The kitchen is heating up and I'm enjoying it more now. Characters are starting to shine through. I still maintain that this group is by no means anywhere near chefs past, but the tasks are as interesting as ever. I thought the new judge was trying too hard and that if they wanted Gordon Ramsay the show would be called Hell's Kitchen. His sauce needs to simmer.
The ultimate sweet treat challenging was interesting but somewhat confusing. I understood that no sugar was to be used, but I don't recall it being "healthy" being a criteria. So many of the odd healthy choices were confusing whether it was whole wheat, nonfat yogurt, or that fig disaster. I'm a natural foods chef with a healthy line of baked goods, but when baking for a pastry chef, bring on the white flour.
What was the connection of Dr. Pepper to dessert? Did everyone have to use it? I was confused there as well. What a nasty thing to add to a dessert. I embrace product placement, but let's take out sugar and put in disgusting chemicals and soda. Strange. The task should have been to come up with the best Dr. Pepper beverage. I liked the usage of honey and agave as excellent sugar replacements.
Eugene is the new Jeff with his having to trick everything out. Burger and fry dessert. Melissa makes a burrito. All were strange. You could just hear that Radhika's was unusual and as the judge said "adventurous." She deserved her win. Stefan's joking with the judge was quite painful. Stick to cooking Stefan. The fig and peaches looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. No bien. Ariane overwhipped her cream then criticized that the judge was critical. Um, he's a judge. There is an even playing field. You've had your wins, but how you lose is as important. Jamie is steady and her Napoleon was intriguing. Onto the main event.
I loved the creativity of a blind taste test although you know the co-chefs were anything but unbiased. Here's their chance to rip their competition. I loved the idea of Hosea's bacon wrapped halibut. He is definitely in my top four for the win. Unfortunately his side dishes upstaged the main. His position is safe for awhile.
Fabio's lamb was a disappointment. He should have heated up the sauce to boiling, poured it over, and prayed that it would further cook the meat in those five minutes. His pasta was superb which was necessary for him. He has been less than stellar and an Italian screwing up pasta is a sacrilege.
I thought Jamie's scallop choice was touch and go and giggled when Fabio said this isn't Top Scallop. Her instincts were right. She wants the judges to know she can do a scallop. I like this mindset. Poor Melissa. How did she even get this far? She is so uninspiring and uninspired and this week I was certain that she and Eugene were going home and Jamie was winning. Radish and tomato sauce with fried fish is vile. He may as well have topped it with Captain Crunch. Their time had come.
Jamie deserved a win. She has come so close and she really is talented. Of course, her dish did have a puree in it. She should be a spokesperson for an immersion blender or baby food. I love pureed foods so I get this. They're comfort foods. Ariane's dish looked divine and she repeated her cauliflower puree. I have been dead wrong about her. She is the horse that came from behind in the race.
Net net: I like most of these chefs which I haven't in past seasons. Jamie is creative and solid as is Hosea. Jeff has improved greatly as has Radhika. Leah has her moments, Ariane came from behind like a dark horse. Carla is almost ready to go home. Stefan is excellent but too pompous and Fabio has been underwhelming in any area other than personality. I've been wrong before. Let's see how I do. Until next time.