, dried guajillo chilies, tomatoes, orange zest, lime zest, epazote, cilantro, thyme, black and white sesame seeds, dried oregano, cloves, coriander, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, bay leaf, brown sugar, vanilla bean, Mexican chocolate, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seed, golden and red raisins

She also said she created a sea urchin buerre blanc for a potetnial tie breaker round!

It seems like the chaff is pretty much gone now. I don’t think Melissa is up to the task and she will go soon, and Arianne is getting by with a good measure of luck even though she is performing well. Her salad of tomato, watermelon and feta cheese worked because she could prepare the whole thing in 2 minutes on TV, but 1) the idea of it makes me want to hurl, and 2) it involved no cooking at all. In last night’s challenge, she roasted a rack of lamb, which involves stripping away meat from the bone and putting it in the oven. You can screw it up by under or overcooking it, but as she said herself, you just put it in and watch it.

When the challenges become individual and more complex she will be out of her league quickly.

The rest of the chefs may screw up in a challenge, but they are all worthy of being in at the end of the game. It should be a good finish - a clash of titanic egos.

I think Melissa will have to go soon, too. She has either been mediocre or in the bottom and has only stayed because someone else was worse.

I think Jamie was robbed of that win. It was all her concept and I don’t think Ariane had anything to do with the meat other than cooking it and she almost screwed that up, I don’t think she was involved in making the marinade or anything else. I thought Ariane might take the high road and say it really should be Jamie’s win but greed always wins out.

I got a chuckle over them praising Jeff’s sorbet when Stefan was so against it. It’s always nice to see guys/gals who act douchey get knocked down a peg. I think the same thing happened to Jeff in a previous episode. But tomato sorbet, really? That just sounds weird. I know it’s technically a fruit, but it’s almost always served as a savory item, is the sorbet made savory or sweet?

I remember Stefan saying something about how he doesn’t want a savory sorbet at lunch, so I guess it was savory.

That’s why Jamie needs to chill. Yes the win probably should have been hers, but she’s proven herself to be consistent and creative. I have no doubt Jamie will be a final contender. Wasn’t Stephanie (last season’s winner) the same way? Stayed strong but didn’t really win a lot of challenges until near the end?

I think Stephanie had some earlier wins but I don’t think she ever won a Quickfire, except maybe the last one.
ETA: I’m sure I will be corrected if wrong, my browser’s just too slow to check for myself.

I was thinking bluefin tuna, which I don’t know is actually blue but the name…

I just made tomato sorbet for a dinner party last week. I halved the tomatoes and removed the seeds and then slow roasted them with sugar, salt, olive oil, cumin, corriander, cinnamon, and cayenne. I added saffron disolved in vinegar, pureed it all, and passed it though a sieve before freezing. I called it *Tomato Sorbet With Morrocan Spices *and it was savory. I served just a couple of bites in shot glasses with sprigs of mint. If I do say it myself, it was awesome.

Question: what is the ‘vuh du vahn’ that Jamie was talking about?