Hello my little crispy aged goat cheeses. Well, it's been a few weeks since I've found the time to sit and process my thoughts about an episode, but hopefully some of you have been joining me/us for our weekly live chats! I've really enjoyed dishing with everyone in real time. But, I also enjoy writing this blog and reading your comments, so let's talk about this week's episode shall we?
First, we have the chefs split up into two teams for the Tag Team Cook-off. I think this Quickfire might just be our most interesting because it truly highlights how each of the chefs think. While the challenge certainly requires ingenuity and innovation, it can also reveal cracks in someone's basic technique. Although there are certainly preferences in how people like to complete tasks, there are some basic tenets in cooking, and if one of the chefs doesn't know them they can't predict what one of the other chefs on their team might do. So seemed the problem with Alex and the salt. Although some people might like to season their fish early (maybe for fear it won't get seasoned at all), seasoning is apparently usually done later. If Alex had known that and predicted that Angelo, who knew that, would season the fish later, the fish wouldn't have been oversalted, and guest judge Nancy Pelosi would have maybe given them the win. Or maybe Angelo should have checked to see if the fish had been seasoned. In my opinion they could have won that challenge -- their dish just seemed a little more interesting than the Red Team's. And I will say that although many of you have expressed discontent at Speaker Pelosi's appearance on the show, I have to say that politics aside, this was kind of huge. The Speaker of the House was on Top Chef! We've come a long way.
Perhaps more exciting though (to the culinary world at least), was an appearance in the Elimination by Frank Bruni, who I'm now in love with. But, anyway....
The Quickfire teams stuck together for Restaurant Wars. The blue team named themselves EVOO, and I couldn't decide if this name made me puke or was brilliant. Jury's still out. I've always wanted to open up a place, have it be a media hub, and name it TK. So, I'm not one to talk. Team EVOO decided to put Alex at front of-the-house so he wouldn't be in the kitchen. Usually the front-of-house person is still responsible for one dish. In this case, Alex supposedly conceived of the dish while Angelo and Ed tackled it. Alex mostly did mise-en-place type stuff (which his teammates had to re-do). Honestly, I don't know what I think about all this, but I don't think Alex should have gone home. In fact, he couldn't! Basically, no one on the winning team goes home. So, it was never really up for discussion whether or not Alex would go home. What is interesting is that while I have felt bad for Alex lately, the way he treated those servers kind of made me completely turn on him. He even made a joke about what a hard employer he was! Anyway, he wasn't the best front-of-house ever. Like the judges, I too appreciate being greeted immediately when I enter a restaurant and acknowledge when I leave. I usually thank the host/hostess on my way out if they don't say anything. I know -- I'm a passive-aggressive jerk. As far as the rest of the team's performance, I didn't really think Angelo freaked out that badly, but, well, I'm excitable. Ed and Tiffany stayed strong, stayed out of the drama, and, well, came out on top. I'm glad so many of you are liking Tiffany. After the first episode, we got comments on the site that her Obama fervor turned some of you off, but she's just excitable too.
Team Twenty One 21 (name isn't much better) sort of bombed. Although it didn't seem as disastrous as some of our more memorable Restaurant Wars disasters because they were calm, it was no less tragic. There was kind of only one dish the judges spoke highly of, and that was Kevin's. I guess he earned the right to rip Alex a new one? And although i was as shocked/sad to see Kenny go as you all were, I wish he could've taken more responsibility for his failed dishes. It seems constructive criticism has been a problem for both Kenny and Kevin all season. Alex going home wouldn't make Kenny's food taste any better. So although I'm happy Kevin got out what he needed to, and now the judges are kind of aware of the anti-Alex animosity, I agree with Eli in suggesting that Alex go home instead of Kenny was, well, not going to happen.
I think it's now clear that no one is safe. I may or may not have watched next week's episode already, and it's good. So, until then, happy eating and cooking. (I've been baking up a storm lately!)
*Yes, this blog post title is a reference to Kanye West's new song.