Welcome back, my little rattlers! This week, we finally see the 16 cheftestants in the kitchen together, and they're ready to compete.
First, we get a little glimpse into their sequestered homelife. Hugh gives Chris a lot of crap in his blog about his all-white outfit, so I'll let it go, but y'know by even mentioning it, I'm not letting it go.
Is it just me or does the house vibe just feel different this year? The chefs' maturity just emanates from them. These are serious, experienced chefs, and I'm not getting a feeling from any of them that any feel intimidated by another, something some chefs have expressed in the past.
Padma presents the Quickfire Challenge alongside San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez. The chefs are presented with their ingredient -- rattlesnake! Love how much fun the Magical Elves had with tricking the chefs into thinking they had to kill their own protein! The thought of seeing them do this actually made me vomit in my mouth a little. Fortunately, it was all a prank! They're such pranksters! They're like George Clooney on a movie set! Anyway, the chefs pretty much had to just make the best rattlesnake dish they could think of. As we've learned in other challenges in past sessions, snake can be pretty rubbery, and Chef Hernandez reiterates how "delicate" the meat is.
It's nice to see how much these chefs try to help each other (for now), like Sarah telling Richie he should cut his pieces smaller into filets so it's easier to cook. Honestly, when Richie was shaking whatever spice he was shaking (I'm sure I should know what that kitchen gadget is, but I don't), I thought he was trying to figure out a way to incorporate an aural element to his dish, where the dish would not only taste like rattlesnake, but it would sound like it too! He does work with Hamaru Cantu after all -- anything's possible. I mean, Dakota admitted to cooking barracuda! P.S. Chris and Richie have the cutest bromance ever. Richie obviously respects his chef, and the feeling is mutual.
Keith was robbed! He went home because the two girls acted like cry babies about something that didn't even make it on the plate. The judges fell for it and consequently, Keith went home. Really?! Come on!!!
Why did anyone at chef table have to mention the shrimp?? Without the "shrimp" incident the team still Did not come out on top... It would have been Far classier leadership not to have mentioned it..oh but There was no leader. Right.
I use either flour or corn tortillas for enchiladas when cooking only for myself, depending on what I have available. I'd be too embarrassed to use flour tortillas to cook enchiladas for anyone else, though. If you do use flour tortillas for enchiladas, you need really thin flour tortillas. The most common flour tortillas are too thick and will be really soggy and unappetizing when used in an enchilada.
When I heard Keith say he was buying precooked shrimp, I was wishing he could be sent home on the spot. Even if his dish had been the best of the day, he should have gone home for buying precooked shrimp.
HOW DO "TOP CHEFS" buy pre-cooked shrimp and pre-made tortillas for a meal that is meant to be authentic mexican food???? I am a self taught chef and absolutely love to cook, although I am not a top chef, I would never serve pre-cooked shrimp...I alwaysssss prepare my marinara from SCRATCH, I am embarrassed to see that these people consider themselves to be top chefs and would cook such a lack luster mexican meal. In addition, when did Kim Chi become a part of Mexican cuisine??? Step your game up!!! I need to be in the top chef competition, I would love to show the world how delicious my home cooked Italian cuisine is!
dear Keith, don't feel bad I am a 5th generation in my family making enchiladas with flour tortillas there is a secret to making them with flour my family originates from down south of Mexico, people in texas don,t eat mexican food they eat tex mex which is a waste of my time, ever need to know how to make them let me know there is a trick to making them with flour there is a certain way to cook the tortillas and we don't have to melt the cheese, I have taught my children and my grand children how to make them, this chef that thru you under the bus has no clue they need to go to Mexico to know the real food of the people. Keep up the work and go with God's speed.
If you've watched Top Chef before, just about every time someone has bought precooked food, it has not gone well. I'm going to say after 9 seasons of this show alone, anyone wanting to be on Top Chef, is probably watching the show.
Just like so many need to learn to make desserts, many need to learn what works and doesn't work for a challenge. None of the judges are ever going to be fooled enough when you take short cuts.
