Well, everyone. This was a sad, sad episode for me. I haven't been too shy about my love for Andrew, and when I saw this week's ending I yelped "Nooooo!" Yes -- that's right I yelped. (I have some exciting news about Andrew though at the end of this post, so keep reading!) Let's backtrack a bit to the Quickfire for a hot second though.
First, we had the joy of seeing Sam Talbot return. Now, I was a Marcel freak during Season 2, but Sam is pretty dreamy in person, so he really did bring the sexy back ... har har (we really beat that joke to death, huh?). The chefs had 45 minutes to make a salad. 45 minutes! That seemed like a lot of time, but it looks like Stephanie became too comfortable and she didn't get to plate her whole dish. Come on girl! That was "Episode 1 Stephanie" (remember her shaking hands?) -- you're better than that now!
Spike's dish won the Quickfire Challenge, but I have to say Antonia's salad topped my list, just from the look of it. I don't know that I've ever considered poached eggs sexy, but I guess I will now. (And here I thought only duck fat turned Sam on!) Since the chefs are no longer eligible for immunity, Spike gained the advantage of choosing one item from each food group, and therefore denying the other chefs the option to use any of his chosen ingredients. My food groups consist of pick-up and delivery, so I would have had a problem. But Spike seemed to be fairly shrewd with his choices. I was actually happy he took away the chicken because he gave the other chefs an opportunity to get creative. However, I wish he had been a little more creative himself and made something more inspired than chicken salad. When Tom held up the lettuce and tomato, it was looking pretty sad. Although when he held up Andrew's sushi, it wasn't looking too good either. What does Tom do to his food?!
Anyway, Let's talk about Andrew's dish for a moment. While sushi may not have been the best idea, it certainly wasn't a bad one, and i think his eating every three hours position was totally right-on. And while I think Tom may have seemed a bit dismissive, it didn't seem like Andrew was really considering his audience. Sushi isn't really hearty. Well, that one wasn't.
HOWEVER, not sure if anyone is familiar with Dinosaur BBQ (locations in Syracuse, Rochester, and Harlem), but California Rollin' in Rochester, NY (a tiny place I used to frequent) offered a Dinosaur BBQ tempura roll with tuna (which tasted like chicken) and drizzled with Dinosaur BBQ sauce. It sounds gross, but it is amazing, and so filling! Although it wouldn't have been as healthy, I think that may have taken care of the hearty part. Sidenote: Who knew about wasabi and teeth decay? (If you did, keep it to yourself.) And the hits just kept on coming for Andrew when Lisa really gave it to him at the Judges' Table. From most people's comments, it seems reaction to her is fairly split between people liking her and disliking her. She obviously didn't know the judges realized about the grain thing, but i couldn't help but squirm for Andrew. I've never seen him sweat so much. It was like Howie had returned too! I just felt bad for the kid, but he gets a point for pun usage with "against the grain." And I get a point for having my most coherent blog entry title in ... three weeks. OK -- ever. All in all, the bottom three showed some real sass this week -- all of them talking back to the judges. And, um, well, that's never a good idea. Anyway, it pains me just to think back on it. Although I didn't necessarily think Andrew would take home the title, I really dug his passion.
On the other side of the spectrum Dale won with his Lemongrass bison cabbage cups. I don't think using lettuce cups are anything ingenious, but they were practical and effective. And the use of bison meat was even smarter. One of the other chefs commented on Dale's consistent making of Asian cuisine. Well, I mean, it's working for him. And Asian cuisine is just another cuisine -- no one would comment if someone made American food every week. I'm sure you will find fault with that argument, but I think I'm sticking to it for now. Anyway, I love how the camera jumps to Dale's reaction after the guest judges' comments about Lisa's Quickfire dishes every episode. This episode was a tiny amuse bouche to whet your appetites for next week's RESTAURANT WARS! Yup - we lied. How could we not have Restaurant Wars?! I for one can't wait to see what happens: who dares to buy scented candles, fails to work the dining room, or you know, ignores the judges as they sit there for 5, 10, 15 minutes without service ... or worse yet, doesn't offer them tiny plates for their olive pits!
But until then, I do have some awesome news -- this is only my first entry for the week. You get another one tomorrow (hopefully). Why? I am currently on my way to go watch tonight's Top Chef with Spike and Andrew at Spike's apartment! Apparently Andrew doesn't own a TV and goes over to Spike's after work every Wednesday night to watch! And we're taping it, so come back to watch and read about the experience. Seriously when I was told of the idea, I said I couldn't be responsible for the amount of giggling I did around Andrew. Let's hope I'm professional! Anyway, thanks for all the comments last week! I hear you loud and clear, vegetarians (and sea bass activists!) And while I don't have much say over production, I can definitely do some things on the site to cater to vegetarians and vegans and pass along your challenge ideas to the people that handle that stuff.
So, let me know what you guys thought of Andrew leaving (I'm sure there are some other Andrew-philes out there besides me!), Lisa's "betrayal," and if you thought Richard's burrito cheesiness was just a little too much this week Until next week ... Countdown to Restaurant Wars starts now! -- "superfan"