Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Top Chef" 9/9

This week's guest judge is chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud. Host Padma Lakshimi doesn't appear for the Quickfire.

Quickfire #4: Create a dish using escargot in 45 minutes.

And this is a SUDDEN DEATH QUICKFIRE. That means that whoever does the worst in this challenge will be eliminated on the spot. The winner will get immunity as usual.

Ron: Escargot provencal w/ carmelized shallots, pernod & fresh herbs
Jennifer: Escargot w/ grilled ramps, brussels, sprouts, Chanterelle mushrooms & Yuzu
Jesse: ELT- Escargot, Mache & fried tomato
Laurine: Sauteed escargot, lemon risotto, spinach, parsley pesto & garlic butter
Hector: Caribbean escargot w/ pickled mushrooms
Robin: "Bagels & Lox"- Poached escargot, marmalade, gooseberries & rye crostini
Mattin: Fava bean crostini w/ escargot sauteed in a Piment D'Espelette & Anise
Ashley: Escargot Mirepoix Soup & salad
Kevin: Escargot fricasee w/ mushrooms, Brussels sprouts & candied bacon jam
Bryan: Escargot w/ red wine risotto, spinach, emulsion & marcona almond froth
Michael Voltaggio: Escargot & Chanterelle Mushroom Bolognese Lasagna
Michael Isabella: Sauteed escargot over potato garlic puree, spring onion & Ouzo broth

The top three are Michael Isabella, Kevin Gillespie & Jennifer Carroll. The winner, and earning the right to sit out the Elimination Challenge is...

...Kevin! Facing elimination, however, are Ashley Merriman, Jesse Sandlin & Robin Levinthal. This is the second time Ashley's in danger of being cut, while this is Jesse's third. Now, these three must compete in a 20-minute amuse bouche cook-off to determine who will be eliminated.

Robin: Avocado soup w/ Yuzu, green apple whole-grain mustard relish & crab
Jesse: Tuna tartate w/ Sorrel, gooseberries, fried quail egg & fried bread
Ashley: Foie gras w/ pineapple, tarragon & ramps

The first contestant to be eliminated tonight is...


ELIMINATION CHALLENGE #4: Six teams of two will make one course each using their chosen proteins and sauces. Kevin will be one of the chefs that gets to taste everybody's food; additionally, former "Top Chef Masters" finalist Hubert Keller will be feasting as well. Two hours are given to cook in the Top Chef Kitchen and one hour of cooking time is given in the restaurant.

This week's Whole Foods Market shopping budget is $200 within a half hour. Let's see the pairings:

Eli & Laurine: Lobster & Sauce Americaine
Hector & Ash: Chateaubriand & Sauce Au Poivre
Michael V. & Jennifer: Rabbit & Sauce Chasseur
Ashley & Mattin: Poussin & Sauce Veloute
Bryan & Michael I.: Trout & Sauce Bearnaise
Ron & Robin: Frog legs & Sauce Meuniere

Now, for the food:

Ron & Robin: Frog Legs Meuniere w/ lemon confit, mache & arugula salad w/ fried capers
Bryan & Michael I.: Warm-cured trout w/ deconstructed Bearnaise
Eli & Laurine: Lobster & Sauce Americaine w/ cauliflower puree
Mattin & Ashley: Seared poussin & ravoili w/ Sauce Veloute & green asparagus
Jennifer & Michael V.: Rabbit Chasseur w/ mustard noodle & Shiso
Hector & Ash: Chateaubriand, Sauce Au Povire w/ confit de pommes & spinach

The top two duos are Jennifer & Michael Voltaggio and Bryan Voltaggio & Michael Isabella. I can tell you right now...

...that a Voltaggio has won an Elimination Challenge for the third straight week...

's Bryan!

The bottom two teams are Ashley & Mattin and Hector & Ron. This is the second time tonight (and third overall) Ashley's up for elimination, while this is the second overall nomination for Hector. The second contestant eliminated on the evening is...

...Hector Santiago.
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