Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top Chef:Just Desserts 10/6/10--"Lucent Dossier"

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: the Quickfire challenge asked the chefs to make wedding cakes, but Seth refused to decorate one and got dinged for that. The Elimination challenge required teams and making things for a bake sale, and there was much discussion of “you must have X at a bake sale” which is pretty dumb, but whatever, it gives us criteria. After some minor drama involving peanut butter, Eric won with peanut butter Nutella rice krispy treats, which he is proud of because as a baker if he had lost it would be terrible. Heather C. was told by her team to make a cookie, and she sort of gave up and made peanut butter cookies that were too boring. Everyone spazzed when she brought it up, claiming that she threw them under the bus and ruined the day, and that if she had waited until the judges asked her about her cookie then somehow it would have been better. Danielle threw Seth under the bus too, saying he refused to interact with the kids, but everyone forgot about that to gang up on Heather for a while. Until Danielle just went off on him in the Stew Room. Everyone on the losing team had problems but Heather’s cookie was too boring and she was sent home. (click for more)

Jesus Christ, Bravo, just make the show 90 minutes already.

Seth shaves in the kitchen over the counter. Zac flirts with him, for some reason, but Seth offers no explanation as to why he’s shaving in the kitchen. Zac says there are two Seths, one normal Seth that is cool, and one crazypants Seth that freaks out about stuff. Malika is still thinking about whether she should be here and about how when she’s here, she hates cooking. She knows this environment is not good for her. She wants to stick it out, though.

Breyer’s ice cream greets everyone, as does Gail and Gale Gand, who I totally remember from her Food Network show. Today they will be making ice cream sundaes for the Quickfire. Seth of course is already planning how he can make some awesome ice cream which will make him win. He mutters to Morgan “this ones’ mine”. Gail talks about how they should wow them or whatever, and Seth (who has not stopped moving this whole time, incidentally) asks her if they can make their own ice cream. He looks like a little kid asking if they can go to recess. Gail shoots him down and says no. Then Seth hangs his head and says “Weeeeaak saauce, weak sauce”. He’s creeping everyone out because he won’t stop moving around and shuffling and sighing and stand still for like two seconds, dude.

So I guess the chefs don’t actually start the Quickfire right after Gail tells them about it. They all go to the Stew Room and hang out while the crew sets up. Of course, while they are there, the producers go over the rules with them, and Seth starts arguing about things becoming part of the pantry? And did anyone else hear that? I’m not really sure what is going on, except that Seth threw something away once, something he brought from home, and he’s still pissed about it. Everyone else looks sick of it, like he’s brought this up every challenge so far. Eric says something has changed in Seth. The producer tells Seth that whatever he is arguing about, it won’t affect this challenge, and Seth is all “How do you know?” Morgan reveals this argument is about paper cups. Because Seth needs paper cups for his sundae. A totally different producer shows up and tells him he threw the cups away on his own accord, so no, they won’t replace them. All Seth can respond with is “that’s not fair” and also something about being born at night and then demanding to leave. Magically he then leaves the room. The other chefs talk about how he’s not going through the same things they are and how they’re pretty sick of it. Morgan sort of defends him by saying he lacks the maturity level to handle it. Everyone sits around for a while until they hear sirens.

After commercials we see that apparently Seth got so agitated he hyperventilated, had an anxiety attack, and passed out. “I didn’t know what it was ‘cause that never happened, but I feel like a crazy person. At this point, at producers’ discretion, I am not cleared to compete any further and I’m done.” Really? The producers told you that you aren’t medically able to compete? After you passed out once? I feel like maybe they just wanted him to leave them alone. I mean, not to belittle having such a severe panic attack that causes you to pass out, but I feel like people have hurt themselves much more severely and been allowed to return. And I certainly don’t think I’ve ever seen producers make the decision about if someone is medically able to compete. He’s not happy about it, of course, but he does acknowledge he took his own dream away.

Johnny comes to see everyone in the Stew Room to give them the news. The general consensus seems to be that they hope he’s OK but they’re not sorry to have him gone. Johnny is trying to be supportive but I think he’s a little shocked to see that no one is very upset. Heather thinks Seth would have pushed them to do better, but it’s nice to have him gone.

OK, back to the show. Everyone pulls ice cream scoops to be assigned a flavor. Winner gets immunity and they have 30 minutes. Eric likes sundaes but not wacky sundaes. He wants to focus on “traditional American baking”. Malika is in a good mood. Morgan is thinking “Sunday” because that’s the day he spends with his son who has inspired him today. Danielle has always wanted a soda shoppe. Yigit hasn’t grown up with fancy ice cream like cookie dough, but he seems to be in good shape.

