The chefs prep and these are the key things to take from it|
• For those who didn’t understand Dim Sum from my piece of crap description, Blais does a better job. It’s like Chinese tapas – hors d’oeuvers if you will. Which makes the choice by the chefs to make complicated and slower to serve dishes more baffling.
• Jamie isn’t doing a liquid!!! Of course, she wants to do a scallop. Really. She even jokes about it, so she knows about Top Scallop.
• They smartly put Mike in the front because of his immunity, but really could have used someone better suited for kicking butt. Carla and Casey seem pressured into working the carts and the dumbwaiter.
• Fabio is really nervous because you really can’t make gnocchi here. He chooses short rib but the oven doesn’t go past 300 degrees. Somehow he pulls it off – and well.
• We see the beginnings of the doom for the bottom – Carla taking lots of time making her Vietnamese dish, Tre’s dessert being affected by the kitchen heat, and Casey slicing off toenails of the chicken feet and admitting that someone else will be cooking her food.
Judging the challenge will be Gail, Tom, Padma and Top Chef: Masters 2 Finalist Suser Lee (Ninja to the dozens of people who read my commentaries).
SF Tiff – Cabbage, Cilantro and Sesame Salad with Crispy Curry Chicken. Suser liked the vinaigrette, while Gail felt the sesame overpowered everything.
Fabio – Soy Honey Glazed Spicy Pork Rib. Padma thought he did a great job, and Suser commented on the sweetness of the rib.
Carla – Vegetable Summer Roll with Lemongrass Dipping Sauce. Padma thought it was beautifully wrapped, and Tom commented that she will still think that after she tastes it. Ouch. Gail says that all you can taste is the noodle.
Angelo – Shrimp and Pork Shrimp Roll. Gail loved it, and Suser thought it was cooked perfectly.
Marcel – Boneless Chicken Wing with Scallion Mayonnaise. Suser liked the concept, but Tom felt it was bland.
Blais – Some sort of spring roll? We never saw it. However, Gail felt the alcohol didn’t burn off properly. Clearly, Blais would be destined for middle of the pack.
Jamie/Antonia – Long Beans with Chinese Sausage. Gail thought the beans were overcooked, and Suser found it to be greasy.
Dale/Angelo – Cheung Fun with Xo Shrimp. Gail thought it was incredible, and Tom liked the spice.
Dale – Sweet Sticky Rice with Chinese Bacon Wrapped in a Banana Leaf. Suser thought it was a perfect Italian/Chinese combo.
DC Tiff – Spicy Pork with Vegetables on a Steamed Bun. Suser found it to be very Chinese and Tom thought it was rather authentic.
Tre – Orange Ginger Dessert with Fresh Water Chestnuts, Toasted Pine Nuts and Thai Basil. Suser thought it should be colder, and Padma found it to be runny.
Casey – Chinese Chicken Feet and Scallion Pancake. Suser thought it was cooked poorly, it needed to be in oil and deep-fried. Padma noticed the diners hadn’t touched the feet.
Antonia – Shrimp Toast with Pickled Scallions and Mushrooms. Padma and Gail each praised the flavor.
Mike – Pork and Prawn Steamed Dumplings with Spicy Soy Sauce. Suser liked the chili but it was salty.
Jamie – Scallop Dumplings with Water Chestnuts and Chinese Chives. Tom and Suser agree that there is too much wrapper and not enough scallops. Ironic.