Top Chef

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More Than Dippin' Dots

Dana makes a little speech about how ten percent of food and wine pairings are awful and ten percent are outstanding, and they are looking for the cheftestants to hit the "magical ten percent." Padma explains that the challenge is to choose a wine and create an amazing dish to pair with it. Thankfully, they skip the knife-drawing part, and I'm not sure why they ever show that unless one of the cheftestants has a funny or telling reaction to it, or the order has a huge effect on the final winner or something. Tiffany admits that wine pairing is not her strength, while Kelly thinks she has a leg up since her husband is the sommelier at their restaurant and they do pairings all the time. Once all the wines have been chosen, Padma drops the bomb that this is their last high-stakes quickfire (since there's no immunity anymore) and the winner will get a trip to London. Woo hoo! They've had some good prizes this season. The people from the first few seasons must be pissed.

They have one hour, and time starts... now! Kevin explains that he is going to make braised pork belly, which is tough to do in an hour. But he's taking that risk because he feels really confident in the result if he can pull it off. It is risky; braising is typically used to make tougher cuts more palatable by cooking them slowly and at a lower temperature in order to melt the connective tissue. So if he doesn't have enough time to cook it slowly, he'll have to raise the temperatures which is going to mean tough and stringy meat. And I don't think an hour is enough cooking time, especially when you factor in that he will really only have about forty-five minutes after prep and plating. Maybe it will work if it's a really small piece of meat? He's using a pressure cooker, but I don't know if that will really work. We'll see.

Kelly is making a wild boar tenderloin with a blue cheese emulsion. Okay, I've never made an emulsion, so I just looked it up. And I have, in fact, made emulsions. I've made vinaigrettes, I've made Hollandaise sauce, I've made tons of other mixtures that don't actually mix together so you have to emulsify them. Kelly doesn't explain what the other ingredients are in her blue cheese emulsion, but I'm imagining it's kind of like blue cheese salad dressing? Then Angelo babbles about wine for a while and no one cares. He uses words like "demeanor" when talking about his wine, and says he's making foie gras.

Ed and Tiffany are both making dishes using Wagyu beef. Seems like they could either cancel one another out, or get compared to one another. Tiffany jokes that she's already going to Paris so it would be nice to go to London too, and then she laughs her awesome laugh. Even if you don't like her cooking, you must like her laugh, because it rules.

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Top Chef

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