Friday, September 30, 2011

Watching "Top Chef: Just Desserts" 2.6

In the sixth episode of "Top Chef: Just Desserts" the nine chefs became eight and unfortunately it was one of my favorites chefs that got sent home this time but you'll have to keep reading to find out who.  Remember, leave your own thoughts and ideas in the comments, please.

Last night's Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge were a bit mismatched.  True, both used non-traditional dessert foods but the judge for the Quickfire did not stick around for the Elimination round.  Why is that?  What is going on?

The Quickfire was judged by Jordan Kahn a chef/partner at some place called Red Medicine.  Why don't they get guests judges their audience may have heard of?  Or am I the only poor person watching this show who can't afford to go traveling about visiting the most elite restaurants?  As I've learned here, the most expensive chocolate is not necessarily the best and think this is very likely true with desserts as well.

In the Quickfire they had to pick a root vegetable and use it to make a dessert for immunity and $5000 cash.  Sometimes the Quickfire has a prize, sometimes not, and there isn't a reason for the prize that I can decipher in the show. Maybe they are cutting out too much information in the aired parts.  They could cut out more of the chattering the chef do doing the cooking challenges frankly to save minutes.  Sally won this challenge, her second in a row but this time she pledged to us watching that she'd take more of a risk for the big challenge.

So far the Elimination Challenges have been more of a team effort but last night was a solo endeavor.  The guest judge was Adam Horovitiz (AD Rock) from The Beastie Boys a white rap group I recall from my teen years.  Apparently the chefs all loved them based on their reactions.  The challenge was to pick foods featured in the songs and make dessert for a community art event that was more "street" -- given the people who showed up at the event, it didn't seem very "street" to me, whatever that is supposed to mean.

But there was a twist. Each chef picked two ingredients then they went and picked one more and gave it to another chef.  Most people tried to think logically except for Chris who just went with crazy pesto pizza and pork & beans.  I won't go into all the foods and who had what, you need to watch so we can chat about this, Sisters and Brothers.

The chefs had four hours to cook/bake and then put things away for the next day when they had an hour to set up.  This is going to be a factor in who went home and again I think the choice was unfair just as I think this entire challenge was unfair and really odd.  These are dessert chefs, right?  Why are they being asked to do things that are not really desserts?

The biggest problem I see in the kitchen is too much talking and not enough thinking and definitely not enough tasting of what you are making.  Except some of the chefs were getting a bit too much tasting with all the various alcohols they had.  Who in their right minds makes food without tasting it along the way?  I don't do that and I'm not a professional who gets paid so damn, these people need to learn some basics.

I think I see who is being set up to be the final two chefs: Chris and Matthew.  We've seen more about their family lives now than anyone else on the show and we are constantly seeing clips about others saying what good chefs and what a big challenge they are.  Remember we are not watching a live show, this contest is over and they've edited it down.  I wonder how the show would change if it were more live and viewer opinions counted?

The top chefs for the challenge were Chris, Matthew, and Sally.  They had some of the strangest ingredients and they made desserts that looked like desserts.  However I disagree that Matthew won -- his dessert time and again was reviewed as tasting like mashed potatoes and that is not a dessert.   Or maybe I just want more chocolate!

Two chefs were not talked to at all by the judges as far as we saw. Carlos had a great dessert, frankly I think he probably should have won though the popcorn is really a dessert or snack item so maybe the judges thought that was too easy.  Orlando also was not spoken to and he is the only chef who used pre-made major component in his dessert -- cookies.  He was even called out on that at the event but this was ignored.  To be blunt, I think he should have been sent home for using a pre-made item basically as is.

The bottom three were the ladies who had been the stars last week: Katzie, Rebecca, and Megan.  The judges said that Megan's cake was too dry and didn't include the onions, others' had major ingredients on the side like the pizza stick so that was an odd criticism.  As for dry... they made these then stored them overnight so that might have had something to do with it and yes she should have considered that when she made it.  Katzie just made fries with sides... it was very little creativity and very little effort and should have resulted in her going home.

True, garlic for dessert is a nasty surprise and Rebecca Masson should have tasted her dessert more but given that she was creative, I think she did more than at least two others did for this challenge.  Plus I really like her attitude.  She has to be the most upbeat of the group and given her injury clearly she wanted to compete.

So now we are down to three women and four men in the show.  What are your feelings on the latest episode?


Cacao-Me said...

hi chocolate priestess,
this was just an odd challenge. to create savory ingredients into a dessert is one thing, but then to add a sabotage seems downright mean. it is true, as they said on the show, that a good pastry chef also knows how to cook savory, but it is unfortunate that one misstep on this could send you home, as did with rebecca, whom i too also liked.

my sense as to who they talk to, they tend to highlight the top and bottom. thus with carlos and orlando in the middle, it makes sense for editing and time purposes not to include them though i think it would have been interesting to hear what became of all of orlando's rum!

the hard thing about these food shows is that you cannot taste the dishes. thus, it might not seem like matthew's was the best but we didn't sample it.

i find it curious however that marcel (from top chef & sally's friend) didn't like chris' brownie. Personally that was the one my chocolate tastebuds would have loved to sample. i've had blackbean brownie. pork & beans -- now that would be interesting.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

They should invite the members of The Chocolate Cult to a show as guest judges, don't you think?

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