April 11, 2008

Top Chef Chicago The Elements

Another episode, another chef that didn't make the cut. I had high hopes for this week's show. I really liked Ming Tsai back in his East Meets West days. I've watched his Fine Living show, Ming's Quest, and Simply Ming on PBS but neither really caught my interest. Most importantly, I find him admirable for agreeing to be a spokesperson for FAAN and for his efforts to make his restaurant, Blue Ginger, allergy friendly. Apparently, he has a child with food allergies. I can only imagine and compare his experience with my own. I was so excited about having a child and being the one to expose them to the world of food. As things turned out, it may very well be that my son will never be able to taste my favorite 3 year-old aged gouda or have a steak topped with buerre blanc. There was definitely a mourning period for me in regards to that and there was also the fear of feeding him to deal with. I can only think that as a chef he would have felt similarly. I've reconciled myself with trying to make the best quality food I can for Alex and be on the constant lookout for new things he can have safely.

Anyway...this weeks episode starts with a blindfolded taste test to see if the contestants can determine which is the "quality" ingredient. Fun for those playing, a little dull for the viewer, but it's a worthwhile quickfire to give those with discerning palates an advantage. The elimination challenge had four teams cook with the four elements as inspiration. I think the decision to eliminate Zoi because of her poorly seasoned mushrooms instead of Richard for his scaly, mushy looking fish was a little suspect. But, she has been in the bottom position before and possibly that pushed the judges her way. Richard on the other hand has been hovering in the top.

In my season opener post, I forgot another source of amusing Top Chef extras that I've enjoyed during previous seasons: Chow's podcast exit interviews! If you followed the previous seasons and haven't listened to these pod casts please do. I particularly loved listening to Michael from season two, but they are all worth listening to.
This week's winning dish: GRILLED SHRIMP WITH PICKLED CHILI SALAD (mmm, miso glazed bacon *drool*)