by Erin and Xani
Last night was Episode 2 of Top Chef, and it was a good one! Here's a quick and dirty recap:
- Quickfire Challenge: Chefs go to Chicago's Green City Market and have to make a dish with 5 ingredients. Mark (the Kiwi) wins with his dish even though he forgot one of his five ingredients at the Market.
- Elimination Challenge: Chefs must cater a party at the Zoo and are divided into teams of 3. Each team's menu is inspired by a different zoo animal and must incorporate the main ingredients of that animal's diet into their menu. Team Penguin and Andrew win the challenge with his charred squid dish (and edible gelatinous glaciers!). Team Bear serves mushrooms that not only look like poo, but don't taste so hot, either. But in the end Valerie of Team Gorilla was kicked off with her black olive blini.
I liked this episode - I liked that the teams had an interesting theme to work around, and I think many of the teams did a great job at capturing the essence of their animals' diets. I picked Andrew, Richard, and Dale for my fantasy team this week, which earned me 9 points for Andrew's win and some cursing by Andrew and Dale, though I lost points since Dale was on the chopping block for his team's stuffed mushrooms. Who puts a strong flavored garnish like pecorino on a mushroom and doesn't taste it??
Dish I wished I were eating: Mark's white anchovy on a quinoa croquette. Looked very interesting! Also, Stephanie's banana bread looked delicious and gorilla-friendly.
Favorite chef at the moment: Well now that Mark has redeemed himself from last week, I'm definitely back in the fan base. Though he should lose the headband - why are we highlighting the receeding hairline, Mark??
I also liked the episode although this early in the season, I find it hard to keep track of all the chefs and their dishes! I was glad this was a team challenge; it always spices things up to force the chefs to work in groups. Nikki was so bossy! And she made those poor-looking mushrooms. Andrew really surprised me by working well in a group (he seems so arrogant I was sure he was going to be a problem child) and then SHOCKED me by winning the elimination challenge (and earning me 6 points). Nikki lost me points for saying she didn't taste her dish nor did she stand behind it. Boo-- she is "auf-ed" from my team next week (oops, wrong Bravo show!)! I ended this week with 6 points, bringing my total to a staggering 16 points (that's sarcasm, folks).
Dish I wished I were eating: I second EP's vote for the quinoa and anchovy concoction, and also Team Vulture's Moroccan-spiced meatball. Personally I was eating a bowl of skin-on mashed potatoes from scratch while watching the episode, so I was pretty content with that, and not dying of food-envy.
Favorite chef at the moment: I'm still on the Andrew train. Despite last week's Mayonnaise-gate, I think this week he stepped up and showed up he can cook good food, be creative (yuzu glacier?!), and work well in a team.
What did everyone think? How did everyone do with their fantasy team??
E & X