This week, our three competitors are Kevin Gaudreau, a corporate chef for The Pier Restaurant in Rhode Island and a former Marine, Janet Kim, a chef at Gordon Ramsay at the London, and Chris Colcagno, the executive chef at Cafe Amici somewhere in New Jersey. All three are self-taught, with no formal culinary education. That said, they all seem extremely competent, which makes the show a bit harder to recap in a humorous manner.
For their Signature Dishes, Kevin - who tells us that the restaurants under his purview have been run like machines - is making a version of shrimp and grits with leeks. Chris, who is cocky as all get out, is doing a blackened mahi-mahi with a sweet corn mash and spinach. And Janet, who is Korean, is doing a fancy deconstructed dish of spicy Korean pork belly in a crepe served with three kinds of kimchi.
While Rocco noses around the kitchen, he notes that Chris is making a beurre blanc and obnoxiously starts to quiz him on technique. Cocky Chris is sure his dish will be perfect, that is, until he ladles the sauce onto his plate and finds that it has broken.
Jes Forehead comes out and she and Rocco do the pretend kiss thing they do every week. This time, it looks like Jes lands on on his cheek, and he, though contorting his mouth into fish lips, seems more like he's trying to avoid touching her with them. He's clearly afraid of The Forehead.
Kevin is the ultimate winner of the challenge and therefore he gets to choose his room first. He goes for the formal dining room, which he wants to make somewhat rustic. Janet wants her room to be a real explosion of Anglophilia, something she describes as a "cross between Sid Vicious and Vivienne Westwood." As an Anglophile, Janet should have known that Sid Vicious and the rest of the Sex Pistols - and indeed every "punk" who came afterwards - owes their entire look to Westwood. She is literally the Grandmother of Punk.
Next comes shopping. While at Garden of Eden, Kevin tells us he's making a pea soup, fish and chips, lobster pot pie, lamb tenderloin, liver and onions, and a chocolate banana bread pudding. Janet is making an equally ambitious menu of bacon chili crisps, Pimm's and lemonade beet salad, bone marrow with Stilton, beer brisket with Yorkshire pudding, and finishing up with a rose mascarpone "cloud."
The guests for this week's dinner are food writer Amanda Hesser, actor Christopher McDonald (who's wearing an astonishing amount of pancake makeup), chef Ken Oringer, So You Think You Can Dance presenter Cat Deeley, Frank Carfaro of home furnishings company DESIRON, and actress Raven Symoné. Funny, I never noticed the "é" at the end of her name before. I gotta wonder why some folks use accents (or in the case of the stupid - apostrophes) and yet mispronounce them. Her name should be pronounced "sy-mo-NAY" not "sy-MOAN."
tapioca maltodextrin, a parlor trick I've tried in the past). Turns out that Raven SymoNAY is the culprit, but she exclaims "I taste bacon and I taste chili but those smell like old feet!" pointing to the vinegar chips that Cat Deeley seems to have in front of her. Or maybe the editing was just bad. In any case, for Raven's second course, she gets a Stilton fondue to eat while the rest of the table rhapsodizes over bone marrow with Stilton. The next course is beef cooked in Guinness, with a welcome dish of gnocchi for Raven. And finally, the dessert gets mixed reactions. Cat Deeley claims not to know what an "English milky tea broth" is even though she is British. Um...looked like tea with milk in it to me.
My biggest objection about Janet's dinner party is that Rocco pronounced mascarpone incorrectly by putting an extra "r" in the first syllable. You're Italian, Rocco. For shame! Heaven forbid Giada De Laurentiis ever get a hold of you, she'd be all, "mas car POWN ay" in your face.
While both parties seemed fun and most of the food seemed appreciated - there were so many courses served, however, we didn't get to hear all that much praise or disdain for any of them - Rocco had to pick one winner. It might have come down to decor. Janet had great ideas, but I think Jes Forehead let her down. The colors were too bright and poppy, like a fluorescent-lit 2011-version of punk rather than the filthy, heroin-addled, safety-pin-and-unemployment-riddled dark time that it was. Kevin's vision was much cozier, more pub-like and welcoming. And maybe his food was better, because he got the win.
Next week: A bald Douche. Fashion. Kara Janx.
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.