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Thread: Top Chef 5/3 Recap…Food Finery at the Winery

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    Being VIP Yardgnome's Avatar
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    Top Chef 5/3 Recap…Food Finery at the Winery

    What’s cookin’ everyone?...For me I just made some delicious stir-fry but that is not why you are reading this recap. If you are, then I really don’t know what to say. Last week the pompous Stephen was sent back to wine country where he can forever be the Top Sommelier…or at least in his own mind. We also got to watch the lovely wedding of Scott and Scott and the disaster that was their reception food. Who will cave under the pressure this week and be sent on their merry way? What three will forever be singing Viva Las Vegas? Let’s warm up the oven and see what chef’s have the right dish tonight.

    The four remaining chefs get up early to prepare for the long day they have ahead of them. Harold was sad to see Stephen go but definitely agreed that he deserved to go last week. Dave knows he is the underdog and has a lot to prove if he wants to make it to Vegas. Tiffani does not feel the need to make friends with the other chefs. I guess she also does not care that she is coming off as a raging bitch, I wonder if she cares that I like to rip her apart every chance I get? Lee Anne wants to make top three with Harold and Dave. She is obviously delusional because I see no way that Dave will make top three but that probably means I am wrong, I always am!

    Fat Ass Snack master Challenge Round 2: Gourmet Style
    Its Quickfire challenge time with your emotionless host Katie and judges Chef Tom and Gail. A cover is pulled off a large table that is displaying an array of junk food from hotdogs and nachos to Hostess cupcakes and peanut butter cups. Chefs will have to select one item and recreate it with their own take on it. Harold gets to select his food item first and he chooses the popcorn proving that Harold and I are having brain merge. I love popcorn and that would have been one of the items I selected to snack on. Dave is up next and he chooses nachos followed by Tiffani who selects corndogs. Lee Anne is last and she wants to try the hotdogs. Each chef will now have 30 minutes to complete the challenge.

    As the challenge gets going we see and hear about every possible kitchen product you could possible imagine, I didn’t think this much product placement was possible but Top Chef has proven me wrong. As the time ends each gets ready to present it to the judges.

    Harold is first and he has taken his microwave popcorn and turned it into popcorn cakes with a side of Ecuadorian ceviche. The popcorn cakes look very interesting. The only ones I have ever tried are very dry and not delicious at all. The judges enjoyed his food and are very impressed with the popcorn flavor. Harold then guarantees himself a Kenmore microwave sponsorship by telling the judges that is were he popped the corn.

    Tiffani presents her chorizo duck sausage corndog with Camembert cream sauce. They look pretty good but I have never been a huge fan of corndogs. Actually to be honest in the 28 years of my life I only ever eaten a corndog once and it was just okay. Tiffani should have served them up with a side of cotton candy and elephant ears to make a fair trio but I guess she wasn’t thinking. The judges don’t seem to mind the missing sides and enjoy her offering.

    Lee Anne has made a Japanese seafood hotdog with spicy mustard and Lotus chips. It could be the most delicious thing in the whole world but it looks so weird and uncooked. I don’t know if I would have it in me to try it. The judges do try it and enjoy it, they like the inventiveness of it.

    Dave is last and he has made seafood nachos with fire roasted tomato salsa and avocado creama. It is not as fancy looking as the other cooks and Dave’s inexperience is showing with this challenge. The judges are not really impressed with the presentation or his literal translation of the challenge.

    The judges have met and deliberated and they really enjoyed all the dishes especially Harold, Lee Anne, and Tiffani’s. Their least favorite of the challenge was Dave, the flavors are there but the dish was a bit of a mess. Dave looks like he is going to cry and I am not surprised. The judge’s favorite dish had clean flavors, it was delicious, appealing and beautiful. The winner of the challenge is Harold. Harold is happy with his win because it puts him in the lead going into the next challenge.

    Fine Wine and some Nice Truffles
    Once the Quickfire challenge is over the elimination challenge is presented to the group. Katie LaBland tells the group they started at the bottom of the food chain and are now going to the top. Katie seems to be a bit misguided because bottom of the food chain would be grass, plants, plankton, etc., not highly processed food. She must have skipped the rest of high school and biology when she ran off to marry the Piano Man.

