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Top Chef Fodder

Top Chef -- Thunderbirds

The quickfire this week is all about potatoes. Pamda and Mark Peel meet them in the Top Chef kitchen along with a huge table filled with a zillion different kinds of potatoes. The challenge -- make an out of this world potato dish. I love Peruvian Purples and Yukon Golds personally -- they weren't used as much as I thought. By far the most popular potato was the sweet potato.

During the quickfire, Preeti was in need of asparagus blanching water, and luckily Kevin had some -- unfortunately, Preeti used Ashley's gnocchi water. Not only did she use it, but she then dumps it out and starts a new pot -- with 13 minutes. Ever try to boil water in 13 minutes? Much less cook the gnocchi in it? Yikes.

The potatoes that flopped came from Eli -- sweet potato mash that was too sweet; Jesse -- sweet potato soup that was too spicy waaaay too spicy; Ron --Sweet potato crusted yellowtail with fennel and leeks. The out of this world potatoes came from Jennifer -- Mussels with potato sauce; Ash -- sweet potato custard (that was supposed to be an ice cream); Ashley -- potato gnocchi looks like Preeti's mistakes didn't hold her back at all. And the winner is Jennifer, she has immunity for the elimination challenge.

The elimination challenge this week is the first team challenge. They must create a meal for 300 soldiers in the airforce and their families. The catch? They don't get to know what ingredients they will have to work with OR what kind of cooking aparatus they will have. Since they are odd in numbers, they decide to let Jen be the head chef and they will pair up to make a dish. When they arrive at the airbase, they find exactly what you would expect. Lots of canned foods -- spam included (spam, spam, spam, spam wonderful spam, ah Monty). They did have a good assortment of proteins though.

The dishes that were put forth: Ron & Jesse: Clam Chowder; Mike and Michael: Braised Slab Bacon and a Shrimp salad; Preeti and Laurine: pasta salad; Kevin and Eli: braised pork shoulder and southern potato salad; Ash and Ahsley: chocolate peanut butter bread pudding; Bryan and Mattin: ; Robin and Hector: chicken chili.

Some of the food looks sooooooo tasty! The braised bacon, the pork shoulder and the chili looked scrumptious to me. I was less enthused with the clam chowder (with canned clams *shudder*) and the pasta salad (really my 4 year old could have put that one together).

I was very happy to see Top Chef involving our servicemen and servicewomen. I have the highest respect for the individuals that put their lives on the line every day for our country AND I hope that each and every one of them will be home very soon. Thank you for your selflessness and service. We can never thank you enough.

The troops seemed very pleased with their meals. Many of them had recently returned from their tours of duty and others were about to be deployed. Some of them were very happy to have some tastes that brought them back home.

The chefs that came out on top were Mike Voltaggio, Michael Isabella, Eli and Kevin. Their braised bacon and pork shoulder with potato salad were on point. The chefs on the chopping block were Preeti, Laurine and Michael Isabella. Yes, I said Michael. He put together what turned out to be a tasteless shrimp salad to go with the brilliant braised bacon. Imagine that!

The winner this week: Mike Voltaggio and his braised bacon. Preeti packed her knives and left. Really she did seem to be clueless as to why she was on the chopping block to begin with. Comparatively, she couldn't wrap her head around the fact that a boring pasta salad was not Top Chef cooking.

Posted by Wendy on September 3, 2009 10:50 PM
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