Hello my little Muffin Winthrops. I've been trying to think all week what I would want my spy name to be, and I got nothing. I did ask Eric Ripert what his would be, though, and his response was ... "Silver Fox." We both lost it. What would yours be? Let me know in the Comments section below. Anyway, most of your comments last week were obviously about Alex, but hopefully you can all maybe let it go now and move forward. I can't even imagine some of the relief some of you felt when you saw him go home. But we'll get to that in a minute.
First, in this week's Quickfire, the chefs are tasked with creating dishes from ingredients contained in mystery boxes. This seemed hella hard because chefs tend to plan their dishes around ingredients available, but the chefs didn't know what the ingredients were! Angelo actually had the right idea in saying that he would keep the dish as broad and versatile as possible at the beginning. Unfortunately it seems that Angelo's nerves or exhaustion or both are getting the best of him, and he's starting to crack. Tiffany on the other hand is cool as a cucumber and comes out on top again! It seems that she's been doing very well with the stews and one pot dishes, and able to get a lot of flavor out of her broths. We'll see if it continues!
In maybe one of the coolest Elimination Challenges we've ever had, the chefs cook at the CIA headquarters for Director Leon Panetta. The challenge is to recreate classic dishes as something new, put the dishes under cover. Kudos to the producers because I thought this challenge was kind of brilliant. How many times have you gone to a restaurant, tasted something and thought, "This kinda tastes like...." Well, it seems like that was exactly the effect they were going for with this challenge. Anyway, Tiffany obviously rocked it with her covert gyro lamb dish. Like Kelly, I've never had Kung Pao anything either, but I thought her referring to a commercial Kung Pao sauce for ingredient guidance was very, very smart. And it worked hard for her, despite the rice being a little touch and go. Amanda made a soup too, but it just didn't measure up. I have to say though Amanda gained a few points in my book for defending Alex and saying that although the other cheftestants don't like him, she does. I know most of you don't like him, but I like that Amanda is mature enough to see the good in him. It's a little too late though because Alex did (finally) go home. His version of veal parmesan was apparently almost inedible. Yikes! I do want to give a quick shout-out to one of my new favorite NYC restaurants Telepan for their eggplant parmesan appetizer. Sure, it's not veal, but it's delicious and worth mentioning.
Angelo faltered again with his Beef Wellington "pizza." The judges not only knew immediately what his dish was but his frozen pastry tasted, well, like frozen pastry. I will say though that I have to thank Angelo for causing Leon Panetta to make a pretty funny joke about the dish being captured, and subsequently cracking himself up. I was shocked at what a jovial guest Mr. Panetta was. He was kind of hysterical and his rapport with guest judge Wylie Dufresne was adorable. You know what else was adorable? Tom's admission that he loves cobb salads. Cause guess what? So do I! You know who has a surprisingly good one? Cinema Cafe if you can believe it. Oh, one more adorable thing: Eric Ripert. Was it just me or did he look exceptionally handsome at the table this week? I'm going to assume it wasn't just me.
Well that was quite a tangent I just took you all on. Back to the food! I was really surprised by the flack Ed's dish got. I was kinda shocked the judges didn't appreciate the humor in the cover, and thought his inside-out Chicken Cordon Bleu was pretty genius. Oh well. His dish probably would have taken me back to my college days in Rochester where I ate a Chicken Crave pita almost every other day, which was essentially Chicken Cordon Bleu in a pita. I know, I know. Oh, also, Ed mentioned another girlfriend (his current one this time). Who knew he was such a ladies' man?!
This week's episode was somewhat of a turning point in the season for me. I feel like I did when Robin went home last season. Both Alex and Robin had their supporters and detractors, but both of their eliminations kind of felt like sweet relief. Do you agree?
Totally unrelated a bunch of things cracked me up this week:
1. "Do you have Double Zero (00) flour?" First of all it too me two viewings to get that this was even remotely related to the spy theme. Also, if he found the flour and used it, did he tell the judges? I wonder what their response would have been.
2. "Before I was a chef, I was actually a professional videographer. I've shot over 500 weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Sweet 16s...." Why didn't this surprise me at all?
3. Angelo and the Russian fiancee thing gave me pause, but I obviously wish them both all the best.
Also, I want to apologize to everyone for missing the live chat this week. It's my birthday, and, well, yeah. I am going to Ajna Bar to celebrate this weekend. Season 3 winner Hung Huynh is the chef, and I've been there multiple times, so I'm psyched. I'll provide a full report next week, and maybe even include pics!
I hope you all sleep well tonight knowing Alex has been eliminated, and now you can focus on the chefs you actually do like. Let me know who your front-runners for the title are below, and share the moments you found hilarious!