Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Top Chef" 9/2

This week's guest judge is Mark Peel, the chef/owner of Campanile (as well as an author).

Quickfire #3: Create an "out of this world" fish featuring potatoes. 45 minutes are on the clock.

Ash: Sweet potato custard w/ toasted pecans
Bryan: Sunchoke & Yukon Gold Vichyssoise w/ applewood-smoked caviar
Preeti: Saffron-poached Russian banana fingerlings w/ asparagus & tomatoes
Michael V.: Confit tuna & potato sandwich
Jennifer: Steamed mussels, Yukon Gold & blue potatoes w/ lemongrass potato sauce
Robin: Purple & fingerling potatoes and white yams w/ pancetta, frisee & fried egg
Hector: Steamed sweet potato w/ fish sauce & lime, purple potatoes & ham, plus some smashed fingerlings w/ yeast, yellow chile, slow-cooked egg & cream
Laurine: Vegetarian potato burger, portabella mushroom bun & fingerling chips
Mattin: Poached cod w/ blue, Yukon & sweet potato purees
Kevin: Bacon-braised yam w/ potato sauce, asparagus, mushroom & cauliflower
Michael I.: Potato risotto w/ king crab & mascarpone
Ashley: Potato Gnocchi w/ Hen of the Woods mushrooms & Homemade Ricotta
Eli: Yam puree w/ pistachios, whipped bliss & bourbon maple syrup
Ron: Sweet potato-crusted yellowtail w/ fennel & leek stew
Jesse: Sweet potato soup w/ ginger, brown sugar & cayenne pepper

The top three are Jennifer, Ash and Ashley. Winning immunity this week is...

...Jennifer Carroll! That's her second Quickfire win of the season.

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE #3: After Colonel Dave Belote of the U.S. Air Force comes in, he tells the contestants to create a meal for 300 airmen at the Nellis Air Force Base, home of The Thunderbirds. They have four hours to cook all this food. Jennifer will be the executive chef because she won this week's Quickfire.

Both of the Michaels (Isabella & Voltaggio): Greek Salad w/ cucumbers, chickpeas, olives & olive oil-poached shrimp; they also cook a braised pork belly w/ a soy-mustard sauce & peanuts
Laurine & Preeti: Pasta salad w/ broccoli, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes & artichoke hearts
Jesse & Ron: New England Clam Chowder w/ roasted corn
Hector & Robin: Three-bean chili w/ roasted chicken
Eli & Kevin: Georgia-style braised pork shoulder & potato salad
Bryan & Mattin: Roasted beef strip loin w/ mushroom demi-glace & cauliflower gratin
Ash & Ashley: Chocolate bread pudding w/ peanut butter sauce

The top two teams are the Michaels and Eli & Kevin. The winner here is...

...Michael...Voltaggio! Both Voltaggios now each have one Elimination Challenge win to their credit. That's the good news. The bad news- Isabella's also part of this week's bottom three with Laurine Wickett Hope & Preeti Mistry. This is because he was mostly responsible for botching the carving station. Has he made dubious history by becoming the first chef to be eliminated, even after placing in one of the top spots during an Elimination Challenge?...

...thankfully, no. Instead, Preeti is cut.
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