Richard Blais

Richard Blais explains why the taste test Quickfire challenge is the only one that really matters.

on Dec 10, 2008

The girls on team "borrowed" nailed it. Using lamb on Top Chef is like gobbling up a cherry in Pac Man. Go find a lamb dish that hasn't done well in this competition. It's bonus points right away. It's a chef's meat. Vadouvan spice makes another appearance in what looked like a perfect carrot puree. And the raita? I loved it. Sometimes I think about rubbing it on myself in the shower. This team showed tremendous composure, natural collaboration in the name of flavor, and produced a dish that I would order in a restaurant. I don't find myself thinking like that usually.

On a side note... We are really starting to see a very unflattering side of Jaime. One guarantee you get from going on Top Chef is the opportunity to learn how to take criticism. Jamie is revealing that she is a sore loser and doesn't receive critique well. I had a guest tell me that her pickles were too vinegary the other day. I easily could have crossed my arms, told her she was an idiot and marched away. Instead, I listened and smiled politely. And then gently walked away and thought to myself that she was an idiot. A chef needs these tools to be successful. In this show, and well, in life.

"Blue" team gets a tough buzz word, and then doesn't get inspired; it's that simple.

And then we have, what Tom accurately identifies, as a conceptual nightmare. The "new" team. For the record, I would have enjoyed receiving this buzz word. It's almost a free pass to go super creative at this stage. Instead of new, they go with sushi. Now I'm sure, that even in the smallest of midwestern towns, sushi, is not new. Nor is salad in a wonton basket. Beef on a skewer. Or fried shrimp. I recently just played the Top Chef video game (where my silhouette gets PYKAG!!!). You'll have to play it yourself to truly get this. But New team's dish looked like the plated dishes in the game. It looked like what a plate might look like if you were hungry and marched down a buffet filling your plate with offerings from different dishes. It was a stuffed potato skin, and mozzarella stick away from being the sampler platter at a LT McSpiffs. Not even ranch dressing could have made this right. And let's face it, ranch dressing makes everything better.