Morimoto: it"s a little bit complicated. He like pickled radishes, miso soup, of course, the rice has to be cooked perfectly for him, and Antonia has to do some sashimi. She has some problems with the fish, one of them not being fresh, so she switch to the tuna. Her soup seems to be overly salty and that probably come from the miso paste that they're using in the soup. So it's not a winner.
Mike is doing the fried chicken, and he tried to have a twist on the biscuit. He does an empanada with an egg, which is a good idea.
And the winner, of course as we know, is Richard, who does a good job despite the fact that his spaetzeles are a little bit firm.
The fried chicken is good, but the skin or the crust seems to go away. And the play on the biscuit, I don't know, I mean. I think if it's your last supper, you really want to eat what you want, and not necessarily have some one interpreting your best meal. So it's probably why Richard won that challenge. First because he did probably the best job in terms of cooking it, and because he was very loyal to the recipes.
So my last supper, actually I am in the book of Melanie, my last supper, was an easy one actually. Toasted bread, black truffles on top, olive oil, a good bottle of bordeaux. That would have made the winner for sure very happy, because you just have to grill the bread and shave the truffles.
So Tom think that Mike has the easiest dish with the fried chicken and the biscuit. I am not sure about that. To make a fried chicken, I mean, yeah of course it's a fairly simple challenge But at the same time when you have simple challenges, it's no safety net. If the oil is too hot. If you don't do a good job with the biscuit/empanada whatsoever, you're done. So it's not necessarily an advantage to have a simple dish.
So Richard is the winner. He's safe. He's going to the finale and he must be thrilled.
Now it's the surprise envelope to be opened. And the surprise is that Antonia and Mike have to compete again. And they have to do one-bite dish in 45 minutes that will eliminate one and bring the other one to the finale.
Mike makes a surf and turf with beef. He takes lobster and make kind of a tempura. It looks like it's a little bit under-seasoned, for some palettes, and Morimoto being Japanese, I don't know, you take a big risk to do a tempura. However, as a viewer it looks good on camera. Antonia does a grouper with a very strong curry sauce, very powerful sauce.
At the end it's basically a tie, and Wolfgang has the difficult task to decide who has the most votes and goes to the next level. And unfortunately for Antonia, she's going home. It's finished.
So it's going to be a big battle as we know. In between Mike and Richard. Two different styles. Two very different personalities. Of course, both of them have talent. Both of them are very creative. They both understand very well Top Chef. Now they know the challenge is basically their fantasy restaurants. They have probably few hours to think about it. And we're going to be delighted next week to see the battle.
I am Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin commenting on Episode 15 of Top Chef, the All-Star season.
Great blog Chef Ripert! Your commentaries are always so clear and well explained - whether you actually get to taste the food or not. I have never tasted shaved truffles, nor do I have a clue what they would taste like; but the way you talk about them makes me want to try them.
REALLY missed you this season. You, and then Tony Bourdain, are the only reasons I even started watching again.
You brought an integrity and strength to the show, which it has sorely lacked whenever at least one of you is not at that judge's table.
I hope you come back as HEAD judge, with your buddy Tony. That, or a new head judge with clout and fairness, is the only thing that will bring me back next season. I can't watch Tom pick his clones in spite of the food even one more time. It's really sickening watching his faces of disgust as he leads the "guest" judges to HIS conclusion.
Without you, and with no Tony? We get these kind of shows, and frankly, wanting to throw a brick through my TV set to obliterate Tom's face is not what I want for a TV show. You two reigned him in, but neither of you were present consistently. When one of you was not there? The show completely sucked.
Attention to detail. Check off the "to do" list. You've done it all season while other bloggers have fallen by the wayside. I missed Wednesday's episode because it comes on at 11:00 Mountain Time. Luckily it was re-aired at lunchtime today and I did not get online to find out who won/went home.
I would love to visit Le Bernardin but would have to fly in for a reservation perhaps many months in advance, and being out west I'd have to work on wardrobe. For now, I'd like to thank you for your zealousness for fresh ingredients and preparation, fairness and methodical nature. I married my husband for those traits, though his talents lie in science and software. Cheers, D
My mother is from Belgium, and her parents lived with our family. We had homemade bread every week, and my grandmother made bacon wrapped pate in a loaf pan 2 or 3 times a year. My last meal would be hot, crusty, buttered bread with a slice of that pate and a sliver of red onion.
Thank you for your well written and informative posts, and I enjoy listening to you and Tony on Sirius radio.