Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top Chef:Just Desserts 10/27/10--"Dessert Wars"

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: for some reason, one pot desserts are super rare and weird, plus then everyone has to make savory desserts which somehow no one has ever seen before. Morgan is a jerk, and may have elbowed Heather in the mouth, but she’s also playing up the drama. Zac wins, and wins immunity, but trades it for $5000. He immediately regrets this when the Elimination challenge turns out to be making desserts that are only black and white. Heather misplaces a tray of rice krispie treats and immediately blames Morgan with no evidence aside from how she hates him. The men all do well, with Yigit winning, and the women all do poorly, with Erika losing with her apparently soapy ice cream and her blackberries, which are purple but would have been not as bad if it tasted of blackberries. (click for more)

Heather thinks everyone was happy she was in the bottom, because she’s just that awesome, but she’s not going to cry over it. Yigit says he has a target on his back. Morgan is obsessing over breaking up Team Diva.

For the Quickfire, no guest judge is around. No immunity from now on. Today’s Quickfire is the mise en place relay race. Nice. By some miracle (or producer interference) Team Diva is all on the same team. I’m pretty sure it’s producer interference, but I know how this works, because I know Restaurant Wars is coming up. The team that looks the best always goes down in flames, and I’m excited for that to happen to Team Diva. No one wants to be with them anyway. The first leg, they must mold 12 tart shells. The second leg, pipe 8 buttercream roses, all the same size. Eric knows he can do that. Third leg, separate 6 eggs and whip the whites until you can hold the bowl upside down over your head for 10 seconds. The last leg, which is a team effort, all three people must stretch strudel dough over the length of the table and then roll it up. Also the winning team will get $3000 each.

First leg: Yigit vs. Danielle. Eric has labeled their team Team Positive. Danielle is smoking Yigit. She finishes when he still has one left, and then Johnny makes Yigit redo 4 tart shells. Second leg: Heather vs. Eric. Eric’s hands are shaking, but I know he can nail this. He also notices Heather’s roses aren’t as nice. Sadly they make it, but Eric finishes before Zac can start separating eggs. Third leg: Zac vs. Morgan. Zac pretends that Morgan’s size and muscles give him an advantage, so he’s flailing. Morgan is not slacking, but he’s whipping and staring at Zac the whole time. Like, just intimidating staring, while Zac flails. It’s kind of creepy, and I don’t generally condone Morgan’s brand of creepy, but it’s also kind of awesome. I think Danielle is calling him “Morganza”. Hee. It’s hilarious how calm Morgan is and how frantic Zac is. Morgan calls time first and is good. As soon as he finishes, Zac calls it too. Final leg. Everyone stretches dough. Morgan thinks he’s the only one on his team with experience, which he might be, so he tells everyone to use the backs of their hands. Which Team Diva is not doing. Zac whines that Morgan’s doing it wrong. Sadly he is, and Team Positive has holes all over. Team Diva finishes rolling before Team Positive can even finish stretching the dough out. Sigh.

Gail says the Elimination challenge is Restaurant Wars. Oh sorry, “Dessert Wars”. Each person has to make three items, and create the design of their shop and whatnot, and include a bread item. They have to make their shop stand out. The winners will get $10,000 each. Danielle reveals she is the only one left who hasn’t earned any kind of money yet.

Next door are bare shops, with display cases and café tables and a counter and stuff. They get 45 minutes to plan. Zac wants to get a theme first, to get dishes. Team Positive is going for comfort, while Team Diva wants “candy shop” I think. Morgan tries to wander off to hold up colors, and Danielle wants him to come back to the table, so he sulks. Eric is waiting out the drama.
Shopping is 30 minutes with $1000. Team Diva is buying candy and bubbles and balloons. Zac declares they are better in every way. Morgan goes in the back and talks in Spanish to get some ripe bananas.

