Welcome back to week two of Bobby Flay, I mean Worst Cooks in America. Last week we saw two people go home because pancakes and eggs were just too much of a challenge. Contestants were given fair warning that it is only going to get harder. Well here is a question; could it get easier from there? I guess they could have a boiling water challenge; just seemed like a silly statement to me. Only one way to find out and that is to hit play.
I’ll assume it is morning when the contestants find a giant fortune cookie on the dining table. The fortune reads, “Get ready to stretch your culinary abilities. Venture east to Chinatown where adventure awaits.” As someone who loves all the food-related cooking shows, my mind goes to a Chopped basket filled with beaks and feet. However this is a different skill set of contestants, maybe dumplings or noodles.
Tiffany and Erica are terrified; they must watch Chopped also, as their thoughts go to Octopus, Shark and other crazy endeavors. Sarina feels right at home with “the emblems on the wall and the giant dragons.” She notes, though, that just because she is Asian doesn’t mean she knows how to cook Chinese. Well you are American and couldn’t do pancakes either, so don’t sweat it.
Today’s challenge is to make Asian-inspired noodle dishes, with homemade noodles. Chef Lee comes out with a cart and very few ingredients to show them how it is done. Bennett comments that he has magical ninja powers kicking in. Imagine a six-foot long noodle jump rope being slapped down onto a steel cart and you will get the visual. Kelli described it as Noodle Cirque d’ Solei. I’m impressed! After stretching the dough, he cuts it into 10-inch chunks and starts the process over again. Somehow it is turning into noodles, so he must be using his fingers to pull it apart as he stretches it out.
The contestants are spared the long jump rope part and will be given one of the logs to stretch and pull. Erica believes she could stand there for 5 years and not get it. I have to say that I fancy myself to be somewhat skilled in the kitchen, more so at canning and baking, but still skilled. I have rewound this 3 times and still don’t have a grasp on how exactly he does it.
The dishes that they’re going to have to replicate (on top of the noodles) will be, Asian Stir Fry for Anne’s team, and Bobby will make Asian Noodle with Coconut and Red Curry. Bobby’s dish looks like it has tofu in it also. My 16-year-old is a vegetarian and proper preparation of tofu has always been a challenge for me.
All the contestants gather round Bobby and Anne to learn various knife cuts. The most important thing they will be looking for in this challenge is consistency. I think the most important thing should be fingers! Last week people could not use a spatula properly and this week they are expected to thinly julienne carrots. I was right; Bobby’s team also will cube tofu. Again, consistency is stressed. They are given 45 minutes to replicate the team dish.
They all head to their work areas, and it seems everyone is keeping their fingers. For the most part, although messy, most contestants seems to be handling the challenge fine. Rachel is trying to press a piece of garlic and is basically killing the entire bulb, paper and all. Anne has to stop her because she is worried she is going to stab somebody. This really isn’t someone who doesn’t know how to do it; she just doesn’t listen or follow direction at all.
Sarina is the only one who can’t pull a single noodle; she keeps adding flour and it is just falling apart. I know this is a mean thing to say, but we are all friends here. Secretly I am hoping she goes home. She has one of those 5-year-old little girl voices that stops being cute at 31. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. She finally makes something that resembles noodles. Poor Bobby Flay; are you really going to have to eat it?
Erica might be the reason I have to listen to that voice another week. She is making her red curry sauce. She is worried, though, because her “two-foo” is not melting. I guess she thinks it is butter? She decides the only way to get it to melt is to press it down in the pan till it disintegrates. Like I said earlier about Rachel, these people don’t listen.
Bennett is done with his Stir-Fry. He compares it to Lindsay Lohan after a night out. He says it’s “Chunky and jagged, but not a bad party”. Sarina doesn’t think hers is spicy enough, so in the last minutes adds a tablespoon more of red curry. Time’s up, all noodles must be in the bowls.
Erica is up first for the blue team. Bobby tries to correct the word Two-foo; he has no idea what is in store for him with that spoonful. Time and time again he says it properly and she says it wrong. I sure wouldn’t want this court reporter in charge of keeping the details of a trial I was involved in. After all is said and done he likes the seasoning, and even though he asks her if she is real, he thinks there is hope for her yet.
Vinnie is next and gets good marks on taste and consistency of cuts. Sherrill is overly confident in her under-seasoned, over-sized noodles. Benjamin does well cutting his carrots, but there is no rhyme or reason to the tofu cubes. Tiffany also does well. David was excited to learn this dish as his wife is vegan. Bobby suggests more curry paste next time.