Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 9

It was Old Home Week at Top Chef Seattle when the current crop of cheftestants were asked to make healthy versions of dishes from previous seasons and former Top Chef Masters contestants were asked to judge them. First, however, the chefs had to get through a cutting ordeal during the Quickfire Challenge. Master bladesmith Bob Kramer was on hand to judge a three-round contest involving knife skills.

In round one, three groups of three were asked to sharpen chef's knives. The two groups to sharpen their knives first moved on to round two where they were asked to tournée 50 potatoes. The group to finish that chore first moved to round three where they broke down and frenched 2 rabbits. In the end, Micah came away with the win, immunity, and one of Bob Kramer's very expensive knives.

For the Elimination Challenge, each chef was given a Kindle Fire to view the dish from the previous season on which they would have to make his or her healthy variation. The winner would receive $15,000 and have the dish turned into a Healthy Choice meal. After shopping, the chefs had 2 1/2 hours to cook their meals at the Palace Ballroom for the judges and a gathering of super fans. The judges included Wylie Dufresne, Chris Cosentino, Jonathan Waxman, and Wolfgang Puck. The winner was Chef Kristen for her take on Carla Hall's chicken pot pie from Season 8.

Chefs John and Lizzy were on the bottom, so they had to compete head-to-head, making a healthy burger just like CJ's pork burger from the current season. John chose lamb as his protein while Lizzy chose chicken. Lizzy's burger was judged to be moister and healthier, so John was sent to pack his knives.

What did you think of last night's episode? Please leave your comments below.

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the dogs' mother said...

The knife quickfire was new and informative - good job, Top Chef.

MoHub said...

I'd still rather have Carla's original Chicken Pot Pie. And Carla doesn't really cook "unhealthy" to begin with.

MoHub said...

The more I think about it, the more I realize that there was a double whammy involved for some of the chefs. First, the term healthier is a vague catch-all. does it refer to reducing calories, fat, sugar and other carbs, and salt, or is it about increasing protein, good carbs, and other nutrients? Or what combination of the many factors?

Second, with the commercializing of the winning dish as a frozen entrée, some dishes simply weren't good candidates, and I think the chefs with those dishes didn't get a chance to think through adapting their contributions for commercial purposes. (I'm thinking Sheldon's carpaccio, which would never translate as a frozen dinner.)

Kristen is definitely a superior cheftestant in this field, but she also lucked out with a dish that required less tweaking and was extremely suitable to becoming a Healthy Choice item.