This week's challenge was an emotional roller coaster for me. Let's start with the Quickfire Challenge in which the chefs had to provide direction to an unknown partner on the other side of a barrier. The twist? Their partners were their relatives! I was shocked that the chefs didn't recognize their voices! I'd like to think if my brother or sister were on the other side of a barrier, I'd know it was him/her, but who knows! Competition makes you crazy! The funniest/saddest part was Naomi yelling at her father. When she called him "sir," I almost lost it. She was getting so worked up! And according to her father that's how she always talks to him in the kitchen! Anyway, at the end of the day I thought his poached egg looked pretty damn good, even if he did accidentally use cilantro instead of parsley. They didn't win though. Traci and her brother did, as they made an almost scarily identical halibut plates.
After the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs were greeted by relatives, only this time, they weren't their own. Each of the four people had a connection to a servicemen in the four branches of the military -- Army, Navy, Air Forces, and the Marines. The chefs were tasked with creating meals for those servicemen based on what their relatives told them they liked. Mary Sue continued her winning streak with tomatillo barbecue ribs for her Guatemalan diners, which gave them the Latin feel they were apparently craving. I wanted to try those ribs so badly, actually all of the editors in my office did. So, she's on to next week's finale! But who will join her?
Seemed like the judges had fairly major issues with all three of the other chefs, although they admitted they're really nitpicking at this point. Traci's dish was just, well, "meh." Apparently her meatloaf dish wasn't indicative of a Top Chef Master. I don't know, i love meat loaf, and it can be really, really bad, so i wouldn't loved to try this. Floyd's salad may not have made "sense," but in his eyes (and maybe in mine too) he won this challenge. The moment where his serviceman gave him that coin made me cry. I'm not exaggerating. He really made that man's day, and Floyd could not have been more sincere in his efforts to truly serve his diners. Also, i'm a sucker for a tamarind margarita. (I highly recommend the Maya Margarita and the Tamarindo Margarita at Mesa Coyoacan in Brooklyn.) Unfortunately for Naomi, it was her day to go home. Not only did the judges feel nothing went together, but there were problems with her proteins. Naomi has a lot to be proud of, age aside. She represented well, and I'm going to guess that her restaurant, Beast, is going to get quite a few more diners after her appearance on this.
Next week is the finale! I really want to know who you're rooting for because I kind of love all three finalists. Also, where have you been eating?!
Until next week, Have a Nosh.