November 26, 2008 10:19 PM by DA Southern
For Top Chef it is another day in paradise as they prepare for the inevitable Turkey Day challenge that is prevalent in the shows this week, even though we know they filmed this prior to Thanksgiving. All is especially well with Fabio as he still basks in the short-lived glory of winning the last challenge.
It is short-lived because as we all know, it is always “What have you cooked for me lately” from the judges and, of course, any finicky guest that may be invited to sample the chef’s cooking. This week those guest are the band, The Foo Fighters. Maybe, they should just change their names to the “Food” fighters for the night. Maybe not.
We had a quick recap of the previous episode when Tom’s restaurant was the temporary home for the Top Chefs and Fabio’s subsequent win and we were privy to the glorious morning afterglow with Fabio. He was greeted by Stefan and congratulated and Fabio wondered if he could carry his winning ways through the next Quickfire challenge.
The chefs looked like they were all still beat as they dragged themselves into the Quickfire where they found Padma waiting for them with guest judge, Grant Achatz, from Alinea’s restaurant in Chicago. Padma told them Happy Thanksgiving and announced that the Quickfire challenge was all about “Rolling with the punches” and had the chefs each pull a knife with weird numbers that had the chefs wondering. After giving the chefs their assignments, Padma said they had an hour and the chefs scrambled as they do every Quickfire, to prepare a dish that would give them immunity for the next challenge.
After the madness had stated, Padma came in and immediately decreased the time allotted for their dishes and the chefs seemed a bit more flustered as some realized that they may not complete the Quickfire. The rest of the Quickfire followed suite until the end when Padma told them to put their utensils down and back away form their dishes. Padma and chef Achatz tasted each of the dishes and found favor with Leah as she came through with a great dish.
Padma then introduced a video from the next client for the chefs and they all were shocked when the The Foo Fighters appeared on the video screen. The Foo Fighters were going to be the judge, and in some cases, the jury, for the chefs as a Thanksgiving feast in the tradition of Top Chef was the next elimination challenge. Non-classic, because nothing the Top Chefs ever do is traditional.
It was a rainy day outside of the Blue Cross Arena where the chefs were cooking a non-classic Thanksgiving dinner in the rain and many struggled with the inclement weather as they prepared their dishes as they joined the band for a tour stop in Syracuse, N.Y.
As the chefs scrambled to get their feast ready, The Fighters came in with judges Tom and Padma. What was funny was to watch Richard as he is more enamored with Tom that he was with the Foo Fighters. We only hope Richard stays around for a while because it is fun to watch him light up every time Tom is near, which means I probably just doomed him.
The weather didn’t get any better in the arena as many of the chefs, some who had previously been in the good graces of the judges, got savaged for not bringing their game to the challenge. The Fighters seemed to enjoy the food overall, but Toma and Padma were not as gracious, it seemed.
After a lot of deliberation, Padma had Carla, Richard and Eugene standing in front of the judge’s table waiting for the final meat cleaver to fall. Tom talked about how hard it was to send Someone home after a “Thanksgiving” dinner, but he turned to Padma as she delivered the bad news to Richard, which shocked him as he started to cry. In the end, it is always bad to make your desserts seem to ooze when they probably shouldn’t.
It is funny how both last week and this week, it was the desserts that seemed to leave a bad taste in the judges mouth.
Photo Credit: Bravo