Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard contrasts the canned food and fresh food challenges.

on Jan 15, 2009

I am not surprised and was quite happy to see that two of the chefs who used Spam were in the top. I have been a big fan ever since my trip to Hawaii some years back when I ate Spam at many meals. Served over fried rice for breakfast or even the Spam sashimi would turn anyone into a Spam fan. Hosea creates a split pea soup garnished with Spam and pork rinds ... who doesn't like pork rinds? Sounded like the soup was well balanced and I am sure the rinds added a nice texture. Seemed Hosea wanted to kick himself after sharing the Spam with his nemesis Stefan who wound up winning the challenge. I think that what put him on top was the other use of a seemingly unpleasant ingredient, Velveeta (it is a cheese that you buy unrefrigerated which may be a turn off). It really does just melt better than cheddar as we have all heard before and on a grilled cheese makes a great late night meal as Hung mentioned.

Out come the knives and I am immediately happy to see some tasty animals being drawn. I am always a sucker for pig but all of these proteins are great to work with. The teams divide up and I do feel a bit for Ariane as she is stuck with the two love birds, but she did do well with lamb once before so at least she has that. Group challenges are always difficult because everyone is just not going to agree and there will without a doubt be some butting heads. Jamie and Stefan are two of the stronger personalities on the show so having them in a group together was bound to be a bit rough; however, they are two of the stronger chefs left so chances are if they can put aside their differences they have the best chance.

After a late night of menu planning the chefs are up before sunrise which is never really all that pleasant, especially for chefs who are more likely going to bed at 5 then up to head to work. Off to the farm they go. I was quite envious watching them pull up at Stone Farms as I have not had the pleasure of visiting there and after a great meal at Blue Hill in the city I look forward to heading to the second location.