Top Chef 4.13
Previously on So Quoted:
- Episode 12. See this one for the last round of charts.
- Episode 11. No commentary.
- Time waster: Top Chef Word Clouds
- Episode 10. Has the show done anything to portray her in a nonnegative light? Andrew gets the twitchy edit, Dale gets the asshole edit, Spike is the closest to a villain edit, and Lisa is just complaining and making excuses.
- Episode 9. I'm still having a hard time giving any credence to Antonia's ascendance. She won the tasting quickfire and the $10 family meal challenge. While nice, these are not the type of credentials that lead me to believe she has what it takes to win.
- Episode 8 Early favorite, Mark, cooked a plate of crap, Stephanie is spiraling, and Lisa is ready to knife someone. Guessing Lisa goes home with an attitude. Nooooo! It's Mark! I'm beginning to hate this show. Further thoughts...probably my least favorite episode. Nikki and Antonia, having cornered the market on unimpressive dishes, score points on a challenge designed to create unimpressive dishes.
- Episode 7. For a moment I thought we'd get the shock of the series with Stephanie getting the blame and the axe. Whew, that was close. Spike and Nikki are the only ones with fewer top finishes than Jennifer.
- Episode 6. Richard and Stephanie are easily my two favorite and seem to be playing at a different level than the other chefs.
- Episode 5. No commentary.
- Charting Top Chef. My first top 4: Richard, Stephanie, Mark, Andrew. With...Dale Talde is my darkhorse, if only because the editing hasn't given him much of opportunity to do anything but whine.
Interview with Stephanie Izard. Here's two questions:
C: Of the three other finalists, who would you say was your main competition?
SI: Probably Richard. He has a unique way of cooking and approaching food that I find neat to be around and watch. I'd love to pick his brain.
C: Which chefs do you think should have been in the top four?
SI: Dale or Jen. My predictions for the final four were me, Richard, Antonia and Dale. Unfortunately, Dale let his issues with Lisa get the better of him. It was tough to watch because I've known him for a long time and he's a great chef. I just had the opportunity to visit San Francisco and eat at Jen's restaurant. The food was amazing; she's such a talented cook.
Looks like tonight they're working with a pig. Wonder if Blais will work with the pork belly. Here's one of my favorite dishes of his:
Miso Barbeque Pork Belly
Marinated with miso and cooked sous vide 72 hrs, eggplant marmalade, tomato marmalade, honey sauce & barbeque sauce
I would have been perfectly happy ending with the aroma dome, then we get this exquisite pork belly. I'm thinking I've discovered my ultimate comfort food. This would be the perfect food for a frozen Minnesota day...worked pretty well for a hot Spring day in Atlanta, so no complaints. Paired wonderfully with both the eggplant marmalade and the tomato marmalade. Be sure to drag the eggplant through the honey. Barbeque sauce was a bit sweet for my taste, but that's me.
Just great, I'm in my happy place now.
And I wrote this two years ago about Richard Blais:
Overall, a fun guy who loves food and loves talking about food. In addition to ICA, he'll appear on an episode of Sugar Rush and he'll be in Food and Wine later this summer. Definately in promotional mode, said he'd love to do more TV. He's very high energy and has a self-deprecating humor that would probably go over great on television. His enthusiasm for food reminded me a lot of the late Jamie Shannon of Commander's Palace and Turner South's Off The Menu.
...It's show time, folks!
Judge's table: As usual, Richard and Stephanie were excellent so let's rip apart the other two.
Antonia = unrefined and undercooked
Lisa = good ideas, short on execution
Thought it was pretty obvious Antonia was going home. Lisa was just competent enough to get by. Or in the immortal words of Richard:
You won the fucking bronze medal. Congratulations. There you go.
Having met Richard a few times and watching him on the show, I wonder if he subscribes to the thoughts behind this article: Caring for Your Introvert. I've threatened to print that out and hand it to all The Wife's relatives. So I get to stay home a lot. The awkward high fives, uncomfortable hugs (NO TOUCHING!), refusing to join in the group dancing. Yeah, that all sounds familiar. This one is for you:
The sous chefs speak at the judges table. What's interesting is that Dale talks about worrying about the pork belly all night. My guess is that once the prep time had expired, there was still other shots and filming the crew had to do and during this someone realized an entire pan of meat had been left out. Or maybe it was just discovered while cleaning the kitchen. Leading to
- This explains the great pan shot from the backs of the chefs to the forgotten meat as they walk out the door was most likely staged.
- Enhanced competition integrity—reinforces that when time is up, that's it. Good for the show.
- If they knew about it the day before, then Stephanie and Dale had a lot more time to brainstorm a new dish. Not meant to diminish the horror of losing a main dish and having to create a new one without being able to buy new ingredients; but it might have lessened the stress for them. A tiny bit.