December 03, 2008 09:22 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef began with a recap of the Thanksgiving feast for the Foo Fighters which lead to the subsequent dismissal of Richard, who was told to “Pack his knifes and go” by the oh, so lovely, Padma and we saw Richard cry again as he vowed to “Hold his head up high” on his way out the door.
The morning broke with the Chef-testants arising from their slumber and Ariane happy she was not on the chopping block for the first time in the last challenge. All she had to do now was “Keep it going.” Alex found a letter from Richard and got all emotional because he missed his former roomy. Of course the girls were crying too, but this is Top Chef and there is always another Quickfire just around the corner.
The chefs were off to meet Padma again and with her is perennial favorite, Chef Rocco DiSpirto, back for a crack at helping find the next Top Chef. Padma explained that he chefs were going to cook up a Breakfast Amuse Bouche for her and Rocco and some failed miserably at the task, as usual with the time factor nipping at their heels. Well, it is explainable since a lot of chefs sleep through breakfast having worked so late the night before. At least that’s what my chef pals tell me.
Funny Line of the night when Fabio says, Fabio: “[Rocco's] not reeeeallly Italian.”
Ariane surprised no one with her amuse bouche of Stuffed French Toast, which seemed actually decent for once, especially from her, and Rocco liked it. In the end, Rocco said that Fabio had missed the mark and that, overall, Leah, came out ahead with the best Breakfast Bouche for her second consecutive Quickfire win.
For the elimination challenge, Padma talked about Rocco and how, because of his fame as a chef, he was able to introduce himself through books to millions. Padma announced that, for the Elimination Challenge, the chefs would all be cooking a signature dish and introducing themselves on live TV with anchor Meredith Vieira doing the hosting duties, and that their presentation and food would have to impress the judges enough to keep them in the competition for another week.
The chef-testants went into their usual flurry of buying the perfect ingredients and had $100 and 30 minutes at the Whole Foods store. The perfect moment was when Fabio went behind the counter to filet his own tuna for the challenge. Fabio was soon followed by Hosea and Gene, not to be outdone by the European. Where is security when you need them?
Jeff was making a pretty simple dish, for Top Chef standards, and Carla had a Tortilla soup that she hoped would impress. Ariane ‘s salad was a mystery and one wondered if it would be elaborate enough to impress this week as the judges were not so high on her.
The biggest decision of the night seemed to be if any of the chefs had the nerve to eat the undercooked eggs that had been prepared. Alex must have still been down in the dumps over Richard leaving because his Creme Brulee looked sub-par at best. To make matters worse, Alex was criticized for smoking up the studio. The guy could not catch a break tonight.
Ariane’s salad was a big hit and it looked as though she might have finally gotten into her groove after struggling for the first two episodes this season. Hosea was not happy at the Live broadcast and with the second spit out of the season happening tonight from Kathy Lee Gifford, the first was when Padma spit out the sweet dessert form Ariane, you have got to wonder how some of these chefs made it on the show. Maybe Kathy Lee has a more refined palate than most.
Back at the judges chambers, the Big Three, Padma, Tom and Gail had some kind words for several of the chef-testants, including Ariane, but were appalled that several of the dishes were “Inedible,” as Rocco put it. Gail even had a funny line when talking about the Habanero that had been prepared by saying, “A habanero’s not something you want people going home and experimenting with.” And in the end, Ariane was so happy with her dish that she exclaimed that she was feeling “Back in the game.”
Alex, Jamie and Melissa were in front of the judges waiting for the meat cleaver to fall at the end and we watched as Padma gave her “get you stuff and get the heck out of here” line to Alex, whose Creme Brulee was a complete disaster, at least to those who matter, the judges.
Next week the chefs wll be cooking for Gail’s Bridal Shower and we see a brief snippet of Gail saying, “This is not a good start to a new life.” Sounds like fun.
Photo Credit: Bravo