Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Best Restaurant Wars EVER!

Bravotv.com's editor thinks it was actually the best challenge of its kind yet.

It's the episode the chefs have all been waiting for -- Restaurant Wars! And what a crazy episode it was. Let's start from the beginning, my little pear pithiviers. In the Quickfire Challenge, we had our first ever tag team challenge! The chefs broke into teams and had to work together to create one dish. First stringers Jennifer and Eli had different approaches in that Jennifer created a flavor profile for her team, while Eli wanted to leave that open. I was personally getting frustrated that no one knew that Jennifer wanted to poach her fish, until Laurine came along. But even after that, Kevin still decided to cook it in a pan. In the end, his team still won. Although they earned $10K, they had the option to let it ride. If they won the Elimination Challenge, they would each get $10K. And so they let it ride.

The Elimination Challenge? Restaurant Wars!!! Probably the biggest differences in this year's version of the challenge were the exclusion of the decor aspect of the challenge and the fact that the person who opted to do front-of-the-house had to be responsible for one of his/her own dishes. Let's start with Revolt. First of all, how funny is that name? Come on guys! It would have been so much easier to change your name to Revolution, so as not to conjure up thoughts of, well, vomiting. Thankfully they made their restaurant name ironic: First up were Michael's chicken and calamari dish and Eli's arctic char. Eli's dish wasn't memorable, but it wasn't bad, and his fine job in front made up for it. Michael's dish, on the other hand, had Tom asking for more. Next up was Bryan's duo of beef and Michael's cod dish. Some patrons complained about the temperature of Bryan's food, but Toby seemed to enjoy it enough to make a positive comment about it during Judges' Table. Michael's cod dish was another winner. In preparation of the croquettes for that dish, we see Michael yell at Bryan and tell him not to touch them; he'll fry them himself. Their relationship is so interesting to me because Bryan is older, yet it seems that Michael is the one that does the pushing around. G-d knows it wouldn't be like that if it were my older sister and I in the kitchen; I guess that's why I relate to Bryan. Finally, we have dessert. Bryan executed his previously-unsuccessful ganache, now complete with delicious mint ice cream! Robin rocked an Asian pear pithivier, which originates in the twon of Pithiviers, France (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The big drama on Team Revolt was in the kitchen between Robin and Michael. Watch the fight:

 

Eh, I don't know who was right, but it seemed like Michael was micromanaging, which can be annoying. Sure, Robin shouldn't have cursed, but I think at this point she is just so fed up. Also, at Judges' Table they seemed to disagree on how much Michael "helped," and i honestly have no idea. On a total sidenote: does anyone else notice how often Robin uses the word "station?" I'm not questioning her, but it's almost like she uses it like it's a big word that makes it sound like she knows more about cooking. Or am i just buying too much into the other chefs' opinion of her? That's probably it. Anyway, Team Revolt was named Best Restaurant Wars Restaurant EVER by Tom Colicchio. That's pretty amazing. You can rate the rest of the restaurants in the gallery  HERE.

OK onto Mission. For a team that was so focused on simplicity and being unpretentious, I was surprised they took the more fine dining of the two rm Seafood dining rooms. Didn't help them much though. They were pretty doomed from the start. Although their team was certainly just as strong as the other's — Jennifer and Kevin have won a handful of challenges themselves — it seemed like it was jut a matter of poor planning. I still don't get why Jenifer was still butchering fish and cooking shellfish to order for their guests. What was she doing during the three hours they had to prep? Laurine was just a mess. It seems that all of the chefs on her team were having communication problems with her. I'm torn about her exit because although she was kind of next on my list to go home (with Robin), was she completely at fault for her team's demise? Perhaps it was her failure in front in addition to her poorly-executed dish. Although Kevin tried to take responsbility for it, that's not fair. It was her dish, and it was required of her. I'm sad to see her go, but her soft-spokenness was starting to drive me nuts. I guess I've lived in New York for far too long.

Overall? This episode was the best Restaurant Wars to date. Next week, we have Natalie Portman!

 

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Make Top Chef Mei Lin's Winning Dessert!

Learn how to make the dish Tom Colicchio called the best dessert in Top Chef history!

Mei Lin's Strawberry Lime Curd, Toasted Yogurt, Milk Crumble, Mint

Strawberry Lime Curd Ingredients and Directions
1c Strawberry Puree
3 Eggs (Whisked Together)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 lb. Butter
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
TT Lime (zest and juice)

1. Cook over double boiler.
2. Add limejuice and zest to taste.

Lime Puree Ingredients and Directions
20 Limes Zest
Simple Syrup
Grape Seed Oil

1. Cooked in simple syrup.
2. Blend with grape seed oil.

Milk Crumble Ingredients and Directions
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Panko
1 Cup Milk Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (melted)
1 Cup Bee Pollen

1. Combine.
2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.

Yogurt + Lime Ice Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt Yogurt
1 Qt Crema
4 Limes (zest and juice)

1. Charge 2 times in Isi.
2. Disperse in bowl of nitrogen.

Toasted Yogurt Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt. Greek Yogurt

1. Char until dark.
2. Blend.

To Garnish
Fresh Strawberries and Mint

 

 

 

 

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