These blogs that just re-tell the story of the show we just watched are useless. The reason to come to the site and read the blogs is to get more of the information and backstory that ended up on the cutting room floor. Bring back someone like LeeAnn, who could tell about the setup for the challenge and a bit more about the dishes or what went on during filming. Get Hugh to tell us more about the judging table debate and why a flour enchilada was really worse than a truly blah, obviously dry fritter in a puddle of green goo. That's what makes the blogs interesting and worthwhile.
After this many seasons of Top Chef, I was gobsmacked to see the chefs buying premade tortillas on BOTH TEAMS! And watching a seafood chef buy pre-cooked shrimp. I made my bets that Keith was out of there that very minute. And three other chefs standing right there. What in the world were they thinking???
I wish Keith had stayed around because I feel like the chefs could have grown personally from his story and experiences.
Re: Precooked Tortillas
Maybe not a big deal anywhere else, but in Texas, it's SACRILEGE to serve purchased/bagged tortillas especially at a nice event attended by people that know the difference. It's like getting Pillsbury rolls at a nice restaurant.
I live in Texas and Beverly was RUDE at the counter, and if she would have asked nicely, instead of demanding, others would have been more than gracious. Authentic enchiladas are made of corn tortillas. If flour tortillas are used, you will get a gummy mess, just as it appears Keith did. Sarah lacks character in my book, and I for one, will not root her on.
Well, I'll try to be brief on the Shrimp escapade. Two things, first it's a competition, it is every man for themselves, sorry but that's just the way it is. You should be helpful to your team mates but they're not your responsibility. That said Lindseys responsibility was to see to it that her protein was purchased correctly. If that meant making sure that the team members charged with purchasing the protein "knew" only fresh, uncooked shrimp was acceptable so be it. On the other side of the coin, if you are a "chef", which ALL of these people are supposed to be, you should NOT have to be told NOT to buy pre-cooked frozen shrimp, rookie mistake. Also, nowhere in my entire Mexican food loving life have I ever had an enchilada every made with anything but a corn tortilla, extremely rookie error. It was known that Lindsey had been cooking in Mexico for over two years and it was Keith's responsibility to ask not their responsibility to hold his hand. Keith's a nice guy, he's overcome much more than most of us could, he's made a fair success of himself, he's a gentleman, calm and mellow, however his mistakes were more his than theirs in my humble opinion.
I did not think Keith should have gone home. I was disappointed at how many of the other chefs stood around and said, 'whatever' when Keith said he was gettng cooked pre-cooked shrimp, then later put all the blame on him. Sadly the two ladies who didn't cook well, made a point to yes.....'throw Keith under the bus' and he still left a gentle giant of a man. Very classy. I hope he gets to cook against one of them n the next Last Chance Kitchen and as we say in Texas, 'kicks their ass'.
Yes, in San Antonio & in Texas, enchiladas are ALWAYS made with corn tortillas. ALWAYS. Also, it's tres leches, Spanish for three milks. Not tres leeches.
Yes, in Texas, and specifically in San Antonio where I live and this show was filmed, enchiladas are ALWAYS made with corn tortillas. ALWAYS. Also, it's tres leches. NOT tres leeches. Tres leches is Spanish for three milks.
Just for the record, in TEXAS enchiladas are made with corn tortillas and preferably YELLOW corn tortillas as they hold up better but White Corn is also acceptable....NEVER flour. Love the show and love your Blog...I actually haven't watched the full episode yet but love the run down! THANKS~
I Like Keith- but really- pre-cooked shrimp?!! I'm not a great cook but even I know never to buy that. He should not have needed quidance on that point.
A fritter??? What kind of fritter? A dried up, crusty fritter beat out a flour tortlla enchilada? WOW!There was a whole lot of miscommunication on this team, or better yet, the lack of communication all together. Keith asked numerous times for input & feedback (I am sure plenty more times off camera) & NONE was given. It was catty, manipulative & I hope like a big venomous rattlesnake it bites them in the buttocks. I hope if this cooking thing doesn't work out for any of these "TEAM" members, that no of them EVER start driving a bus!
