Onto the Elimination Challenge. I thought this challenge was pretty amusing. I thought for sure Andrew would get in a fight with someone, but it seemed like he not only played nice, but had some pretty innovative ideas that actually worked. And, he won. So, he's back on top of my "Must Watch" list. He actually also stopped cursing so much. Yay. It looked like Team Bear's mushroom could have sent Nikki or even Dale home. Frankly, I don't like most mushrooms, so the whole mushroom-blueberry-Pecorinno combo was kinda nauseating to me. As far as not tasting your food, I think that may be against one of the Top Chef Ten Commandments. It's up there with not speaking up in a group situations, not seasoning correctly, using scented candles during Restaurant Wars, and serving a heavy meal in the middle of Summer. But, I think what saved them was the fact that overall, their team effort was better than Team Gorilla's.
Team Gorilla, on the other hand, had a couple -- OK I'll say it -- yucky dishes. Just the thought of eating watery crab salad or that blini makes me happy I can't taste the food sometimes. So, I think overall Team Gorilla had the worst menu, and so someone on their team had to go -- and it was Valerie. Even Wylie asked when the blini were prepared, which signaled that it's common knowledge they need to be prepared a la minute, literally meaning "at the minute." Yup, that's right. I took French in high school.
So, we're down two women, but I don't think that means we should count the ladies out --I think this might actually be the strongest female pool we've had in all four seasons. I'm very excited for next week's challenge because the fabulous Ted Allen is back at the Judges' Table and Chef Rick Bayless, one of Chicago's top chefs, is Guest Judge. Just a quick note: Ted was not joking when he said he sent his blog while on vacation. That man is dedicated. So, if you leave a comment for him, chances are, he might actually respond to it.
Let me know your thoughts below -- I can't wait to read them.