5 hours to prep. Heather reveals that out of the 9 dishes for each team, one must be bread, which we knew, but two have to be a la mode, which we did not know. Heather calls the other team “Team Loser” which seems par for the course for her. Team Diva’s menu is as follows: margarita sorbet, fennel seed brioche with white truffle butter, frozen key lime bar (that‘s Yigit, Zac, and Heather, respectively). OK, so that’s a partial menu. Heather is rolling dough for the whole team, by hand as she doesn’t like the dough sheeter machine for some reason. Team Positive: ginger ale float with tangerine and raspberry sorbets (Danielle), chocolate chip cookie (Eric), soft pretzel with mustard (Morgan). Morgan then discovers he’s missing two bags of lemons. He argues with Yigit about it, and Yigit admits in confessional that he grabbed a whole crate of lemons because of “efficiency”, not because he needs all of them. Then he thinks Morgan would like to see him go because he’s a threat. Yigit gets all high and mighty about it, saying there are plenty of lemons and next time he could just ask instead of blaming him. Oh, you mean like how you just blamed him for Heather’s missing rice krispie treats? With half an hour to go, Morgan starts cursing and being sort of close to Seth. He hasn’t finished all his work. Danielle knows if he can’t pull it together they’re doomed.

Back at the house, Morgan is still pessimistic about their chances. Eric is upset because this challenge is important to him, as he really wants to open his own shop.

The day of the challenge, everyone has 2 hours to set up and be ready for customers. Morgan seems to be in a better mood. Both teams have a ton to do. Yigit goes to put cupcakes or something in the fridge, and a whole bowl of whipped cream falls out all over him. Ha! There is a lot of running around.

So, apparently you are allowed to make plated desserts, and also have things in the display case, so Heather is back in the kitchen by herself while Zac and Yigit are working front-of-house. Yigit basically says Heather would be horrible dealing with the public. Team Positive has a slightly different set-up: Danielle takes the orders, Morgan is in the kitchen, and Eric is wandering tables schmoozing or possibly being a waiter. Our guest judge today is Nancy Silverton. Also Hubert lucked out and got to judge this episode. OH. I get it. Heather, earlier, I thought said “we have to make two a la mode desserts” but she was saying “a la minute”. So you have to have two things made to order.

Team Diva’s shop is called “Pastry Playland” which Yigit describes as “very elegant and sophisticated desserts with an absolute kids’ visual palette.” Johnny likes the centerpieces, which are square glass vases filled with candy and flowers. They are cute. Both Hubert and Gail wonder why the display case is empty, while they have trays and trays of desserts on racks behind the counter. Zac: donut with wild blueberry jam, with a lemon verbena milkshake; the brioche (which has kalamata olives); and caramel corn with bacon. They like the donut but the shake is just OK. The brioche is great, and the kettle corn is not evenly coated. Back in the kitchen, a server returns a frozen yogurt with no explanation and Heather is irritated. Yigit’s desserts: chocolate tart with peanuts and caramel; margarita sorbet; and layer cake with raspberry, strawberry, and hibiscus gelee. They love the sorbet, but the cake has a specific French name and Hubert says it’s not traditional enough. I mean…that’s not what he says, but if I said to you “I’m making burgers” and then I served a chopped up steak with tomato jam and cheese sauce? Same thing. The tart has such a thick crust they can’t get into it. It seems a disaster. Zac is in the back trying to help Heather so she can plate for the judges, but the waiters are still bringing food back to the kitchen with no explanation about why it’s been sent back. Zac tries to tell her what to do, or tell the waiters what to do, or something, so she tells him she doesn’t want them to get confused, so shut up. Zac clutches his pearls all, “Did you just tell me to shut up?” and Heather is like “Shut up!” Hee. She pretty much ignores him and he says “And please don’t ever tell me to shut up again.” Immediately she says “Shut up,” which is awesome and makes me like her a little bit more. Heather’s desserts: lemon cream tart; frozen key lime bar with strawberry sauce; and milk chocolate pudding cup with mango. They all agree Yigit is doing a good job working the crowd. The key lime bar has big fingerprints in the sides, and the key lime is not strong enough. They also notice the dough on the tart is too thick.

