Thursday, September 27, 2007

Top Chef Round Up

So last night, the judges sent Brian Malarcky packing after the elk challenge. The final four were flown into Aspen after having a month off and were welcomed right away by Padma and Eric Ripert., 4 star chef for Le Bernandin here in NYC. The four were challenged to prepare just caught trout right out of the lake and to be honest, I thought Brian was going to kill it. He didn’t and Casey won the quick fire challenge. When it came to the elimination challenge, the four were asked to prepare a meal showcasing Elk and make sure that the cowboys at the ranch would be into it. Tom also interrupted their cooking to let them know that since the caliber of chefs they had this year was so good, they would like to bring 3 into the final challenge. I have personally never eaten elk in my life, but I have to say Casey’s and Dale’s dishes looked damn good! Hung of course was the technical best, but the judges thought there was no heart in his food, or much of anything that he has cooked in the season so far. He then began to discuss growing up an immigrant from Vietnam, doing it for his mom, blah blah blah….luckily it wasn’t too little too late. Brian’s was too busy, too kitcshy and the delivery was almost annoying with cowboy hat and 25 different ingredients. People want to eat the food dummies, not hear about it.

The judges first explained how all four meals were of great quality and then decided that Dale’s, while a bit overwhelming with the amount of ingredients, was the best meal out of all of them. This was Dale’s first challenge win and it was a good one. He won not only a place in the finale, but a chance to spend a weekend with Chef Ripert and do a demonstration with him, which is probably a dream come true for a younger chef.

At this point, I really have no idea who is going to come out on top, because if Dale continues to put out quality plates like last night and with his new burst of energy, he actually might take this. While Hung is obviously the most “gifted” chef, Casey has a real love and interest within food. I think that if any three of these chefs won I would be happy, because neither of them are Ilan or Marcel – who both stunk in my opinion.