The cheftestants are still in Dallas, with the kitchen of Le Cordon Bleu (Paul's alma mater) standing in as Top Chef Kitchen. James Beard winner Chef Dean Fearing is this week's guest judge. He's actually famous enough that I didn't have to look him up. Of course, my brain works in strange and magical ways. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear "Dean Fearing" is "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," but then I immediately realize that is the title of one of my favorite books, written by Annie Dillard. Dean Fearing was the executive chef at the vaunted Mansion at Turtle Creek before leaving in 2007 to open his own restaurant, Fearing's.
|A Chorus Line, Top Chef stylie.|
The chefs draw knives for their sauce assignments and, with 90 minutes on the clock, commence to cooking.
He chooses Nyesha, Dakota, and Beverly to be his least favorite sauciers. Too bad for Nyesha, because she had been bragging that if she had to pick one position in the kitchen, it would be saucier.
...which involves steak. Because apparently they don't eat chicken in Texas.
The cheftestants are told that they will act as one team and prepare a four-course meal for 200 guests at the Cattle Baron's Ball, to be held at Southfork Ranch. The chefs break themselves into four teamlets, one for each course, and get to planning. Team Appetizer (Beverly, Dakota, and Sarah) decide to make a gazpacho; Team Second Course (Ed, Squinty Chris, and Paul) are doing a seared beef carpaccio; Team Entrée (Jor-El, Whitney (who?), and Nyesha) are making steaks; and Team Dessert (Heather, Grayson, Lindsay, and Handsome Chris) are making cake. Why are four people needed to make dessert? Or gazpacho, for that matter? Four blenders, maybe.
With $4000 in their pockets, the teams head to Whole Foods for shopping and eventually back to the kitchen for three hours of prep.
The next morning, we see him trudging back to the apartment, four stitches in his left hand. He gets about an hour's sleep before he has to be up and at 'em and at the Southfork Ranch to finish prep and cooking for the meal.
God I feel old.
Anyhoo...in the Ranch kitchen, Beverly is working on deveining shrimp and Heather is all up in her face about it. Apparently, Heather is the bully of the group. She's the person I always strove not to be when I was growing up - the fat loudmouth know-it-all. So I failed, but at least I tried. It seems reasonable, however, that Heather is upset about Bev playing with shrimp because that's all she did in the three hours the previous day, too. But then we find out that there were 400 shrimp to peel, devein, and poach, and sympathy swings back to Bev's side. Only a little, because Bev's as annoying as Heather is bossy.
The first course of gazpacho comes out and seems ok, despite not having as much watermelon flavor as advertised. It's a bit safe. Then the second course of seared steak carpaccio is presented. While the meat itself is very tasty, the dish as a whole doesn't have a point of view.
Heather has appointed herself and Lindsay as Queen Bitches. Linds is all worried that the steaks might need to be fired NOW, but when Ed puts them in the oven to help out, the end up being fired too soon. Some of the steaks end up too well done, while others don't get cooked enough. But what do you expect with 200 steaks that need to be cooked at the same time? Perfection, apparently.
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.