Thursday, December 03, 2009

"Top Chef" 12/2

This week's guest judge in Napa Valley was Bottega chef/owner Michael Chiarello.

FINAL QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE: While on the Napa Valley Wine Train, the four semi-finalists had to each create a dish that featured the grape, which is the signature crop in Napa. A half-hour was put on the clock. The winner won a 2010 Prius!

Kevin: Honey & fromage blanc mousse w/ glazed grapes, olive oil & sea salt
Michael: Grape leaf stuffed w/ "couscous", vinegar-glazed grape & a scallop kabob
Bryan: Roasted hen w/ bacon, Brussels Sprouts, Concord grapes, Ruby Quinoa & Argula
Jennifer: Sauteed chicken levers, clams, Cabernet grapes, wild mushrooms & tendrils

The winner of the hybrid car was...

...Michael Voltaggio!

FINAL ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: At Rutherford Hills Winery, they had to cater a Crush Party for 150 people. Each chef had to make two dishes within five hours at Brick's Restaurant, one of which had to be vegetarian and the other required a local protein.

This week's shopping budget was $600 within 45 minutes at a farmer's market.

Protein: Grass-fed brisket w/ Pumpkin Polenta & marinated root vegetables
Vegetarian: Roasted beets & carrots w/ carrot top puree & San Andreas Cheese

Protein: Grilled duck breast w/ braised duck legs, squash puree & Foie Gras Vinaigrette
Vegetarian: Chevre mousse w/ honey mushrooms, braised radishes & basil

Protein: Fig-glazed short ribs w/ Celeriac puree, wax beans & Wild Arugula
Vegetarian: Goat cheese ravioli, Delicata squash puree & bronze fennel

Protein: Turnip soup w/ Foir Gras Terrine, poached pear & glazed turnip
Vegetarian: Vegetable Pistou w/ Heirloom Tomato Coulis, a 63-degree egg & fennel

For at least this week, the elimination ceremony took place at Chimney Rock. The winner of this challenge and the first finalist was...

...the other Voltaggio, Bryan! The two chefs that joined him were...


...MICHAEL & KEVIN GILLESPIE!!!!! Jennifer Carroll just wasn't good enough this season despite a good start.
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