I also now realize as we see the guest chefs that Lidia is the Lidia from the PBS shows that my dad used to watch and I all of a sudden have great affection for Lidia. I also notice that the Italian guy is cooking for the Italian chef and the Scandanavian chef is cooking for the Swedish chef. Not the Swedish Chef – but I would kill for a challenge with the Swedish Chef as a judge. Bork, Bork, Bork.
Service. Leah is first and she thinks that her sauce is too thick, so she has decided to thin it out. I wonder if that will be an important fact? Leah has made Eggs Benedict with a Slow Poached Egg (she says that Wylie loves that kind) and Bacon on Challah. She has also added a salad to “cut the fat.”
Wylie thinks the white is too watery, but the bacon is nice. He also notes that he would never want a salad in his final meal. Word. Marcus doesn’t think that she got the textures down. Jacques wants the sauce to have been thicker. Oops. Toby likes his eggs runny – of course, he’s English, so he’s not a great source on that one.
Finn thinks that he may win this challenge, and Fabio confesses that no matter that Finn has won 10 challenges, this is a single-elimination tournament. Finn has made Salmon with Spinach Two Ways (sautéed and creamed), Roasted Potatoes with Dill Sauce.
Marcus says that as a kid in Sweden they ate fish and potatoes all the time and that Finn has nailed the elements here, but the salmon is overcooked. Wylie thinks it was “horribly” overcooked. Lidia thinks a client would have sent it back. Jacques says that it was well seasoned. Susan couldn’t tell the difference between the two spinaches. How do you confuse creamed and sautéed spinach?
Hosea’s hands are shaking as he plates and when he serves he kisses some Famous Chef Ass for a bit. He has made Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes Provencal and Buerre Blanc. Marcus thought he did a fine job. Jacques wanted the tomato to be cut in half and seared. Toby was disappointed that the scampi was not traditional. Lidia doesn’t care much for things cooked in cream. Susan wanted more garlic, but she liked the flavors. Tom poses the question – if the chefs do not meet expectations with the dish, did they do a good version of their take on the dish? Fair question.
Fabio is having trouble butchering the chicken and is cutting it with a clever and he says that he is wielding it “like Jason from Friday the 13th.” You couldn’t pay me to watch that remake, by the way. Fabio serves and I notice that he his hiding his injured hand behind his back. Fabio has made Roasted Chicken with Herb-roasted Potatoes and Caramelized Cipollini and a Leafy Salad with Carrots, Heirloom Tomatoes, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
Jacques drinks to Lidia’s last meal, as it is a good one. Wylie thought the chicken was “awesome” and is the first meal so far that channeled the chef in question. However, the salad was like an airplane salad. Marcus thinks this dish could be served in a restaurant. Lidia got what she had wanted.
Carla is feeling the pressure and has the squab under the heat lamp. Jacques explains to the chefs that squab is comfort food to him as his mom used to make it all the time for special occasions. Carla is in awe of them. She has made Squab with Lemon Thyme Butter Sauce, Demi Glace and Butter Tarragon Peas.
Susan is a convert to the squab and thinks the peas were perfection. Marcus liked the simplicity, but found the breast to be overcooked. Lidia is perfectionist and liked the meat. Tom explains that the younger generation likes it to be more rare. He liked Carla’s audacity in making the simple presentation. Jacques found it scrumptious and could die happy.
The Final Five come out and get complements from Tom and applause from the great chefs. Hosea is close to tears and Carla thinks she could go home happy now.
Commercials – Have you entered the Quaker Oat Challenge yet? My wife would kick anyone’s ass in that challenge if she would ever enter it.
Stew Room. Leah and Carla mother Fabio a bit about the injury. He says that this is Top Chef, not Top Pussy. HA! I have so many dirty jokes that I cannot tell in this forum! Hosea complements them all for taking part in 24 challenges together.
Padma comes to get them all for judging and, well, I must say that Padma is…um…well…she is rather cold. I need a cold shower now.