Team Top Chef's Senior Editor makes the case for Anthony Bourdain's sweater to win this week's challenge.

Feb 14, 2011

Hello my little Muppet Babies. OK, i have a confession to make: Muppets scare me. Puppets in general, in fact. I've never seen Avenue Q, and I don't think I could. I do love Sesame Street, though, so I was giggling like a little kid watching this week's inspired Quickfire Challenge where the chefs had to create cookies for none other than the Cookie Monster! And Elmo! And Telly! Perhaps the two greatest moments were 1) Cookie Monster constantly interrupting Padma. Sorry Padma! and 2) When Padma tried to have a real "learning" moment, which seemed appropriate for Sesame Street, while explaining to the little monsters (no Gaga reference intended) that cinammon and cardamom are from the same place. Elmo says, "TMI." I almost died!

I was happily surprised at how much less the chefs bitched about creating sweets than usual. While the Muppets deemed Richard's cookie not really a cookie, I bet he was satisfied that his little girl got a shout-out from Elmo. I actually e-mailed him to let him know that that was, in fact, left in the episode, so I hope he DVR'd it and played it ever and over. I'm sure he scored some major daddy points for that! Dale, who seemed to be one of the more worried chefs in this challenge actually came out on top with a potato chip cookie. Not only have I eaten a potato chip cookie before, but it was made by our very own Richard Blais. The whole concept also reminded me of David Chang's compost cookie at Milk Bar, in that it just seemed like a bunch of stuff thrown together. Since it was sweet and salty, I would've loved it. Sooo Dale wins again.

The Elimination Challenge was pretty hard, I must say. The chefs had to take over a Target and create a dish for 100 employees. Ming Tsai and Thomas O'Brien were guest diners. Not only do I love guest judge Ming Tsai, but I was excited to see Thomas O'Brien too because I actually know his products. He has the most beautiful blue bathroom set that I once saw at the Flatbush Target in Brooklyn. Feel free to echo Elmo right now... "TMI!"

Anyway, the chefs not only had to cook for 300 Tar-jay workers (Yes, Carla that's what I call it), but also had to set up their own stations. I'm not saying this because Target sponsored this challenge but I love Target. I love every section, including their clothing. (Merona, anyone?) The chefs had a decision to make: either pick out their appliances based on what they think they might be able to make, or choose the ingredients first. It seemed most did the former, pillaging for as many electric griddles as they could. Everyone actually seemed to get their bearings except Carla, who ws a little too pre-occupied with her decor. And although Carla didn't go home, the chefs nor the diners were not pleased with her sauce/soup. She very easily could've gone home, but, alas, it was not her time. It was Angelo's.