On the top we can see Mike, Marcel, and Richard. Marcel was very clever by going to Tom's station and picking up his fish while everyone is fighting by the fridge. That saved him a lot of time I think. And to make a good dashi in such a short period of time is an accomplishment, and I think the dish looks good. The judges were pretty happy, Padma and Tom were pretty happy about it.
The foie gras looked very good as well, and I'm sure it was delicious. Richard made a sauce with his foie gras, he had time to do that. He presented it well. It was very nicely made.
And then Mike made a bronzino with capers and olives. It looks like in terms or harmony of flavors, combinations of colors, and presentation, and so on, and even technique, he deserved the prize. So he's going home with a Toyota Prius.
So the Elimination Challenge is a sh-t show. And seriously, it's a tough challenge for the contestants, and they are obviously a bit lost. But it's really tough. They have to expedite, they have to present the food to the tables, and they still have to cook downstairs the food for themselves and for the guys upstairs. It's very difficult to do that, especially with food that you are not necessarily familiar with. Dale is familiar with that kind of food, but when you look at Fabio he has no idea what Chinese food is about. So that challenge is probably the toughest of the season so far from what I see.
So Casey is very adventurous, and I admire her courage to take chicken feet and decide to make them delicious. And she goes and discovers that she has to cut the nails, and she spends hours cutting nails of the chicken giving them a manicure. And not only that, but she volunteered to be upstairs pushing the cart, so someone else is going to execute her dish. At the end of the day, chicken feet are already challenging for a lot of people to eat. So she didn't choose an easy ingredient, and she was very courageous. I think she's leaving the competition of 'Top Chef' with a lot of glory actually on her way out. I congratulate her for being such a courageous chef.
Great episode, but quite a mishap (at least from the after-the fact, edited viewer's pov) to not kick Jamie off the show. It would be a great surprise to see her cook something, anything, that isn't awful in the future episodes.
Thank you for the transcripts! Now, even without a video (as it cannot be viewed here in Japan), I can read your great reviews every week - honest, direct, succint. Thanks, Chef Eric!
Eric Ripert is the bomb. I was always excited when he came on the show as a guest and having him as a judge is even better. A true class act.
Dearest Chef Ripert,
Thank you for your candid comments. I remember your appearance in Chef Bourdain's "No Reservations" where you worked the line at Les Halle. This episode reminded me a little of that, where chefs were put into a new kitchen and asked to make it work. Unlike your success that night, this was off the Richter scale in a bad way. I think the measure of a good chef, and a good employee in general, is to have the focus no matter what the environment. You will find a way to make it work. Chef Colicchio demonstrated this in the Quick Fire, as well as Fabio in the Elimination. Others seem to let the kitchen be their scape goat.
On a side note, I received "On the Line" last year for my birthday and "Avec Eric" for last week (again for my birthday). My 6 yr old son loves the monkfish recipe from "OTL." I hope you have another book coming out this year, otherwise my family will be at a loss for presents for me.
Where is the transcript? The videos cannot be viewed here in Jen. No transcripts for the Episode 2 recap, either! Thanks!
Really?! Sending Casey home before Jamie? I get that the chicken feet were bad, but she didn't have the chance to cook her own food and relied on someone else who basically seemed to ignore Casey to Antonio's benefit. I am sorry to say but Jamie seems to be mediocre time after time after time, and on this even my blind cocker spaniel Max agrees.