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Welcome back, my little banana yucca! Who knows what fabulous '90s film my recap title hails from? Leave your guesses in the comments below!
First, let me start by saying that I watched this episode about 5,000 times. Why? Because this week we started our 11 p.m. interactive episodes. featuring behind-the-scenes tidbits, fun facts, and more -- so join us, won't you?
OK -- now on to the episode!
First, the Quickfire Challenge, and it's all about salad! I have to say salad is one of the most interesting dishes in the world because, well, you can do a lot of interest things with salad -- and frankly, they can be really unhealthy! Not to get all pretentious on you, but even Escoffier recognized the importance of salad and its dressings, listing five classic dressings and when to use them in his classic Guide Culinaire.
I've had some good salads in my day, but the one that I always come back to was created by former Top Chef Master Jonathan Waxman himself -- it's a farro salad he had on his Barbuto chef's table menu awhile back. Just delicious. But salads in general are a staple in most diets of those of working in Corporate America. Salads are all about the toppings for me -- I will literally eat every piece of lettuce so I can save my favorite toppings for last. Anyone else do that?
I was confused about how Thierry could have been part of the winning team when he left the skin on the yucca. I don't know much about it, but the Native American woman who commented on it seemed to indicate that leaving the skin on is not normally done (making me think it was almost like leaving the skin on a banana dish)... It gave his dish a bitter taste. I understand that the judges felt his figs helped to "balance" that; but still, it seemed like the type of mistake that could normally send someone home. I got the impression, from the judges and diners comments, that Chris and Patricia had the most successful dish. It seemed like maybe the judges didn't want to give yet another "win" to them because they have practically been running away with the competition, and maybe they gave the win to the other team just to make it seem more interesting and give a little variety (plus, it seems that Takeshi is a very talented chef; and I agree with your comments that he is entirely endearing to watch). But Chris seems to be the most talented, most creative, most helpful to other chefs... He has an intensity that drives his success but he's always reasonable, and to me, when he gets upset, it is completely understandable. He's wildly creative, resourceful, smart and knowledgable... also hard working. I get the impression that Kerry is a little jealous of him, and Art doesn't seem to want to give him any credit for being a great chef, he only makes comments that Chris is young and out for himself... I don't agree with that at all. I am so impressed by him. I like Art's personality and respect his career and accomplishments; but I also respect Chris and think he's ultimately much more talented.