First off, the guest judge Maria Frumkin didn't seem like anything. I think her name kinda matches how she's feeling -- she was a little bit of a frump. She liked maybe two things, one of which was Sara's cheese tart. I thought Sara's tart was really appropriate. I mean she's been really waiting to incorporate some of her cheese-making style into her dishes, and i thought that was really cool. Joey won the Quickfire, and he just really cracks me up. Him and Howie--they're at each other's necks one week, and then the bruisers reunite. There was huge love and a lot of man-hugging going on. It's just one of those things where they're mostly all bark and no bite. They may be loud, aggressive, and a little obnoxious, but when it's all said and done, they both ran away.
As far as the use of frozen pie crust goes, with the time allotted you certainly couldn't have made it fresh. One thing I would like to comment on is that I really think that Brian constantly extends himself--he gets a lot done in a little amount of time, which I think is really impressive. I thought there was some really cool stuff there, and I always like to see how much people can get done and how they're going to attack the challenge. Joey basically just made a couple of tarts. You just needed to make a filling, which some people couldn't pull off. But Joey was smart in keeping his mouth shut and saying he didn't really know much about pastries, but he made some nice little stuff there. I thought that was cool, and I was happy to see him get immunity. I was cracking up watching Hung's chocolate mousse, and I was just thinking, "Alright buddy, where's your monkey now to pull you out of this one?"
I thought that overall most people did a really great job in the Elimination Challenge, and it was fun to watch them when Tom came in and said they only had an hour and a half left. Again, it's really funny to see Hung and how highly he thinks of himself. Dude, you made Arroz con Pollo. If you're going to go on national television and make Arroz con Pollo, it better be the best Arroz con Pollo in the world. If you're going to talk about it, and you're serving it to some pretty high-end Latin palates, it better be really good. It cant' be mediocre, otherwise you're going to hear about it. Some of the other people are doing the same stuff every week. Brian is constantly doing something fish-related, and it looks like Howie (I don't know if he's working for a pork sponsorship or what), but he likes his pork. There are a couple of people I'm waiting to break out. I think Tre's been quiet for the last week or two. I thought I saw some really great stuff from him early on, but he didn't get much face time in this episode.
As for Lia's elimination, that was a blow to the whole competition. I thought her food looked really great, and she has a great pedigree. I was really surprised. She said she was embarrassed that she was leaving, and I was really shocked, but sometimes you just miss the mark that much. Even if you don't know a thing about Latin food, I think she tried to think a little too high-end on it--it just never translated at all. I don't know where she was going with her dish. It's hard to serve fish at a catered event because you're using hot boxes--you want something that's going to be a bit durable. Everything got really dried out--it happened to a lot of the people, including Casey and her chicken. It's almost one of those things where you're better off doing something that's braised and keep its moisture. The judges are on record saying it's a week-to-week competition. If you're the worst that day, you gotta go. With what was made, I would have to agree with them. Just being an outsider looking in, it just looked like Lia's dish was not where she wanted it to be. I'm sure she's kicking herself in the butt about it.
Lia was one of my favorites. Now that she's out, I like watching Tre, and I like watching Hung in a somewhat controlled environment, and not running around with a knife in his hand. He wouldn't do that in his restaurant's kitchen because the chef would have his neck in his hands, so why do that in the Top Chef kitchen? I don't really get it. But, I do enjoy watching him work. He's very fluid in his movement...when they are controlled. And Joey and Howie are just so entertaining--the two of them. I wish I was a bruiser sometimes.
Anyway, as for me, I'm just working hard at Perilla. Come check us out sometime. Until next week...