Welcome to my first Bravo blog! I will give a Season 2 perspective and try not to be an armchair chef. You know the type - "This is what I would have done" or "This is what the chefs should have done." I think that it is way too easy to judge after the fact. What an exciting start. My first reaction to the opening scenes was quite simply -- jealousy. I saw that food spread and remembered how many times we of Season 2 didn't get fed at all! And that penthouse suite -- 6000 square feet with no bunk beds and a Jacuzzi overlooking the beaches of beautiful Miami...Wow! Then Padma and Tom walk in, and that sinking feeling started to form in the pit of my stomach. This is, after all, "Top Chef". Then bam...they said it -- "Start cooking biatches...."
The Quickfire Challenge asked the chefs to make an amuse bouche. Rock On! That's the challenge that I won last season. We were allowed to use knives, but our ingredients came from a vending machine. The cheftestants seemed to stay calm and the majority did very well. It also looks as though the focus is going to return more to the food this season and rely less on the personalities. Let's keep our fingers crossed. It looks like we have some very promising contestants this year, so hold on tight. Congrats to Micah on winning this challenge. Your amuse looked and sounded delightful. I had the opportunity to meet Micah at the Top Chef Miami Spice kick-off event last Sunday and she has really good energy and loves to have fun in the kitchen.
The Elimination Challenge was interesting. I love the choices that Brian decided to grab. I have seen eel skin peeled off and it is quite interesting -- while it is alive and fresh. Cuts are made around the neck and the skin is peeled in one single stretch, similar to skin peeled off of a Dover sole. I have a question - are frog's legs surf or turf? I guess they could really go either way. Now remember: the second team has a two-hour advantage to think and plan their meal, which is a real help.
It was nice to see Chef Anthony Bourdin. ("Hey Chef Tony, Alex says hi!") I don't understand why he didn't judge the Quickfire Challenges. Perhaps that was filmed too early in the day for a bloodsucker! Ha! And although Chef Tom Colicchio states unequivocally that he is not a mentor, but the head judge, you can tell by that twinkle in his eyes and his handsome grille that he certainly seems to be impressed with Tre. I was most impressed not by the duos but by those that incorporated both proteins in one cohesive dish.
Clay, po' old boy. He did cross the finish line while others did not. I would like to have seen him one more time to see what skills got him on the show. Forget the rules -- let's just measure greater sins. It is a tough choice between Hung and Tre as to the winner of this challenge. I have to agree with the judges. Tre's dish is something that I would order at any fine restaurant and be completely satisfied. Congratulations, Tre! Until next week, Break An Egg!
Oh, and don't forget to check out my Webisodes of Miami Spice recipes at . You can also watch me live every Wednesday morning at 8:35/7:35c as I recreate the winning recipes on Telemundo.