Thursday, January 06, 2011

Top Chef: Now serving dim sum

So the Tom Colicchio Quickfire did not turn out to be quite as fun as I hoped. First of all, they weren't competing with Tom at all - he just set the pace. And it was clear that Tom was really prepared. He seemed organized because he had thought it all through beforehand! Running around and completing it in less than 9 minutes was still kind of impressive (not sure how much cooking Tom does these days but I'm sure it's at not Quickfire-speed) but the chefs had a much harder job having to see what's in the kitchen, conceptualize, and then execute.

So of course there were some pretty sad dishes served up. Why am I not surprised that Jamie sucked once again? Kudos to Mike Isabella for the win (including immunity and a new Prius). His former restaurant in DC was all Mediterranean small plates so this was right up his alley.

Moving onto the Elimination, disaster! I often gripe about these kind of team catering type challenges but this trainwreck was pretty entertaining to watch. I do wonder if the restaurant patrons knew what they were getting themselves into, though. Somehow I doubt many people in Chinatown watch or know what Top Chef is so I'm curious about what they were told. Some white people are going to try to cook your dim sum? Oh, and you might be on TV, so feel free to get angry?

As expected, Dale and Angelo fare pretty well in this challenge. Dale does a sticky rice, Angelo a crispy spring roll, and together they do a rice noodle roll, all of which look delicious and happen to be some of my favorite dim sum items. I was also happy to see Tiffany and Fabio do well, as they were probably some of the least likely to pull out passable Chinese food. I was actually souring on Fabio the first couple of episodes but my hate has been transferred to another.

Yes, Jamie, of course, who survives again! I'm really at a loss to remember why I used to like her. Was it because of Stefan? I did find it hilarious that everyone groaned when she said she wanted to do scallops and they put in a little clip package of all the scallop dishes she did during her season.

I was pretty sad to see Casey go. I don't eat chicken feet (even watching other people eat them grosses me out) so I can't really comment on whether it could have been a good dish or not but it didn't really sit well with me that she was eliminated even though she was up on the floor and her dish had to be executed by someone else. I was pretty neutral on her during her original season but she's clearly a team player who's not afraid to take risks. Unfortunately both of those things sunk her this time...

- Fabio's pet turtle??
- Loved Tom asking Gail if she was going to finish Dale's sticky rice.
- Susur Lee was the perfect judge for the Elimination. He was such a rockstar on Top Chef Masters. He has a restaurant in DC that I've been wanting to check out.
- Mike's dumplings at least looked like he tried to pinch the edges and make them look pretty, as opposed to Jamie's, which were just so flat and sad.
- Marcel vs. Dale next week? Team Dale!

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