May 9, 2008

Top Chef Chicago Wedding Wars

I'm sad to hear that there will be no restaurant wars this season. Having the teams of chefs work together to create a restaurant concept and try to execute it in such a short amount of time was fun to watch. In comparison, the past wedding themed episodes always filled me with a sense of dread. The quickfire is a welcome favorite from last season, the Relay Race! The mayo, oranges and artichokes I know I could tackle, though maybe not with the speed of the contestants. That monk fish on the other hand, Yikes! With so little usable flesh, frightening visage and messy looking innards I'm glad to not be the one filleting it. On an off note, I never see monk fish sold in SE Michigan. I wonder if I'm not looking hard enough.

The two teams of contestants are set to creating a dueling wedding meal according to the tastes of the bride or the groom. The bride wants meat and potatoes fare while the groom is leaning toward Italian, not incompatible choices for planning a menu. The wedding is pulled off with exhausted contestants and some fairly standard recipes. We see Richard and his team prove they are the much stronger competitors. Stephanie's cake is amazing considering the time given. On the other team, Dale's attempt make sure it all gets done whatever the cost to quality seems foolish. Spike focuses on making sure he has at least one dish done really well, a much smarter approach. Lisa certainly doesn't win points for the look of her cake but is saved by the taste. Nikki fails to step up to the plate and lead despite the Italian theme. As others have said, did we really think she was going to last much longer? This episode was fun enough to watch but left me with few recipes or ideas I feel I need to try. The one exception is Richard's brisket. The recipe sounds like a good one. Though, if you watch the shot of the meat raw you'd see that is no lean brisket and probably had a lot to do with how great is was.

Til next week, Braised Brisket of Beef