Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard declares the blind judging episode as her favorite so far this season.

on Jan 8, 2009

I thought tonight's episode was by far the best this season. It seems like the little kick in the butt from Tom at the end of the last episode really made the chefs realize that they need to step it up a bit. Great to see all of the talent finally shine through.

Right from the start with the Quickfire Challenge the chefs did some great looking dishes. The dessert challenges are always dreaded as most chefs in the competition do not specialize in this area but all in all they did very well. Not having sugar is a bit of a challenge but there are many other ways to sweeten which we were able to see in the various creations. Ariane chose to make whole wheat crepes and aside from the over-whipped cream I am sure it tasted fine; it just seemed to lack a bit of the creativity that the other chefs showed. Carla ran into a bit of a problem with her bananas so her dish was not what she hoped it would be. I was a little surprised since she has shown in the past that she has good pastry skills. Jamie went with a simple napoleon since she does not work with desserts much which was a smart way to go, however her cheese seemed to overpower the dish a bit.

Leah impressed the judges by going with a classic yet fun combination of strawberries and balsamic. I am a big fan of having a hint of vinegar in a dessert to balance out the sweetness. Jeff made a beautiful and healthy dessert with a baklava spring roll and freshly spun frozen yogurt. My fellow Chicagoan, Radhika, pulled through again with another Quickfire win. Not really sure what it feels like to have immunity but I am sure it was a huge weight lifted from her shoulders, especially when they are told that two chefs will be going home this week.