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“This was a carnival freakshow of magnificence,” says John Currence. Who else is going to come up with lines like that one? I am really going to miss him.
But knowing there will be no more wonderful words from John isn’t the only reason my heart broke as I watched him walk out the door. That looked to me like a pretty perfect risotto –- not easy to pull off for a crowd. Cook a risotto just a tad too much and you end up with nothing but mush. Cook it too little and it crunches in the mouth. Timing is everything when it comes to risotto -– and those missing 30 minutes must have hurt. John pulled it off with aplomb –- and I’m very sorry to see him go. You can be sure that I’ll be travelling down to Mississippi for another taste of his food.
But for me the most fascinating challenge on this episode was the bug extravaganza. The whole crew was buzzing about it when I returned from the East Coast, and I just wished that I’d been there. Curtis hated every minute he spent with those bugs, but I’m not at all squeamish about them. (If you doubt this, you can watch me eat live ants and worm larva on the Laos episode of Adventures with Ruth.)
I loved the seriousness of Ruth and Mykel –- and I was fascinated by the way they deconstructed the flavor of each insect. But what I liked even more was the really interesting dishes that the chefs came up with.
Best of all? To my mind, Suvir’s dish. Because it made me realize that the true difficulty of this challenge wasn’t that the chefs had to cook the bugs. It was that they had to kill them. And slaughtering animals is something that few chefs ever have to face.
I don't understand why he was eliminated. From the comments made on the show his risotto was panned as good but unimpressive, while the pudding was unpleasant and gritty. Either there was a lot we missed or it seems like Currence got the shaft. Too bad for the show, too, since he was by far the most interesting and characterful remaining chef.
I had to fast forward through the quickfire segment this week. Sorry. I'm hoping one of the bloggers lets me know what happened.
The editing of the show is extremely frustrating. As viewers we've been trained to watch out for the psych-outs ("it looks like she's going . . . and no! it's him!") but this one was especially puzzling. As others have noted on these comments boards, the rule has always seemed to be that if your dish is basically good, you only go home if *everyone* else's is better. But over and over again we were shown comments by the judges, by the diners, and by the cheftestants that they didn't like the pudding. (And please, 'pudding' with a g.) I agree with Andrew S that the show just got less interesting by half, because Currence was the biggest personality and star of the season.
I totally agree and thought for SURE "crap pudding" was going home... but I wonder if it was her "aquaintance" on that panel that saved her... Very confused and a little pissed about it myself...
I have to agree with Andrew.. that elimination made no sense at all... As Ruth says risotto is VERY dificult to do for a croud and not get it too tight, too loose or crunchy or mealy... so many things can go wrong and I have had horrible risotto fresh prepared and sent it back to the kitchen because I have made better! So I think Currence's elimination was just wrong and the judges are not good enough cooks to know how hard that risotto was to do perfectly compared to a crap chocolate pudding that started out wrong right out of the gate!
Oh... and Ruth, I felt exactly the same way... I say mad props for Suvir’s dedication to his beliefs... HOWEVER, I will say it's a little tounge in cheek to cook "dead" protiens even if they did not die by your hands, but in the end I guess it's about not wasting the life that was given...
That being said, I WISH more chefs were less wastefull with proteins and understood the value of not over trimming and using the trimmings in other ways... I waste NOTHING when I cook as it breaks my heart to because as she says, it was a sacrifice.
Do the producers tell you how to vote? Along with all the other viewers who commented, I cannot see why John was sent home for a well prepared but boring dish, when the ceviche and the pudding were so bad. What was edited out during the judging that justified this? I am just about done with you and this show.
Oh please. Lobsters, crabs and shrimp are just big water bugs. I find them just as creepy as land bugs and am just as happy to end their miserable lives. The only difference is, the land bugs are so hard to peel after they're cooked.
If John Currence's risotto was so perfectly cooked, how come he was eliminated? Someone needs to clarify what was so bad about his dish and what was good about Milliken and Tio's dishes.
It was lovely to read your comments on this episode, thank you. I am baffled as to why John was eliminated and almost couldn't believe my ears when his name was called. If you had been one of this episode's judges, maybe John would have stayed on for making what looked like a delicious risotto. I know it's a tough menu item to make for a crowd without turning sticky or otherwise unappealing, and it shows great skill that he executed it in a way that inspired me to make it the next day.
Suvir played the role of quite the peaceful warrior this week, and I, too, applauded him for it. They way he declined to harm the bugs enlightened me in a wonderful way.
While I respect Suvir's position, plants are alive too. Why is this group of living things less worthy of our respect than animals? Why not recognize ALL life forms and treat them with equal respect? I say the same prayer before I eat my chicken as I do before I eat my salad. A lover of life
Lovely post Ruth! As a vegetarian fan of Top Chef (and cooking shows in general), I always wondered how I would react on a show like this one or how well I would fare against the competition. It must be difficult fo Suvir each week and I love his continued focus on delicious vegetarian cuisine. I just wish he could cook that way every week!
COULDN't Bravo have timely reruns of TOP CHEF shows at reasonable daytime (not 6;00 AM or midnight) slot. I have never seen the whole OF THE LAST two episodes when richard won TOP CHEF. I cannot find reruns of the current series and find it dull when only an isolated program is on. There seem to be endless repeats of the wives and ex-wives of A to Z. surely a few hours could be carved out for the cooking fans without depriving the spending fans. Please do it.