Friday, October 14, 2011

Watching "Top Chef: Just Desserts" 2.8

5 chefs left in the running and their Quickfire and Elimination Challenges were a bit more related than has often been the case. Francois Payard of Payard Patisserie & Bistro was one of the guest judges and he first tasked our group to make the best pie they could.  There was twist because they had to do it with one hand behind their back and in an oven mitt.

My first thought was that this was very gimicky.  They didn't even tie the hand behind their backs or otherwise restrict them.  Yet they all tried hard to keep that one hand out of the way, even helping each other as they worked, until Matthew brought his hand forward and touched the side of his pie to turn it.  I've often wondered if the judges are watching because I have yet to see them care about the chattering and frankly unprofessional behavior we some times see.  They were watching and immediately put Matthew out of the running.

Carlos won with his pie making his third Quickfire win and with it $5000 in the bank.  It was a show of inverses, however, and soon everything changed when the Elimination was announced.

Now the summary I had on my TV for this show said that they visit a carnival.  They didn't and frankly it showed in what they all chose to make and how they chose to present it.  Carlos went with a more street fair idea so he made these very cute desserts disguised as a burger, fries and drink.  The others made more elegant desserts which was more in line with the guests who showed up to taste them.  Carlos also tried his hand at macaroons which is something that Payard is known for and I wonder if that wasn't the source of his downfall.  Yup, Carlos Enriquez ended up going home.

Matthew made a fried applepie thing you could eat in your hand or with a fork and he redeemed himself by winning.  His table decorations and interactions with the guests were more inline with a carnival and I believe he should have won.  I felt bad for Sally who accidentally froze her pudding but she was also a judges' favorite so she recovered well.

Orlando and Chris, what can we say, Sisters and Brothers?

First, the idea that Johnny tossed out that caramel apples don't have chocolate is false.  Just type in "chocolate caramel apples" in any search engine and you'll come up with recipes and places you can buy them.  If you want traditional you can buy some and support our site at the same time: Applecaramelicious Gift Basket

But chocolate, caramel, and apples do exist as this photo spread from just several locales around the Web show.

http://www.specialtyapples.com/superpecan.aspx

www.appleholler.com/
http://www.wisconsinmade.com/gift-ideas/Gourmet-Caramel-Apples-Belgian-Chocolate-Dunked-2773.aspx

However, as much as I like chocolate, as much as you do, yes, the main flavors needed to be caramel and apples. Why not make a chocolate cake with caramelize apple pieces inside and a chocolate caramel frosting with apple garnishes?  I bet that would have tasted more like caramel apples to the judges.  I'm tempted to say that Orlando should have gone because he didn't think it through enough.

But Chris, oh, my god, I didn't even like the look of what he made.  He had to explain too much to his guests, it looked very complex and I wonder how you'd even get all the flavors together.   I don't understand fancy desserts that are spread out over an entire plate.  Give me a dessert, one thing that I can eat and enjoy or decipher all the flavors and textures you have.

We are now down to four challengers on the TV show.  What are you opinions on this week's episode?

1 comment:

Cacao-Me said...

i am totally disappointed that carlos was sent home. he has been one of my favorites, and it would have been so good to see a person of color win. i'm rooting for sally now!

though his dessert was not perfect, his was the most creative, festive, carnival-ish. there should have been points for that. and while there were missteps, it sounds like chris' had just as many, if not more, while orlando simply didn't "get" the challenge and didn't even execute a dessert that was supposedly straightforward.

personally, i really am ready for chris to go. though i'm not necessarily loving orlando either, i do love his comment after johnny wondered about his use of chocolate in a candied apple themed dessert:

"But i love chocolate. everything for me should have chocolate."

definitely words to live by on the chocolate cult, and i have to agree. if orlando really wanted to use chocolate in a carnival themed food there are other options. frozen bananas, fudge, toffy, deep fried oreos or candy bars, or even a chocolate-covered or chocolate & caramel covered apple (rather than "candied" -- it's all about what you call it!)

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