Three’s company but four is a crowd.
After Takashi went home last week we have quickly realized the depth of character that he brought to the show. His calm demeanor and skillful food seemed to act as a calming force to all involved. Now we are down to a cat fight, aloof Kerry, and Wolverine’s sidekick, Chris.
Patricia looks tired. Heck, they all look tired. So it’s a pantry/hot line team scenario where they can’t leave their zone and must help each other to make their food. Patricia and Chris are team MUSTARD YELLOW and Lorena and Kerry are in a baby blue apron ensemble that makes Lorena look like a study in pastels.
Kerry makes a list for the pantry runs in short staccato outbursts separated by 30 seconds per item. Lorena is dancing and prancing in response, but this is not a very efficient way of working this challenge out. You really do get the idea early that Kerry has interpreted this challenge as follows: you are an ill-communicating executive chef who has a frenetic extern to assist you. Cook. This is a disaster for Lorena. She is watching the time tick by and her rice fails to appear on the plate. Kerry meanwhile has really concentrated on his dish.
I am glad Patricia was eliminated. She may have been a good cook, but almost from the very beginning she had some kind of grudge against Lorena and her style of cooking. She made numerous unsolicited comments about her abilities and was rude to her. Also, even in her exit interview ignored Lorena's success. If she had concentrated more on the challenge and how to execute it better, and less on her buddy Chris and trying to assist in eliminating Lorena, maybe she' still be in the running right now. Being a good chef is not just being able to cook, but also in having an attitude and respect for others with different abilities, tastes and techniques. You may learn something.
What's whitebait? Worms? It sounded like Lorena's mousse deflated. I loved your description of Kerry during the quickfire. Was it just me or is Kerry kind of..... when it comes to working w/ a team in the kitchen? He kind of did the same thing to Patricia during the Thai restaurant challenge; had regard for his dish only and made people work around him.
Thank you thank you thank you. I was really missing Tony Bourdain's verbal interludes from good ol' Top Chef (my all time fave show), and here you are with all the insight and witticism I have been positively craving, and for my second favorite show on TV. I think your blog is *ahem* "spot on"...I simply cannot believe that strange, mute Kerri won the Quickfire with a dish showcasing - GASP - farfalle. That HAS to be the second most annoying pasta on earth, following tri-color rotini by the hair of it's collective chinny chin chin. It's a bummer that Lorena got hosed, however I really don't believe that sticky white rice (a staple in my Filipino/Japanese upbringing) would have saved her day. Seared salmon is simply not enough to win a challenge, even when accompanied by a really beautiful homemade salsa verde. Rice or no rice.
On another, more positive note, it was seriously awesome to find out about this whole Diner en Blanc madness. What a way to roll! Even though I would have picked a different color, say noir, to assign to the annual mobile Diner (it's food and wine for God's sake, am I the only person who has ever spilled something on myself while indulging?), and thought that the French guy wanting cheese with his chocolate mousse was very, very odd, it's still a fascinating concept and I can't believe they've never been kicked out of a venue considering they never ask for permission to set up camp wherever it is that suits their fancy. And I got a huge kick out of finding out that Robin Leach had become so...um...well...wide. All those caviar wishes and champagne dreams have certainly caught up to the old boy haven't they?
All in all, I will never go another week without reading your blogs. I don't care if you write about shoe leather or the training needed to become a highly regarded bee-keeper. You have my vote.
I've never understood why the closer we get to the Top Chef finales the sillier the challenges become and the less we get to see of the chef's actual cooking abilities. I was so angry at the "chemistry" challenge with the students that sent Hugh home when he was on Top Chef Masters and previews of next week's episode appears to be more of the same. With so much at stake at the very end of the competition, to force the chefs to put their fates in the hands of others is just ridiculous.