    Chef Tom comes out of the back carrying a large basket with black truffles in it and Gail uncovers a bottle of 2001 Shafer hillside select wine. Both items are very rare and each chef will have to make a dish with the truffles that accentuates the wine. The smile on the chef’s face at this challenge makes me happy for them. The gang will be going to Napa to prepare the meal for a group of very distinguished chefs.

    The chef’s leave the kitchen to head home and prepare for the next day. They get a bottle of wine to sample so they can make their menu. Each chef is excited to taste the wine and after Dave takes a drink he makes a kind of sour face and I wonder if the wine is as good as they say it is.

    A whole lotta lamb with a little beef
    Its challenge day and the chef’s are getting up for the day. Harold wakes up with an upset stomach and not feeling great. Dave knows that he is the underdog going into this challenge and he is really going to need to step it up. Tiffani is not worried because she knows that she makes great food. The question of the day is does she know that I think she is crazy bitch?

    They head to Napa and stop at the grocery store once they get there. They have 1 hour to shop and $250 that they can spend on their ingredients. Lee Anne, Tiffani and Harold all purchase lamb to prepare. Dave decides he will do beef since everyone else will be working with lamb. After Harold realizes that everyone is doing a meat dish he wishes he had thought of a vegetarian option to present.

    They will be cooking in Julia’s kitchen at Copia. Julia Childs has approved the kitchen and Tiffani and Lee Anne reflect on what a pioneer she was for women chefs. Lee Anne tells Tiffani she had the chance to meet Julia before she passed away and Tiffani very snottily replies “so did I.” Tiffani just can’t do anything nice, she is always in competition mode.

    Tiffani will be serving her dish first so she gets to start prepping her food. Today she will be making a lamb and fois gras stuffed gnocchi. That dish seems very similar to the dish she created for the Ted Allen dinner party episode. Tiffani sees nothing wrong with being aggressive during the challenge she is here to win. Now I am one of the most competitive people you will meet but I also know it pays to be nice to people when competing. For example after many long hours I finally won the FORT Yahtzee championship trophy from Tots, I was nice after I won and today I find out she has won it back and the game is officially on. I will still continue to be nice while playing Yahtzee nonstop till I do win but I have digressed into a tangent. Does this have to do with anything? No, but I got to vent about Yahtzee in a nice way.

    Harold gets started second and he is going to be preparing lamb with sunchoke-creamed spinach. His stomach is still killing him and that is making the day very unpleasant for him so far. Lee Anne gets going third and she is making a lamb and black truffle risotto. Dave is last and he starts prep work on his beef with truffle macaroni and cheese. He likes making simple food but at an advanced level.

    Everyone is well on their way preparing and Lee Anne needs help getting a pan down from a high rack and she asks Dave for his help. They start to laugh and are having a good time. Tiffani living up to her bitchiness tells everyone to please keep it down because she likes to work in quiet. I guess they forgot she is queen of the kitchen and her word is the law.

    Chef Tom comes into the kitchen for his check-up on the chefs. He makes a stop at each person to find out what they are going to be serving. He is worried about Tiffani’s dish because gnocchi dough can be so temperamental. He thinks that Harold’s dish sounds good. After hearing about Lee Anne’s dish he is concerned about three people serving lamb. He thinks that Dave’s dish is very Dave, but he needs to pull it off if he wants to go to Vegas.

    Serving it up with a little slice of love!
    Service is set to start with the entrée’s and Tiffani is behind with getting her plates ready. Her plates slowly come out into the dinning room to the chef’s. Her completed dish is seared lamb loin, cauliflower puree, and a truffle and fois gras stuffed gnocchi. Judges did not care for the cauliflower.

    Harold is up next and his food is ready on time and the chefs notice the service difference. He prepared roasted lamb loin, sunchoke creamed spinach, sautéed chanterelles and truffles. The chefs really enjoyed the sunchokes. They ask Harold if he used any cream or butter in the spinach. He tells them that he does not like to use dairy in his cooking so he only put in a little. This confirms that Harold can be my personal chef because dairy makes me sick. They thought he had clean flavors with his dish but his mushrooms still had grit on them.

