Better Together

Episode 10: Two chefs try to make duos as harmonious as the couples they're serving.

I have to say that when I heard we were filming The Daily Show's Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, I was pretty damn excited -- I'm a pretty big Daily Show fan. Then when i heard Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler were in the episode, I got even more excited. Honestly, I was unfamiliar with Tia and Hristo before the episode, but I grew to love them too. But, I'll continue gushing over them in a minute.

Let's start with this week's Signature Dish Challenge. Although it seemed that Yuki was kind of out of her league, I have to say that i thought her "Japazuelan" fish taco was a really nice concept, and I love an arepa. If you ever get the chance to hit up Caracas Arepa in Brooklyn or on the Lower East Side, do it. Delicous. Unfortunately, Yuki's execution was lacking. If I've learned anything from Rocco or our Top Chef judges over the years, it's that you better have a pretty good explanation for separating ingredients or deconstructiong a dish. If you want the flavors eaten together, put them together. 

Vicki provided an ugly, but delicious buttermilk fried chicken salad, while Chris offered a more refined "ham and eggs." Vicki won. Chris didn't understand. Sigh.

On to the Dinner Party Challenge! The theme: Sam and Jason's 10th wedding anniversary, where the dishes had to feature ingredients that should be eaten together. Awww. Anyone who watches The Daily Show regularly not only knows hose funny these two are, but that Sam is always pregnant. That's why so many jokes were made about that.

Both chefs had to create a dish catering to Sam and Jason's favorite food moment: a trip to Cuba. I love Cuban food (Try Cuba on Thompson Street -- you won't be sorry), but this seemed like an exceptionally difficult twist to me. Fortunately both chefs rose to the challenge! 

Vicki basically made a baby-making room, and provided a comfort food menu. Chris' room was actually a little more rustic, but his food was more refined. In the end, Vicki won, and, again, Chris didn't understand it. Both had problems with some of their dishes, but it always comes down to the party itself. You can read Jes' blog to get the skinny on the decor (and the use of flowers!), but I think Chris' lack of care to some of his guests' dietary restrictions was unfortunate. Not only did he serve lobster to someone who doesn't eat seafood, but he gave Simon -- someone who doesn't eat read meat -- red meat! While it was spun in a way that showed that Simon was so comfortable in the room that he ate the red meat, I thought that was really negligent. What if Simon were Kosher? He would've been left hungry.

I'll leave Rocco to say what dictated the ultimate final decision, but i really thought Chris shot himself in the foot by forgetting that the party is about his guests -- all of them.

Tell me: Whose dinner party did you think was a bigger success? And who was your fave couple?


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