Friday, October 7, 2011

Watching "Top Chef: Just Desserts" 2.7

Ah, episode seven of "Top Chefs: Just Desserts" marked a turning point in the show on several levels.

First, the Quickfire Challenge gave a prize, $10,000, but no immunity.  In fact, one chef was sent home immediately after that challenge.  The Quickfire was judged by Mark Isarel, the owner of Doughnut Planet and each chef had to make a donut to go with a cup of coffee.  Only Katzie followed the directions and chose her coffee first yet only Sally actually referenced and used her coffee when she made the donut.  Some how though Carlos won but since his family made donuts as he was growing up, perhaps that made sense at some level.  Megan was sent home because her glazing wasn't right and yet Matthew's donut gathered the most criticism.  I'm seeing a trend of giving certain chefs a pass on this show and it does not please me.

The Elimination Challenge placed the six remaining chefs into two teams.  Blue was made of Orlando, Carlos and Sally.  Red was Katzie, Matthew and Chris.  The challenge was twofold or so we believed when it was issued -- make a chocolate centerpiece as well as each chef make a chocolate dessert.  The guest judge was Wylie Dufresne the chef and owner of wd~50.  I looked up this restaurant and I'm confused because it doesn't seem particularly well-known for chocolate, in fact only one of their desserts on the online menu is chocolate.  The twist here was that the teams would judge each other but again these seemed more a token gesture instead of serious judgment given the results.

Orlando and Chris focused on the centerpiece.  Chris really only accepted a token amount of help from Matthew leaving Katzie entirely out, even her ideas were shot down.  That should have left her with plenty of time to make a great dessert and yet she didn't think ahead as much as she should have.  Chris made his dessert in like an hour and it looked very homemade.  Matthew's three desserts were well made but for some reason the judges thought they were too sweet -- seriously?

Orlando on the other hand used Sally to a greater capacity in terms of making the centerpiece and laid most of the work for his dessert onto Carlos' shoulders.  This immediately annoyed me.  The task was for each to make a dessert and as far as I am concerned the Blue team failed and should have automatically been placed on the chopping block.

Instead the judges seemed completely oblivious to what was going on in that kitchen and in the display room.  Katzie Guy-Hamilton was sent home for making a dessert that was "too big" while Orlando failed to follow the basic instructions and was on the winning team.  I don't even think that the centerpieces turned out to be very important factors in terms of which team won so I find it very unfair and completely odd that one side is allowed to slide by while the other is picked to death.  At this stage in the competition shouldn't it be every one for herself?

But what did you all think, Sisters and Brothers?  We got our chocolate in this episode and yet I wasn't impressed.  Why not challenge them to make three desserts -- one white, one milk and one darker chocolate -- showing their skills and knowledge of each?


Cacao-Me said...

waiting for youtube to have this latest episode on line and then i'll post. looking forward to it howver.

thinking about matthew - doesn't he look a lot like morgan (but much nicer) from last year's Top Chef Just Dessert?

TheChocolatePriestess said...

I only saw one or two episodes from the first season of the show. Just happened to see it this year and thought it might be a good way to get a conversation going on here. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cacao-Me!

Cacao-Me said...

hi priestess. the video was posted today and i was able to indulge. i too have to wonder, 'why wylie?' he has appeared on top chef, the savory edition, and is known for his innovative techniques which have nothing to do with chocolate. his ongoing comments was "too sweet" which doesn't really say much. it would be much better to get THE chocolate queen, alice medrich, or someone in that league of chocolate culinary expertise.

and yes, i agree. i was not impressed either with the dessert roster. i agree with johnny, in regards to chris' dessert, "is this the best chocolate dessert you could make?" nothing seemed totally stellar. no one hit it out of the park, which is unfortunate.

personally, i appreciated the winning team's showpiece as it highlighted the history of chocolate. very creative. i wish however that they showed it in more detail and described what each of the components were. i may need to go back and look at the photos online, but all i could see was the bean and some circles on top of it, with a bar.

thus, i am glad that orlando, sally, and carlos won (or should i say, the "team of color", with black, asian, and latino).

i would have thought chris' dessert was at the bottom but he probably was not eliminated due to his work on the showpiece. though orlando is a bit cocky, chris' arrogance is over the top, and in some ways unjustified as he has never won (or at least i don't think he's ever won) a challenge on the show.

personally, i don't think the size of katzie's dessert was that big of an issue. for me at least, when it comes to chocolate, the bigger the better!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Bigger the better! Words to consider well on our Cult.

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