Thursday, October 20, 2011

Watching "Top Chef: Just Desserts" 2.9

The count down to the final is here with only four chefs remaining: Sally, Matthew, Chris and Orlando.  Who was sent home this week and did he/she deserve to go?  Do any of these chefs deserve the title when it comes to desserts?  Let's review what happened this week before you all leave comments and let me know what you thought.

We got more into the back stories of all four chefs and now with fewer people competing, there was more time to do that.  Matthew was a wild outsider, Chris's family is still the center, Orlando's family first rejected him because he was gay, and Sally's mother and her butted heads a lot growing up.  At the end though, I don't care much about the back story compared to the desserts.

There was no Quickfire only an Elimination Challenge. This was posed by guest Suzanne Goin, chef/owner of Lucques, A.O.C. & Tavern (what kind of a name is that for a restaurant? too long) as well as a cookbook author.  Known as a savory chef she challenged them each to pick a country and after that to make a dessert that looked like an entrée which threw off everyone but Matthew from the start.

Matthew made a manicotti with rolls for Italy (the rolls were not Italian though) and the biggest criticism of his dish was the lack of different flavors and textures.  I had to wonder if the judges and the four others at the table had ever had traditional manicotti.  The textures and flavors aren't complicate at all, not in my experience.  That's one of the reasons I like it. Maybe he should have added more flavor to the bulky center?  Maybe he should have used tomato like he first thought?  He is going to the finale next week.

Orlando was the next to decide what to do and he turned to paella which I've never had so I can't say whether or not the judges' criticisms of his rice is correct or not.  It is true that he didn't have enough mussels in there but the one he had was well done.  I was sad that he was sent home because I think he has grown the most in terms of attitude during the show.  He is far less snarky and bitchy than he was to begin with.

Chris decided to do beef wellington and I was amazed that he wasn't tossed out for two things.  First, not really a French dish, sorry not buying the entire "based on a French dish" slide they gave him.  Second, he is the only one who used a pre-made ingredient, pasty sheets to make his shells.  To me these two errors should have sent him home regardless of the look or tastes.  I think when they allow people to stay in the competition who get by in this way (and he did it at least once before) they are not holding the title up to a high enough standard.

Sally took almost two of the three hours they had on day one of cooking to decide on making a Cuban sandwich.  She was afraid and you could see it.  Now the judges complimented her on how well she pulled it all off but using her difficulties in the kitchen should have turned around and been used against Chris.  I think it is right that she won and she definitely deserves to go to the finale.

So the finale will show Chris, Matthew, and Sally going head to head.

I think Orlando should be going instead of Chris. If Olando Santos, a chocolatier, would agree, I'd love to do an email interview with him for us all here on The Chocolate Cult.

What do you all think?

1 comment:

Cacao-Me said...

in the beginning of the season, orlando's arrogance was a big turn off. but as he has become more open to criticism, i found myself becoming more open to him. thus, i was disappointed that he was the one who did not make it to the finale. and i agree, chocolate priestess, if you can snag an interview with him, that would be great. personally, i was hoping he'd create more chocolate desserts but that may be something you could ask him about in the interview.

i do agree with the judges that of all the dishes, his did appear the weakest. at bravo.com i watched the extended judges table video which highlighted more of the weaknesses in his dessert. in many ways, orlando didn't get that this was about dessert disguise. making coconut to look like rice may have helped rather than taking it so literally, which was part of the disappointment expressed by the judges in the extended video.

and if based on looks, sally's did look pretty authentic, as did chris'. but i too am disappointed that chris did not make his own pastry dough. he tends to take shortcuts on some levels and i think this will come out in the finale.

i am rooting for sally and matthew in the top 2 with sally coming out on top. we'll see what the finale holds.