    Lee Anne is up next with the third straight lamb dish in a row. Her completed dish is a butternut squash and truffle risotto, braised Treviso and mushrooms, and crusted lamb loin. The judges really enjoyed the cherry flavor in the sauce with the wine. They also think the risotto is a bit of a starchy mess.

    Dave is up last with his macaroni and cheese that he thinks with truffles makes it excellent. I love macaroni and cheese but I don’t know about his, I generally lean towards Kraft mac & cheese in the blue box. His fully prepared dish is truffle and cognac cream macaroni and cheese, filet of beef, collard greens, and radicchio. He presents his dish with a whole bunch of eccentric dramatics but it makes the chefs laugh. One of the judges thinks he used too much black pepper and calls him a black pepper monkey.

    Ripping everyone a new one
    After everyone’s service is complete all the chefs and judges sit and discuss the different meals. For Tiffani’s dish they did not care for the gnocchi. Most of them thought the lamb needed to be cooked better and they did not care for the cauliflower.

    They thought Harold did the best pairing of flavors with the wine. One chef was offended that he did not use cream or butter when making his spinach, but that chef was French and that is a huge part of his cuisine. They also did not like that the mushrooms were not cleaned properly.

    Lee Anne’s dish had the best sauce on it. They thought she had too much going on her plate though. For Dave they nicknamed him the pepper monkey for his overuse of the spice. They liked the truffle at the bottom of the macaroni and cheese but thought the seasoning was off with the dish.

    I’m leaving on a jet plane…to Vegas!
    All the contestants gather at the judge’s table for the final deliberation. Three contestants will be going to Vegas and one contestant will be going home. Let’s see what Chef Tom and Gail had to say about everyone’s dishes.

    For Harold’s dish the judges liked the sunchoke puree, but they did think there is a place for butter and cream in the dish. The judges felt like he put his best foot forward with his dish except for the fact that the mushrooms were gritty.

    They loved that Lee Anne put herself out there with her dish. They thought the lamb and risotto were overcooked, but the dish summed her up. They thought there were too many flavors going on with her plate. They did think she prepared the best sauce that accentuated the flavor of the wine.

    The judges enjoyed the flavors in the gnocchi that Tiffani prepared except that the dough fell apart. Some of the chefs did not care for the pairing of the cauliflower and the wine.

    For Dave’s dish they loved the surprise of a whole black truffle at the bottom of the macaroni and cheese. They thought the macaroni and cheese was wonderful but the other two pieces tasted a little like an afterthought.

    After the Napa chefs talked they had two clear favorites from the evening. I am starting to bite my nails because if Harold goes home I don’t know if I can watch the rest of the show. They say Harold’s name first, all the chef’s liked his dish and it was Chef Tom’s favorite. Everyone agreed that Harold is packing his bags and going to Vegas. I am so happy I let out a big “Hell ya” and finish it off with a little victory dance. I am pathetic.

    Dave’s name is called next and I can’t wait to see Dave break down in tears when he is eliminated. The judges tell him he has come a long way and with his dish he did a good job of layering subtle flavors. They thought he took an expensive ingredient and made it soulful. He made the favorite dish of the Napa chefs and therefore he is going to Vegas. I am just stunned, that means Tiffani or Lee Anne is going home. Really, words cannot express how I feel right now!

    Dave and Harold are excused from the elimination room to go back to the kitchen to wait it out. Dave walks over to the walk-in cooler and goes inside for a combo cry and swear fest. It is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. Once Dave pulls himself together he joins Harold and they both hope that Lee Anne joins them and Tiffani is sent home.

    I’m shocked Cotton
    Dave and Harold have left the room and Tiffani and Lee Anne are left at the table with the judges. Chef Tom asks Tiffani and Lee Ann why they should stay. Tiffani says she has been true to herself and has brought a competitive nature to the competition. She thinks she is the first to say when she has made a mistake and her food has been good. She thinks she has earned her ticket to Vegas. After her little speech I wonder if I have been watching the same show she is referencing. She never admits when she is wrong, it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.