Zac: fried cherry vanilla ice cream. He has called it “Black Forest is burning”. Erika: chocolate banana s’mores frangelico sundae. There is a chocolate covered graham cracker. It looks so good. Morgan: Oreo mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich and chocolate milk. Heather: vanilla fudge twirl bananas foster sundae. Eric: natural vanilla with sautéed peaches, brandy, and crisp. Malika: cookies and cream with malted chocolate caramel sauce and bananas. Yigit: peanut butter and s’mores cookie dough sundae. Danielle: rocky road meets Neapolitan sundae. I think there are strawberries and marshmallow in it.

Eric’s sundae was boring, or at least Gale wouldn’t want to meet him if she’d had it in a restaurant. Danielle’s sundae wasn’t very Neapolitan. Erika’s sundae was also too boring. Zac was interesting, of course, because he coated the ice cream in panko. Yigit had a fun sundae, and Morgan’s chocolate milk was a hot cocoa type drink which they really liked. Morgan wins. He’s kind of choked up about his son, but it’s cute.

Gail says the original plan was to have three teams of three for the Elimination challenge, but since Seth left, they don’t have the numbers. So they brought back Heather C. Everyone seems happy to see her. Heather C. immediately is wary of the team challenge. Morgan, Yigit, and Zac get to pick teams, and Morgan tries to pick Gale. Heh. The teams shake out as follows: Morgan, Heather H., and Eric; Yigit, Erika, and Danielle; Zac, Malika, and Heather C. Morgan tried to balance his team out, while Zac has nicknamed his team “Team Breakdown” because they are all prone to crying. Gail says tonight they will be headed to a performance by the Lucent Dossier Experience. I am leery of anything with “Experience” in the title. They will take inspiration from the performance, and make desserts inspired by them, for a party. This will be a “flame” experience. Hee. So, something has to be flambé, and there also must be a showpiece, which is no joke. Each member must make an individual dessert too. So that is three desserts, a flaming dessert, and a showpiece.

Imagine Cirque du Soliel, only right in front of you, in a smoky tent, with fire eaters and stuff. That’s Lucent Dossier.

The teams brainstorm menus. Heather H. volunteers to do the showpiece for her team. Morgan interviews that he’s done a lot of showpieces, but if she wants to, he has immunity so whatever. Heather C. seems out of it, and Zac is still bitter about the last challenge.

4 hours to prep. Morgan, Heather H. and Eric have named themselves “Team Exotic”. Heather is making triple chocolate torte, Eric has lemon roulade with caramel, and Morgan is making mango panna cotta. The flaming dessert is almond cream with spiced cherry flambé. Yum. Zac, Heather C. and Malika are “Team Naughty and Nice”. I wonder who came up with that one. Zac: banana bread with red curry. Malika: saffron panna cotta with candied ginger. Heather C: chocolate sorbet with meringue and peppered pineapple. Well, that sounds more exotic than Team Exotic. The flaming dessert will be chocolate cake with flambéed cherries. Heather C. is asking everyone a million questions and irritating Zac. Yigit, Erika, and Danielle label themselves “Team Sassy, Sexy, Sultry” which is for sure the worst team name out of the three. Team SSS. Yigit: raspberry lime Bavarian. Erika: pineapple with almond ice cream. Danielle: chocolate cake with basil ice cream. Flaming: almond mirliton flambéed with bourbon peaches. Yigit is comfortable with being a leader and understands he might go home over it. Zac is making the showpiece by molding things in brown sugar and then pouring chocolate in. Like his face. Eric is slightly worried because of his team, Morgan has immunity and Heather H. is pretty awesome. Heather C., however, can’t get her meringue off the silpat sheet, and is freaking out a lot. She begs Malika for something easy to do that she can just be mindless with. Malika has some sympathy for her. Yigit is freaking out because he doesn’t think Danielle listened to what he said, and that he had to help her so much that he might not have done enough for his own dish.

In the morning Malika gets a phone call home and talks about her determination to stick around. Morgan is feeling great. Heather C. is sitting on the couch wearing sunglasses inside and she doesn’t really seem to want to be here. Zac rolls his eyes, but Morgan goes to talk to her and she says there’s no joy in it. Pretty much what Malika said earlier. Heather H. is not nice about it and tells her she’s letting her teammates down and how it’s selfish and she should suck it up.
2 hours to set up. The showpiece has to be at least two feet tall. Eric can’t see because it’s dark. Heather H. has some pulled sugar ribbons and stuff but Morgan doesn’t think it’s exotic. Which it’s not. I mean, it’s impressive but nne of their menu is exotic compared to others. Zac’s showpiece is shiny, of course. He thinks it’s personal. Yigit says everyone else’s showpiece is too safe. They’re still building the showpiece with 5 minutes to go and no desserts plated yet. The Experience shows up to put on another show, while everyone is trying to finish setting up. Pretty much everyone is confident.

