Toothpicks are almost ubiquitous in restaurants. Whether it at the bar, in the kitchen, or at the front door, they are always there. Nothing wrong with them really, some high-end restaurants have even started having fancy metal ones designed for them. This was a solid Quickfire however because of how familiar the chefs should be with this. They got to put together hors d’oeuvres. I was surprised really to hear some of the chefs feeling like they didn’t like this challenge or that it was boring; they got to cook their own food and flavors. They basically needed to make the best overall dish they could and shrink it down and layer it well enough to stack it on a pick. While it might have been “old school,” Angelo’s dish achieved that. He packed a whole lot of flavor into this tiny cup. In addition to Angelo the other two chefs in the top did pretty traditional flavors, Kevin with pork and onions, Stephen with surf and turf. All three of the chefs in the bottom seemed to have one common link which was that they paired a fish with a fruit. Not sure if there was any connection, but that could be a great example of the judge having an aversion in his own palate.
I got a kick out of the premise of the Quickfire. One of the main reasons for the food on a toothpick policy in Congress is to maintain food not being overly extravagant. This was a good way to circumvent that and have Top Chefs put the food together. Could be a pretty persuasive meal for a congressman, no?
The Palm is an iconic restaurant. It originally opened in midtown Manhattan in 1926 and opened its second location in D.C. in 1972. It is one of the quintessential American steak houses, and to be frankly honest it helped define the genre. When someone says the name you have expectations, and all of the ingredients that the chefs had come to mind when I think of The Palm. But I was also happy that none of the chefs just tried to recreate steak house classics.
Eli, Too bad you decided not comment on PEAGATE. I imagine you might have some interesting insights since you dealt with controversy during your season. While yours involved personalities and not food so much-- how one is edited and portrayed on the show , looking back in retrospect must be a unique experience. Appreciate you taking the time to blog.
I think you do a good job of commenting on the background and the contest from the cheftestants view. Keep it up. Do the cheftestants really clean up the kitchen after all that work cooking their meals.They show shots of them cleaning counters. What a tiring activity that must be.
The TopChef blogs need better bloggers! The audience is furious over pea-gate yet this blogger decides he will remain neutral? How boring and contrived. What a waste of valuable internet space.
Give him a break. He doesn't want to comment on this because he doesn't have all the facts. That's perfectly reasonable. Honestly, peagate is pretty stupid. You know that bravo has footage that proves this matter decisively. They aren't showing it to us because after a mellow season 6, they feel that season7 should have more drama. It's pretty stupid, really.
I look forward to the blog! Do you think they are not keeping the kitchen clean because its not a team environment like a normal kitchen?
Eli, Tom did this before in Top Chef Chicago, when Rick Tramonto gave Top Chef one of his kitchens and Tom acted as expediter to get the food out to the dining room. I think it's something he likes to do.
Glad to see you learned your lesson about keeping your big yapper shut when it comes to controversy. Just concentrate on the food.
Eli, I agree with you staying out of the pureed peas issue. Tom has commented from the perspective of someone that was in the kitchen, maybe not at the time in question, and sat at the judges' table. I'm not sure what other perspective someone viewing similar footage as us at home could provide. I do appreciate Eli's views on the types of contests and the choices made by the participants.
I do remember one of the early seasons when the chefs were supposed to make healthy meals. The challenge had max nutritional values and ingredient lists had to be submitted. One chef changed the ingredients in her recipe. That was identified and Tom came down pretty hard on the contestants. I think the production crew would have pointed out any issues if they had proof just as they included the clip of Angelo saying he didn't like Kenny in another clip.
Let's not also forget that there have been several occurrences of cheftestants forgetting ingredients so it's not implausible that Ed forgot his puree.
I see that Top Chef pea puree is an identified search. Maybe I'll read a few people's views.
You're staing out of it? Um...that's why you are supposed to blog, why would you stay out of one of the key elements in the episode? Super lame.
good to see that you've decided to keep your mouth shut and focus on the food. too bad you didn't do that during your season ... i think you could've gone further!!!
I'd stay out of PeaGate as well. If the judges didn't care to raise the issue by having Alex recook the puree so that they could see how he did it and that the flavors matched what he served, fine. Anything else, without eyewitnesses to the theft, is just speculation and damaging to someone who could be innocent. Leave such behavior to 'The Jersey Shore' and 'The Real Housewives.' We've had issues in the show's history, even seeing one contestant being sent home for putting his hands on another. That clearly is unacceptable. I hope more about how this was handled by the judges and the producers comes to light during the episode that generally airs right before or after the finale, when all the contestants are brought together for a sort of closure moment.