February 10, 2009

Top Chef NY: Week 11 - No Fabio, YOU rule in MY world!

And then there were 6. At the beginning of the show last week they showed Fabio talking on the phone to his wife, and then talking to the camera about how he needed to win. Do you know what that did? Totally convinced me that Fabio was going to be eliminated this week.

I found that this week I really couldn't figure out who was going to go, and in the end I was still a little surprised.

Quickfire Challenge

3 Round fish filleting tournament.

Round 1: 5 minutes to clean and butterfly sardines. Carla cracked me up, she was hilarious talking about the sardines, and telling them that they really didn't have to tell her what she did wrong because she was fully aware how bad hers looked. Carla & Jamie were out.

Round 2: Fillet an Arctic Char. During this challenge, Leah literally gave up. As in, she threw her hands up and said "I give up.". Out loud. WTF, Leah? That was really lame. Leah & Fabio were out in this round.

Round 3: Peel and fillet an eel. I couldn't deal with the fact that the eels were dead, but because of residual nervous system activity they were MOVING AROUND. Uck. Stefan won. By a lot. Hosea had never worked with eel before.

Elimination Challenge

Hey, here's a perfect opportunity to remind you of Rachael's Rule of Reality TV... there is never JUST an outing unless you've won it as a prize (ala outings with Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares). If you have done a quickfire, but not an elimination, and then they say they are going to surprise you with this nice meal, you bet your ASS this is going to turn into a challenge somehow.

They had their nice meal with Eric Ripert, and the challenge was to recreate one of Chef Riperts dishes. Stefan's advantage for winning the quickfire was that he got to choose which of the dishes he wanted to cook.

Poor Jamie pulled her least favorite of all the dishes to recreate. They had a tray with all the ingredients, so they weren't necessarily trying to figure out WHAT was in it, but how and in what quantities. It was nice that Ripert came through and tasted their dishes and gave them advice while they were cooking.

I liked watching Carla in this episode. She said she was in her comfort zone with the dish because she went to French cooking school. It was really cool to see her in her element, and comfortable with what she was doing.

During judging, it was cool how they showed the contestants dishes side by side with the real dishes to give a comparison. The judging started, and it wasn't all good. The looks on the judges faces when they were tasting Jamie's dish were just terrible! During the judging, I started to turn my eyes from Fabio to Hosea, and started to worry that he was going to be the one to get eliminated.

When they called in the top 3, I was disappointed. It was Fabio, Carla and Stefan. I was really worried at that point, because I was convinced they were going to send Hosea home. Stefan won the challenge, and he gets to go on a tour of Ripert's three restaurants and then to a food & wine festival with him.

Then it was time for Jamie to get judged. Padma said her dish "wasn't appetizing to look at or to eat." During thed judging of the final 3, it became clear that Jamie was going to be the one to go home. I was disappointed. I would have much rather seen Leah go, especially after her kind of bad attitude this week. I thought Jamie had a very gracious exit, and she seemed to have really learned & grown during her time on the show.

So, now there are 5. Can't wait for next week!

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