We debated this in the office today in Dallas, TX, and we decided it is not a faux pas to use flour tortillas in enchiladas. Almost everyone here does. Way to make a big deal out of nothing judges. I really liked Keith so I was sad to see him go. Those girls were showing catty sides at judges' table and it was not pretty. I have a feeling that will bite them later.
Ok shimpgate, uhm Keith is a owner of a seafood resturant! do you think he would by cook shrimp and serve it in his resturant? She was doing a shrimp cocktail dish, I would want the freshest I could find. Smells Fishy. And by the way, I was rooting for him.
The fact that they bought pre-made tortillas didn't bothered me at all. No one I know makes tortillas from scratch for this kind of events. What you do in México is that you order them in advance from a "tortillería" and go pick them up before the event. That way they are as fresh as possible. Making the volume of tortillas necessary for this kind of event from scratch is simply bollocks. One of the things that bothered me is that for the most part they didn't prepared upscaled Mexican dishes. Then there is Ed who prepared Gazpacho which isn't really Mexican but Spanish (at least he used tomatillo which is a typical Mexican ingredient). What bothered me the most was that they were calling the party "quinceañera" the whole episode. La quinceañera is THE GIRL who's turning fifteen years old, not the party. The event is either "fiesta de quince años", "fiesta de quinceañera", "quince años" or simply "quince". Calling the party "quinceañera" doesn't makes sense, and made me cringe every time they did so. It's as cringe worthy as when people say that they want Mexican food and mention "chilli con carne"... NOT MEXICAN.
Keith made a huge mistake buying pre-cooked shrimp. Foe someone that prides himself on the food of the coast, he should have know better. As far as where the pea puree is, Alex will be the only one to ever know.
Keith was the man. Did you guys see how the round girl was gunning for him? Before the judges table she consistently was putting him down then afterwards she tells him "I love you". Hah, So classless. I was surprised the sent a James Beard nominee home who was also a compelling person. Bravo, silly Bravo.
Forget about the rattlesnake...the real problem I had with this episode was the theme....really?!? Does anyone want to hear a 15-year old spout off as though she's an expert?
I have no issue with judges asking kids what they thought of dishes... but the entire theme (has TC done a bar mitzvah or something else - it's ridiculous). I get a wedding, I get a lot of things - but enabling 15 year old divas is not something that should be on the show. Save that for Real Housewives or whatever. TC should be better than that.
Sounds like someone had some deep pockets to make a substantial "investment" in the show for his little girl.
Can't wait for next weeks' Chile battle Andrew
I am a fan of Keith and recognize he made some mistakes. That being said, the two girls definitely teamed up and put a target on his back. They are pretty weak individuals since they felt the need to to throw Keith under the bus in order to save themselves. I think Keith was dead right when he said (and I paraphrase): You will not lead, but you have no problem driving the bus. It is unfortunate because I would love to continue to watch him. I do not think I can stomach listening to those two girls whine, cook bad food, and continue to stay on the show. I realize it is a cooking competition, but if the contestants grate my nerves (like these two girls), I am changing the channel. There are still a couple other contestants I like, so hopefully, the two whiners will soon be gone.
I, for one, am glad to see Keith go home. I am glad to watch chefs being sent home who do things that screw up other chefs dishes. I am tired of watching chefs undermining someone else's dishes with no consequences. So I've was very happy watching the puppy chef go home in ep 1 for ruining the tenderloin and now Keith for buying pre-cooking shrimp that was to go in a ceviche (shrimp to be "cooked" in acid).
I use flour tortillas all the time for chicken enchiladas with white sauce and green chili. It was ridiculous that Keith was eliminated over such a thing. I saw much worse food presented, and I'm glad that I didn't have to taste some of it. They just picked on him because he didn't fit in.