Hubert is here today. Heather H. describes her showpiece, which is a chocolate rectangular column with a sphere on top, and some pulled sugar ribbons and flowers. It’s not super exciting but it looks pretty good for being assembled in two hours. The mango panna cotta has acai fluid gel (whatever that is) and passion fruit sorbet. Originally Morgan said Heather H. was making chocolate torte, but this is now chai tea torte with some chocolate. Eric has candied kumquats. The flambé dish is served in a very narrow shot glass that is too narrow for the spoons. The judges like the dishes, except they seem vaguely bored by Eric’s dessert presentation. Johnny gets a star anise pod in his flambé. Oops.

Team Naughty and Nice don’t have a very tall showpiece, but it is glittery and interesting. It seems to be all chocolate, just a ton of stuff all crammed together with swirls and wavy lines and whatever. Plus a face and mask. Heather’s dish looks pretty good. Heather is still upset. Johnny liked the showpiece because it reminds him of the costuming. Heather’s dessert doesn’t go with itself very well, but they like the other two dishes. Actually Gail says that Malika’s dessert is the best thing from her yet. The black forest flambé cake goes over well also.

Team SSS has a sphere, covered in discs of chocolate, and then a tall cylinder with rings on the top. Also there are some lotus-looking flowers. It kind of reminds me of bamboo for some reason, the cylinder part anyway. As they serve the judges the flambé dessert, they don’t actually light anything on fire. It turns out they already flambéed the peaches for the judges’ dishes, but are doing flambes for the other guests as they come up. Johnny is all, so you just didn’t want to do it for us, and they kind of stammer that they ran out of time. That’s not good. Danielle’s ice cream does not have enough basil for Johnny. Erika’s been clever enough to freeze her plates before serving ice cream on them. Yigit’s is good too, but they’re all still irritated about not getting fire.
Heather H. is sweeping up flower petals, so Morgan decides she’s upset, but she says she’s “stoic”. She does seem to be kind of irritated, but she won’t say why. Heather C., on the other hand, is pretty upset, predicting Zac will throw her under the bus, but also admitting she squandered this opportunity.

Commercial interlude: Eric does yoga and is Zen and everyone loves him. The end.

In the Stew Room Heather C. is telling Zac and Eric she doesn’t know if she can go through another Judges’ table. It seems like everyone else can hear her, because they’re making faces, but she’s not trying to tell everyone. Gail collects Team “Exotic” as the winners. Yigit says their showpiece was better. Morgan’s flavors and textures were spot on. Heather’s textures were also perfect and Hubert could easily see the inspiration in the showpiece. They also praise Eric for making a dessert with multiple layers, and he quickly credits his team for helping him. The winner here is Morgan. Heather looks pissed. Gail sends them back but doesn’t tell them to collect the losers. Once they’re back there, we finally discover why Heather H. is pissed: she feels Morgan didn’t thank her for all the work she did. She did her dessert and the showpiece, and I guess Eric did his dessert and the flambé, so Morgan just worked on his own dessert and he won. Well…that’s how it goes sometimes. She says “Never again, I’m not going to carry anybody.” Morgan reminds us all that she asked to do the showpiece. After muttering and being pissy, she refuses to talk to him about it.

Gail returns to the Stew Room and says since there were a lot of hits and misses, they want to talk to everyone. Team SSS is up first. Johnny demands Yigit recite the challenge, because they’re still bitter about not getting fire. And then…they send them to get the other team. That’s it? You just wanted to yell at them about that one last time?

Team Naughty and Nice. Zac’s dessert was wonderful, and pushed the envelope. Gale says it did look like it was punched out, though. Malika had creamy panna cotta, and crunchy parts, and Gale is in the middle of praising her when Malika interrupts and asks them to eliminate her. Um…well then. She says she doesn’t want to see anyone else eliminated today. Gail tells her that she’s been doing a really great job, and tonight’s dessert was her best ever. Malika says this is the right thing for her, although she’s honored. So Gail doesn’t waste time and tells her to pack up. Malika doesn’t like to cook in a competitive environment, and I’m glad she was able to recognize that a reality show is not real life. She’s totally fine with it and she’s going to do what’s right for her.

Next week: Yigit and Zac and Heather H. make a clique and decide everyone else is threatened by them, there are shoes, Morgan likes women’s shoes, Zac flirts with Gail.

No comments: