Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Soup's On!

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Emeril: Nick's Choice Is Part of the Game

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Hugh's Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Hugh Decides Eight Is Enough

Soup's On!

Eric Ripert comments on the cheftestants’ dish of choice.

Full transcript after the jump

I am Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin commenting on Episode 10 of Top Chef: New York City, the All-Star Season.

Well, I loved the Quickfire. It was a great surprise to see Sesame Street characters in a Quickfire. And, you have Elmo, and the Cookie Monster, of course you know, already that he's going to be a one with the stronger voice, and the challenge is to make cookies! It's fun, and actually everybody seems to be a little bit challenged by that cookie competition.

So I'm not too surprised to see them uncomfortable with the fact that they have to make a dessert, in fact. I am myself a very bad baker, and I would be very challenged, even to make something as simple as cookies.

But, some of the contestants, like Carla, make cookie that look good. Obviously Dale makes a great cookie. Richard decides to use liquid nitrogen and play with the zucchini and that's not really a cookie, it's a little bit off path.

Of course, Cookie Monster is not going to like that. And it's a bit predictable.

So Angelo is making hazelnut, I guess, chocolate cookies, and then he has this drink, the banana drink on the side, and I thought he would do well. Although he claimed that he has never made cookies, which I believe, of course. And unfortunately, Cookie Monster finds his cookies very dry and actually throw the little pieces at him. So it's a cute challenge, but at the same time a serious one. 

The Elimination Challenge, it's very different than anything I have ever seen on Top Chef. I have, myself never been in a Target, so I discovered the store through the screen, watching the show, and I didn't even know they were selling food there. So for the contestants I guess it's a little bit of a discomfort. Also they have to find their equipment that they will use. The equipment is not made for professional kitchens. It's much different when you cook on appliances for the house, than on appliances for a professional kitchen. They have the tendency to take the easy way, and they try to make soups most of them.

I admire Antonia who's very gutsy, and said, "No I'm not going to make a soup. I'm not going to go the easy way. I'm going to make something else."

Richard decides actually to cook a protein. He's making a pork loin, I think, roasted, which is very nice, but ultimately the winner again of that challenge is Dale.

Carla has a hard time to start. She's strolling the store, left and right, and discovers that she has only two hours to cook for a hundred people, which is not much of a time.

She decide to make a soup, but to cook properly, the soup it takes long time, in between the prep and the cooking aspect. And her soup is kind of bland, from what I understand, and it's not very inspiring. It doesn't taste too much like anything. Everybody is complaining that it should have a protein in it. So she's in the bottom, and I think she's not happy to be there, but you know at this point, nobody's happy to see anyone in the bottom, as viewers, anyway. They have gone so long into the competition and earned so much respect from us, it's kind of sad to see anyone in that position.

So the big surprise is to see Angelo going home. And obviously he had a bad day that day, because Angelo has great talent. But his soup is, first of all, very heavy, from what I understand, and then way over salty. And I remember Mike Isabella tasting his soup, and I think it's a little bit of interaction with Angelo, where "Your soup is a little bit too satly," but it's not really like, "Your soup is inedible. You're going to get out of competition with that." So Angelo, doesn't seem to react too much. He's putting, he's adding I see some liquid, maybe it's water in the soup, to make it a bit looser and so on. But when the soup goes to the hundred people, hundred clients and the judges, I think the general comment is that, "I cannot eat a bowl of that soup." And it's very sad to see Angelo leaving, but they need a loser on that episode and he's the one that's going home.

Tiffany has never won a challenge in this season, and some may ask, why not Tiffany to go home? And I will answer that in Top Chef, you judge on your last dish, and whoever has made the last dish the worst goes home, whoever makes the best dish gets the prize or the immunity and go to the next level.

I am Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin commenting on Episode 10 of Top Chef in New York City, the All-Star Season.