Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Top Chef: Just Desserts 9/28/11--"Sabotage" summary

Previously on “Top Chef: Just Desserts”: everyone made their own candy bar, which was vaguely interesting, and then ANOTHER team challenge, which was to make “refreshing” desserts for a water park. Sally had immunity, so she just kind of went along with her team. Katzie made baked Alaska on a stick, which was cool, and she won. Amanda tried to make funnel cakes, and then let them sit for too long bcaause she was trying to be polite. So of course they failed, and she was sent home. (click for more)

Everyone hangs out in the loft and eats, while they discuss what the next challenge will be. The consensus seems to be ice sculpting. Katzie seems to get snotty for no reason. It sounded like she bragged that she could do anything, and then they laughed at her, I guess, because they were talking about ice sculptures and chainsaws, and then she got offended and left. So weird.

The guest judge today is Jordan Kahn. He uses “unlikely” ingredients. Today they will have root vegetables for dessert. Eh. Rebecca says she only learned pastry in culinary school. To up the difficulty, the vegetables are buried in window boxes for the chefs to dig up, so unless you know what things look like above ground, it’s a crap shoot. Carlos gets celery root, Chris takes jicama, Orlando gets radishes (ha), Matthew digs up a parsnip, Rebecca has potatoes, Katzie gets turnips. Megan digs up a burdock root and has to be told what it is, because she doesn’t recognize it. I wouldn’t either. Sally ends up with turmeric, which I didn’t think qualified as a vegetable, but OK. Winner gets immunity and $5,000.

1 hour to cook. Megan still has no idea what she has, but she’s making fritters in desperation. Rebecca says mostly you would roast root vegetables, but they don’t have time to do that. Carlos thinks celery root will go well with peanut butter. Matthew used to be a savory cook, so he knows how to cook root vegetables. Carlos can’t get the celery root to fry up properly.

Rebecca: French fries, chocolate sauce and malted milk ice cream. Rebecca for some reason tells them she can’t cook to save her life. Gail points out that she probably shouldn’t say that on national television, on a cooking show. For real. Megan: five spice burdock root fritter and candied burdock root compote. Katzie: soy milk panna cotta with mascarpone cream, caramel, and turnip chips. Chris: well, for some reason when the judges get there, Chris finishes plating in front of them, putting fried jicama on top of the plates. First of all, that jicama looks burnt, and secondly, Gail stops him and tells him that he can’t win the challenge because you have to be finished plating when time is called. He tries to explain that he didn’t want the jicama to get soggy, but Gail is unmoved. So apparently you can classify things as “temperature sensitive”, like a sorbet, and then you can plate them last minute. Matthew fills us in on this fact. They never show us what Chris actually made. Carlos: celery root in three textures with peanut butter pudding. There is a granita, chips, and pickles? Maybe? And carbonated cucumbers. Matthew: caramelized parsnip cake with banana puree and caramelized hazelnuts. Sally: mango pudding with turmeric and curried popcorn. Orlando: peach and radish crumble with kataifi crunch and vanilla bean sherbet. Kataifi is shredded phyllo.

Rebecca’s fries were overcooked, and Carlos’s food didn’t translate. Sally had a colorful dish, and Matthew had a gorgeous smart dessert. The winner is Sally. So she gets immunity again. Katzie sort of looks happy, but when I watch Sally celebrate it’s annoying and fake to me for some reason.

Gail says something about street, and then Adam Horovitz from the Beastie Boys comes out. Kick ass. As far as I can tell, Rebecca is the only one to react at all before Gail tells them who it is, which makes me like her more. Of course after Gail says who it is, then they’re all excited. Rebecca has had a crush on him since she was 15. Hee. Today they are going to be “sampling”. Out comes a big cart of random crap. Apparently someone listened to all their songs and pulled out every food that is mentioned. This is hysterical. Everyone has to pick out two things and make a dessert. Megan has to go first, and she picks out Brass Monkey (which is a beverage? Oh, rum, vodka, and orange juice, that sounds good) and Chivas whisky. Matthew takes Jack Daniels and cornbread. Carlos picks out popcorn and bacon. Chris, for some unknown reason, takes pesto pizza and pork and beans. Sally has no idea what Chris is doing, but takes cheddar cheese and proscuitto. Katzie gets fries and hot butter. Orlando takes white rum and sugar, coffee, and cream. How were those things still up there? I would have taken sugar, coffee, and cream right away. Rebecca takes “a 40” and some ham. Just to be more obnoxious, everyone will now pick one more item to screw someone else with.

Sally takes cucumber and gives it to Carlos. In retaliation he gives her chicken. She pretends to be confident. Matthew gives peas to Orlando. Orlando gives Katzie gorgonzola and provolone, while claiming in confessional that he’s not going after Katzie. You should own it, Orlando. Seriously. Katzie gives Megan onions. Ew. Chris ends up with canned ravioli, and he gives mashed potatoes and gravy to Matthew. Chris says in confessional that they’re friends, and mashed potatoes and gravy “seemed funny at the time”, but once it was done he realized he just totally screwed his friend. Not like that. Sally gets to go twice for some reason, so she gives Rebecca falafel.

