Team Top Chef's Editor explains whys he agrees with Ludo -- Jonathan Waxman is a true Master.

Apr 24, 2010

He proved that fact once again in the Elimination Challenge. For the Elimination Challenge, we once again asked the chefs to get crunked, which if you've learned anything from our Top Chef Stew Room behavior isn't too difficult. They had to recreate traditional pub dishes. Honestly, I think the only dish featured that I've ever tried was Shepherd's Pie, but all of the dishes sounded pretty good to a carbo-junkie like me. Let's start with Ludo Fefebvre who just cracks me up. Whether you love him or hate him, he's passionate. He lives for cooking and competing, and you have to respect that. Ludo took his recreation of Irish Stew a little too far, making it almost unrecognizable. But you know what? I like what he did. He took a traditional stew and made it something you could see in a fine dining restaurant. I don't know if there was anything wrong with that. He obviously could have worked a little harder to keep the essence of the original dish, but I don't know if his thinking was that off.

His arch-nemesis Rick Moonen created fish and chips. Although I love Rick (also a great guy), I'm going to side with Ludo on dish selection argument. I would have liked to see Rick step out of his underwater comfort zone. If you read Jay Rayner's blog, he echos this sentiment. But either way Rick's new fish and chips was liked by all the diners and was liked enough by the judges to have him move on to the Championship Round.

Wylie Dufresne attempted Bangers and Mash which seemed to go over well, but not well enough to get him to the next round. That reminds me, I need to get back to wd~50 soon! A colleague just had a fabulous meal there, and I was jealous to say the least! Wylie's friendly nemesis, Graham Elliot Bowles made his version of Steak and Kidney Pie. I knew the second he said he was going to mask the kidney flavor he was dead in the hole. I honestly can't say that I've ever had kidneys, but if I've learned anything from Top Chef, the goal is to make ingredients shine, not to hide them. So, it looks like it's 1-1 in the great Dufresne vs. Bowles rivalry!

Finally, we have Mr. Mark Peel. He just kinda ran out of time with his Toad in a Hole, making his Yorkshire Pudding somewhat inedible. His seafood sausage seemed like a nice twist on the traditional preparation, but it just wasn't enough. In the end, Jonathan "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Waxman wins again, and moves on to the Champions Round. Yay!