Once the judges leave, people start making special orders. Hey, you’re getting free food. Just take what’s there and deal with it. But Yigit is nice about it. Team Positive has some man who is allergic to nuts and processed sugar. Seriously? You knew this was a DESSERT SHOW, you’re allergic to sugar, and you showed up anyway? WTF? Eric wants to get rid of the guy, but Morgan insists on making something. The judges show up when there is a very long line. Of course.

Team Positive’s shop is “Whisk Me Away”. Danielle sort of describes their shop but she’s not super confident. I think she’s fine. Gail says it looks appealing, but Danielle is kind of low-energy. Eric’s dishes: chocolate chip cookie; vanilla malted cake with chocolate buttercream, and banana loaf with brown butter tangerine icing. The banana loaf sounds good. Danielle is really low energy. The cake is rich, but the buttercream is good. The cookie is great but maybe too simple for Gail, but Johnny points out that it’s a business and cookies sell. The banana loaf is weird but tastes good. Danielle: pistachio shortcake with lemon cream and strawberries; coffee cream pie with hazelnut brittle; house made ginger ale float with raspberry and tangerine lime sorbets. Gail loves the ginger ale. The shortcake is served in little cups so it’s portable which is nice. The cream pie is not coffee enough. Morgan: pretzel stick with mustard (oo, burnt); chocolate mousse cake with a crème brulee center; fried lemon pie with salted caramel ice cream. The pretzel is really burnt. The pie and ice cream are delicious. The pretzel is brushed with butter, which somehow irritates Johnny. The cake is very sophisticated, and Gail thinks Morgan showed them the most range out of everyone.

Heather interviews that they tried really hard, and she sounds kind of choked up about it. Morgan also hopes they won, because they made people smile.

Commercial interlude: Danielle talks back to Morgan and he talks back to her because they are like siblings. You say mean things and they bug the shit out of you but then you are proud of them later. When they’re not looking. (Ppombo: “Damn straight, bitches.”)

All six contestants roll in to Judges’ Table. Team Positive did a good job making their space comfortable and inviting, but Danielle was too casual and “lackadaisical”. The banana loaf wasn’t sweet, and Eric screwed up the leavening. Morgan’s chocolate mousse cake was something to be proud of and delicious. Danielle knows the coffee cream pie wasn’t coffee enough. Team Diva took risks, says Zac, to create a “dessert experience”. Pff. Yigit had fun working the front of house. Zac’s donut was perfect, but the milkshake wasn’t that great. The brioche was delicious too. They point out the fingerprints on Heather’s key lime bar, and also it was not limey enough. They start talking about Yigit’s tart, and he says he thought the dough might have been a little thick, and they tell him it was a lot thick. But the chocolate was good. Heather admits she made all the dough for everything. Team Diva also says they did fill their display case, but they got slammed. But it looked great right before you got there! Before someone will admit they were responsible, Heather says they’re a team and Zac says they‘ll win or sink together. The judges all agreed they’d keep coming back to Team Positive’s shop. Of course! Because that’s what happens in Restaurant Wars. One team is “obviously” better and they always crash and burn. Eric’s really moved. Zac bitches that he can’t believe the other team won, especially with Danielle. Cry me a river.

In the Stew Room, Morgan gloats that Team Go Diva will be split up after today. Zac’s milkshake was unnecessary and not flavorful enough, and his caramel corn wasn’t evenly coated. Heather’s key lime bar didn’t taste right, and her dough wasn’t thin enough. Yigit’s cake was lackluster and his tart suffered from the dough Heather made.

Zac was responsible for the display case, along with Yigit, the tarts were bad, and all of Heather’s desserts were bad. So Heather goes home. The boys are shocked, as if they didn’t imagine one of them would go home. Immediately they cut to Heather in confessional saying there were problems with everyone’s desserts and she’s not sure why she’s going home out of the three of them. She says her head is high and she’s proud of what she did. The boys cry but whatever. She’s not dead. Jeez. She’s glad to have been part of their experience. Also she wouldn’t do anything differently.

Next week: the producers strip the kitchen, and someone is not creative.

1 comment:

Brigitte said...

See ya Heather! Don't let the spatula hit you on the way out the kitchen. One bitch down!