4 hours to cook. As the chefs run off, Gail and Adam high five, which is really cute for some reason. Matthew is making cheesecake? With cornbread crumble? Everyone talks about how they were Beastie Boys fans, and I guess they’re all the right age, but it seems odd that so many people just happen to love the guest judge. Chris may be going crazy. He says that the creative part of him is jazzed, but the rational part of him is tied up in the back. Orlando points out that this is the first challenge where they are solo, but it’s so wacky. Orlando tastes far too much of the rum, and is now dropping things and being clumsy. Sally is not playing it safe today. Katzie is going to make “sweet pomme frites” with sauces. She used to work at Spago so she’s taking risks. She says to Sally her pot contains pear, walnut, and gorgonzola, but Sally is skeptical. That sounds pretty good. Rebecca calls Adam her boyfriend, and then says she is failing at making falafel. Now she is making falafel-flavored panna cotta. Orlando is using pre-made cookies in his dessert. Sad. Carlos starts talking street art, and Cracker Jack. He also notices Chris is worrying for the first time ever.

Katzie feels bad for giving Megan onions and possibly sending her home. Chris talks about how he left his daughter at home, one month old and with a heart defect. Matthew talks about his daughter too. He gets a phone call which is super cute.

One hour to set up. There’s a bunch of graffiti-style artwork around. Matthew puts the gravy in a whipped cream thing and makes gravy foam. Katzie is making paper cones for her fries, but she hasn’t made enough of them yet. All of a sudden Marcel is here. Why is Marcel here? I’m done with his stupid ass. Of COURSE he is super BFFs with Sally. Figures. Shut up Marcel.

Carlos: popcorn panna cotta, spicy cucumber air, bacon caramel and “popcorn glass” which is like brittle studded with popcorn. It goes over very well. Orlando: coffee, strawberry, and rum parfait, with green peas. Johnny immediately spies the store-bought cookies, and when he asks Orlando about them, Orlando has the balls to tell Johnny it’s a “secret” and he can’t say if he made them or not. Adam is like, I could buy a cookie, dude. Megan: Chivas whiskey pudding cake, Brass Monkey sorbet and caramelized onions. The cake is falling apart. Sally: sweet potato proscuitto cake, toffee sauce, cheddar ice cream and fried chicken skin. They like it. Huh. Katzie: sweet pomme frites with “sweet and savory sauces”. Hot honey butter; gorgonzola, pear, and walnut; and provolone, chocolate, and maple. Ew. As she’s talking and fixing the fries up, they’re watching her and looking irritated. Gail wants more cheese and Johnny wants less salt. Rebecca: falafel panna cotta with ham pecan brittle and “40 oz. ice cream”. She asks Adam to sign her cast, which is so cute. Then she says she’s never going to throw it away: “That was scary, I’m sorry”. There is a ton of garlic, but it tastes like falafel. Chris: pork and bean brownie, pine nut cream, naked ravioli and tomato stick. OK, pine nuts are not the same as pesto. Somehow the texture of pork and beans comes through, which is disgusting. Marcel (shut up Marcel) says “Don’t be offended if I don’t finish it”. Matthew: cornbread and mashed potato cheesecake, whiskey caramel and gravy foam. Gail demands gravy. The foam tastes like gravy which blows everyone’s minds.

Commercial interlude: Carlos and Rebecca are bored/sleep-deprived enough to make up “the banana game”, which involves putting a banana on someone’s shoulder without them noticing. They do it to Marcel, who is entertained by the whole idea and tries to do it to Johnny. He fails though, because Johnny turns at the last minute and Marcel has to sneak away.

Gail collects Katie, Megan, and Rebecca. This is the bottom. Rebecca knows the falafel was her downfall. The garlic was too strong, and the ice cream didn’t taste like beer. Rebecca hates that she’s being judged on crazy things, and she pleads for her life as she cries. Megan doesn’t think she brought her ingredients together properly, and her cake was dry for sitting out. Dannielle reveals that it was called a “pudding cake” which makes it even worse. Adam thought she should have put the onions in the cake. Katzie knows she took another risk and this time it didn’t work. There were too many flavors and once they ate one sauce, they couldn’t taste the other sauces.

Matthew, Chris, and Sally were the top. They freak out, even though didn’t we just see Megan tell them they weren’t the bottom? Do they tape that later? Sally’s fried chicken skin was so good it distracted Adam all day. Chris’s brownies were good, and the “tomato” pizza stick was good too. Johnny is entertained that he sabotaged himself: “You, like, intentionally sabotaged yourself! Like, before anyone else could sabotage you, you like, Boom! ‘I’m going to sabotage myself, bitches!’” Hee. Matthew controlled the gravy flavor, which was weird and I think impressed everyone. The winner is Matthew.

Gail doesn’t think Katzie took a risk at all, because French fries with dipping sauces is not a risk. Back in the Stew Room Katzie is declaring she took a risk. Rebecca’s dessert was nasty. Adam keeps saying “My culinary standpoint is,” and then something crazy. Megan picked out two bottles of alcohol, but it didn’t taste like anything, and the caramelized onions weren’t incorporated.

Katzie complains that she put a ton of work into this, and Sally rolls her eyes. Rebecca tells her to quit stressing, and Katzie is like “Thanks for pointing it out RIGHT NOW”. Huh? You were already stressing. It’s not like she reminded you that you made fries and sauce which is not creative. Just quit complaining. Rebecca is sent home. Aww. She goes back and says she and Adam are going to elope and go on their honeymoon. I love her. She’s very proud of herself for getting this far with a bum wrist.

Next week: chocolate any way you want. More teams, I think. Chocolate showpieces. Wylie Dufresne. They get to judge each other’s food, so that will be obnoxious.

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