Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Kim: B- | Grade It Now!
Ho No

Carla interviews that she also wants strong flavors. Does any chef want weak and bland flavors? She plans to use her French cooking skills, so she's going to start with a bouillabaisse, and then do a beef course. She doesn't mention what she's doing for the third course yet. Casey interviews that Carla has good ideas, but her second course, the meat and potatoes, needs to be jazzed up a bit, so Casey suggested cooking the sirloin sous-vide. This seems like a terrible idea to me for a number of reasons. First, while I have never cooked sous-vide myself, I understand that you put the food in a vacuum-sealed bag and cook it in boiling water at a constant temperature, and it ensures evenly cooked food. So, Carla's cooking sirloin steak. Don't you WANT sirloin steak to have a caramelized crusty outside and a pink inside? Isn't that the drawing point of steak? In addition, as Carla herself said earlier, she needs to keep cooking the food that got her here, and she has never cooked anything sous-vide. I'm sure Casey can help with the technique, but how does it show off Carla's point of view? It just makes absolutely no sense, and we don't really see enough of the conversation between Carla and Casey about it to know what really happened. Did Carla immediately cave in? Did they discuss the points I raised above (and which tons of other people raised on forums and blogs)? Anyway, those were my first thoughts upon my initial watch of the episode, and they haven't changed. This was Carla's first mistake, and it's a big one. Hosea interviews that he spotted the sous-vide preparation, and he hasn't even seen Carla do that, so he figured it must be Casey's influence. He thinks it could work for her, but it's risky. So Hosea basically just summed up what it took me an entire paragraph to say. Thanks, Hosea!

Stefan and Marcel discuss their food. Stefan interviews that he's grown up cooking basic food, but doing it well. His mother was a chef for forty-two years. Man, I would love to see an A&E Biography about Stefan. He fascinates me. Anyway, Stefan thinks it's much sexier to cook basic food well than to add on a bunch of bullshit. He just described my cooking philosophy. I'd rather know how to make really good homemade bread and marinara sauce from scratch than cook something sous-vide with foam and other molecular gastronomy tricks. Stefan yells that they only have 12 minutes left, and everyone starts packing up their food. Hosea interviews that they can't make any mistakes in this round; whereas before they might have been able to slide by if they forgot a component, that's not going to fly now. The chefs bid good night to their sous chefs and take off for the night.

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Top Chef




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