Team Top Chef's Editor talks about this week's challenge and her meal at Ash's restaurant.

Oct 14, 2009

Welcome back for another week my little, um, pigs and pinots? Sorry -- maybe that was offensive. Before I begin, want to address a couple of comments/questions from my blog last week: Roberto, I'm sure you're not the only one who thought it was odd I didn't quite know what umami meant. It's embarrassing, but I'm not too proud to admit my shortcomings, and, well, if it educates some readers in the process, all the better! The list of things about food I should know that I probably don't is pretty long, which is a good reason I have no effect on the outcome of the show! PeachPie, I read ALL the comments on my blog, both good and bad, even the late-comers. And Mary, thank you for your feedback about our semi-new design. We're always trying to improve user experience, and your comments are welcome and helpful. Trust that we listen and are continuing to make navigating between content as easy on you guys as possible.

OK, onto the episode: We start with a riveting look at Robin's pilates regime. I swear, before this episode I don't think I realized how jacked Robin is! All I have to say to the chefs starting with her is, "Watch out!" She could probably beat you up!

The chefs arrive in the kitchen to see Padma standing with Charlie Palmer, American icon and former boss to both Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. I found it really interesting to hear both Bryan and Michael's opinions of their time with Chef Palmer and their respective relationships with the chef. Basically, Bryan's the "good son," and Michael seems like a bit of a bad boy. I asked both of them more about Charlie in our Burning Questions blog, and you can see both of their answers HERE. The chefs had to create dishes to pair with Alexia crunchy snacks. I had never heard about these things until the show, but I was walking in D'Agostino's last week and what do I see for the first time ever? Alexia crunchy snacks! I'm pretty tempted to make a purchase, especially since the chefs actually seemed to like them. (Update since I first wrote this: I bought the onion strips, and their similarity to actual fried onions is kind of uncanny, aaand I think I ate too many. Oof.) In the bottom of the Quickfire, we had Ash, Robin, and Jennifer Caroll with an overcooked pork chop. In the top were the Southern boys and Bryan. Eli wins. Oh, and we find out Eli lives with his mom. So, there's that. I guess I have no comment because I still have friends who live with their parents, and I did for quite some time to save money, but for some reason, I think this explains a lot.