    Lee Anne tells the judges that she is very competitive, but she does not have to be mean to others through her competitiveness. She has been herself through the entire competition, she thinks it’s about being Top Chef and learning from mistakes. She wants to go from here, have some time to clear her head and be able to show up in Vegas and bring it.

    Chef Tom tells them that he has enjoyed both of them. He thinks Lee Anne is a solid competitor and no one will outwork or out compete Tiffani. This has been a tough call and the chefs in Napa have decided to send Tiffani to Vegas. Lee Anne will be packing her knives and going home. I am just speechless. What is wrong with this world were a blubbering crybaby is going on and Lee Anne an excellent chef is going home? I am just shocked!

    Lee Anne goes to pack her knives and gets goodbye hugs from everyone…except Tiffani. Tiffani tries to convince everyone that she is a good person, she is getting the bad edit. Typical reality TV contestant excuses. I think in real life she is a decent chef but not someone you want to cross because you will get burned.

    I’m not your bitch, bitch overload
    Next week tune in for the Reunion special. Dave will be crying, Tiffani will still be a bitch, Ken will be loud and annoying, and Stephen will still be smarmy. I love nothing more than a good fight and watching grown men cry on TV, I can barely wait!

    I’m having a walk-in refrigerator installed in my house in case Harold does not win I will have a place to cry. I learned it from Dave. Email me at Yardgnome77@fansofrealitytv.co m.
    Last edited by Yardgnome; 05-14-2006 at 11:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    Yardgnome, you write the best recaps! I've only seen this show once but you really bring it alive for me.
    Well I was born in a small town
    And I can breathe in a small town
    Gonna die in this small town
    And that's prob'ly where they'll bury me

  3. #3
    Yumpin' Yiminy roses4me's Avatar
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    Fabyoulous! That's what you are. Great recap, as usual.

    There is something terribly out of whack when the whiner gets chosen over superior talent. The judges must have OD'd on truffles. What other logical explanation could there be?

  4. #4
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
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    She thinks she is the first to say when she has made a mistake and her food has been good. She thinks she has earned her ticket to Vegas. After her little speech I wonder if I have been watching the same show she is referencing. She never admits when she is wrong, it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault.
    You hit it right on the head! Great recap! You really captured the episode.

  5. #5
    FORT Regular alphacat's Avatar
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    Harold then guarantees himself a Kenmore microwave sponsorship by telling the judges that is were he popped the corn.
    HeeHee! Just think, a few episodes ago (Jr. League) he had to get out his manual to figure out how to work a microwave! Good to know TC is expanding his horizons.

    Does product placement seem to be more obvious every week? It's almost as bad as the annoying Banana Republic commercials in Project Runway 1 (apologies to those who finally got that d@#& song out of their heads).

    Dave walks over to the walk-in cooler and goes inside for a combo cry and swear fest. It is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.
    Laughed so hard (at this scene in the show and again reading this), I scared the cat!

    Dave will be crying, Tiffani will still be a bitch, Ken will be loud and annoying, and Stephen will still be smarmy.
    Wow, who'd have been able to predict ....

    Great recap!!

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    Plankton and Yahtzee

    I loved this:

    **"Katie LaBland tells the group they started at the bottom of the food chain and are now going to the top. Katie seems to be a bit misguided because bottom of the food chain would be grass, plants, plankton, etc., not highly processed food. She must have skipped the rest of high school and biology when she ran off to marry the Piano Man."**

    If you stuck a thousand dollar a lb. price tag on plankton, all the chefs in Napa Valley would be stuffing Gnochi with it!

    One of the things I enjoy about these recaps for both TC and PR are that the authors will often wander off on their own little personal "Road Less Travelled" like "plankton and Yahtzee". I find that extremely funny and entertaining!

    Good One!

    btw..sorry, still having trouble with my "QUOTE" thingy...please bear with me.

  7. #7
    Christian,Mom,Teacher mom2's Avatar
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    On the previews ... I never saw LeeAnn. Did I just miss her, or was she absent?
    "Quotes on the internet may not be accurate." - Abraham Lincoln

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