Team Top Chef

Kerry Heffernan made a decision that may have cost him the title.

on Sep 26, 2012

So the two teams start menu-planning. Predictably, they both dedicated their love letters to their wives. and perhaps somewhat predictably their 'I'm sorrys" rang very similar -- both wish they didn't spend so much time away from their families in pursuit of culinary excellence. This isn't the firs time I've heard a chef lament this, but it's never any less sad to hear.

After the chefs have their dishes somewhat in mind -- Kerry will formulate it as he shops. In a crucial decision, Kerry decides only to shop at Whole Foods, while Chris and Manfred decide to hit up two other shops-- a butcher and an Asian specialty shop. In the immortal words of Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice, ingredientses are everything. I actually don't know if she said that, but we'll pretend for now. It was this decision that may have really sealed Kerry's fate.

Because of the extra shopping and the L.A. traffic Chris and Manfred suffered, Kerry and Nick had a major time advantage in prepping, but Chris caught up by the end of Day One. And so they were on an even playing field for service. Or were they? Now Chris had the ingredients he wanted while Kerry made multiple compromises to his dishes. For example, in Kerry's first dish, he wanted to make a lobster jjigae, but Whole Foods sold out of lobster, so he made shrimp. Was it still delicious? Yes. Was it what he wanted to make? Not really. One of the diners makes a comment that Kerry's dish was too subtle, and I have to wonder whether his broth would seem more powerful next to a piece of delicate lobster rather thn a hearty prawn. Kerry finds out from Chris that the butcher had seafood -- he hadn't thought of that. That moment of realization was a bummer to watch.