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Hello my thick black spectacles! Yes, that is in reference to this week's guest judge, the glorious Ms. Sylvia Weinstock's signature specs. I literally got the chills when she appeared on the screen. Sylvia is a legend, and I honestly can't think of anyone more qualified to judge a wedding cake Quickfire Challenge. (I wonder what she would have said about the "instant" wedding cake made in Top Chef Season 1?) For this challenge the chefs didn't have to physically make the cake itself, but create the filling, frosting, decoration, etc, which is time-consuming. Oh, and they had an hour and a half to do it!
Although Malika's kind of fell apart, I think her cardamom filling sounded delicious, and I thought her "moment" with Weinstock was downright adorable. But, i also laughed when her cake fell. I guess that's what's wrong with the world. Oh well. Malika was none-too-pleased and was so embarrassed by her showing that she wanted to go home. Good thing she got over that right quick.
I have to say I was happy to see so many adventurous fillings. I've always said that when I get married the only things I'll care about are the DJ (Q-Tip wll be spinning of course), and the food -- the cake being a big part of that. As much as I love traditional cake, imagine what your guests would say if you had a cardamom filling? Even hazelnut can be more interesting than traditional chocolate and lemon. My best friend had a rainbow cookie cake at her wedding, and, well, I thought that was brilliant.
Erika actually won the Quickfire with her "mocha explosion," which Heather H. was kinda hatin' on. Seems to be Heather is emerging as a bit of, um, a Negative Nancy. While Heather's cake was kind of stunning and polished, she criticized Erika's cake for looking too homemade. Although it did taste the best, I have to agree, and if this competition was based on presentation, Heather probably would have won, but it's not. Erika's tasted better, and that's that.
In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs were greeted in the Top Chef kitchen by the St. Monica glee club and pep squad. I would love to go off on a digression about this week's Britney-inspired episode of Glee, but I won't. I would also like to think they chose this school because it has my name in its name, but I won't. Instead I'll say that these kids were adorable and made me uncomfortable all at the ame time, almost like the showgirls who kicklined their way into the kitchen during Top Chef: Las Vegas. I know I shouldn't make fun of children, but how creepy was that mascot? The point of all the theatrics was to present the chefs with a bake sale challenge! They would be split into teams of two, one representing the glee club, the other representing the pep squad. It seems that the two teams actually took drastically different approaches. The pep squad made traditional bake sale items, and won because of it, while the glee club perhaps elevated their dishes a tad too much. I have to say that when i first watched the episode and saw Eric's krispy brownie won, I smiled. I literally had a similar item sittig in my kitchen. I'd never had a crispy treat/brownie hybrid before, but was sent home with some by a friend's mother recently, and let me tell you the differences in texture are genius. I'm not surprised Eric's dish was such a hit.
Although I was worried that either Seth or Yigit might take the fall for their team, it was Heather C. who went home instead. Sure, she didn't want to make a peanut butter cookie, and I would argue she should've said she wouldn't be able to execute it as well as something else, but at the end of the day she made it, and it apparently wasn't very good. Seth could haven gone home for his financier, which I'll admit is a term I'd never heard before, so I'm going to assume the kids hadn't either. Don't forget the kids gave their tickets to the table before getting their goodies, not after, so the chefs really had to sell their dishes. It was Yigit's dish, however, not Seth's that I probably would've liked the least, but that's just because I don't like ginger.
I will say this though, although some of the dishes may have seemed inappropriate for a kid's challenge, I wouldn't even begin oto know what kids, especially highs chool kids, are eating these days. I didn't touch sushi before college, but my brother recently sent me a pic of my baby niece eating a salmon skin roll! I think kids are a lot more adventurous these days, and exposed to diverse cultures, so who knows, maybe given them ginger, or even a financier, wasn't that farfetched.
But who cares about any of this? Yigit was shirtless this week, and my love for him continues to grow. If you missed it, check it out here. You're welcome.