I Hate Jill Zarin Top Chef Masters and Rocco’s Dinner Party
We have an all food related blog today courtesy of QuincyIL, thanks Quincy, great job!!!
Top Chef Masters Finale by Quincy IL
The Final Elimination Challenge
The three chefs are to create a 3 course meal of a lifetime: a food memory that made them love food, an experience that influenced them, and the critic’s choice of a memory food. For the final course, the chef’s drew knifes with the names of their judges.
Floyd chose James who wanted an Indonesian dish that he tasted when he was 19 on his first trip to SE Asia. The dish was spicy and luckily Floyd knew the dish James was describing.
Mary Sue’s knife had Ruth’s name. Ruth went to Paris at 10 years old and had a lemon soufflé that inspired her life time affair with the taste of lemon.
Traci had the last knife with Gael’s name on it. Gael loved a fried duck that she had tasted when on her honeymoon. Traci and the other chefs did not think that you could fry duck so she will create two other recipes and hope that will work.
They will plate for 12 dinner guests and they have 8 hours to shop and prep. They can go to any shop or grocery store that they wish and each of them has the help of their own sous chef who they had worked with for years. Traci had the help of Morgan who started working with her when he was 16 years old. Mary Sue had the chef of her restaurants, Jaime. Floyd had Ty who has work with Floyd for 9 years.
For the experience courses, Mary Sue would make a shrimp cocktail that was the first dish her mentor had made for her. Traci was 16 years old when she went to Zola in San Francisco and had quail salad. Floyd’s dad took him to Bombay for a business lunch where he ate a white fish and loved the ceremony of the dinner.
The chefs go shopping and they can prep until 10 PM. Traci goes to Kohls, but she is worried about their duck. Floyd goes to a Farmer’s Market for his oxtail and has problems with traffic that affect his ability to prepare the meat. Mary Sue knows that the traffic will be bad in LA when it is raining so she goes to Whole Foods and returns first to start her food.
When Floyd returns last, he opens his fish to discover that the butcher left scales and that some fish are damaged. Mary Sue makes a practice lemon soufflé and shares them with everyone in the kitchen.
The next day, the chefs are shocked that they are being driven to the Hollywood Hills and all they want to do is get into their kitchen and work. Curtis Stone greets them at his door in a chef’s coat. He is making the quick fire challenge and serving them as a thank you for all of their hard work. They enjoy the food.
Judges’ Dining Room
The four judges are in the dining room along with several others that have been guest judges this season. Some of them are Tom Cochia, Jody Adams, and Jonathan Waxman.
Before each of the courses the chefs explain what their thoughts were and how they met the challenge described by Curtis Stone.
Floyd made rice flaked snapper. Mary Sue made shrimp mouse and rigatoni stuffed with shrimp. Traci made quail salad. When the chefs leave the judges discuss each dish. There are differences in their assessments. They tease each other about their likes and dislikes.
Floyd worried about the amount of spice that he uses with the Indonesian oxtail as he knows that James wants a lot of spice, but others judges might not. Mary Sue started her egg whites too soon and she does not have enough for the 14 soufflés so she asks her sous chef to quickly make some more. The other chefs help her plate the soufflés even though they are competing.
Traci’s shrimp creole is nontraditional and based on a family recipe with red wine. Mary Sue shocks the judges with an Asian steak tartar with a spiced pear. Traci’s sweetbread is a hit.
Curtis thanks the chefs for 10 weeks of hard work. The judges note the wonderful dishes. While the chefs return to the wine room to discuss their challenge, the judges pick the dishes apart trying to find the best of this challenge in order to award the title Top Chef Master. The judges give this title to Floyd. The others congratulate him, but they wish they could have won.
Rocco’s Dinner Party by Quincy IL
Each week, there will be three guest chefs helping Rocco create his themed parties. The first chefs are Executive Chef Geoffrey Johnson, Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson, and caterer Britt Kurent. The winner of the challenge will receive $20,000.
The three chefs will compete in a 30 minute quick challenge judged by Rocco. One chef will go home and the remaining chefs will compete to design the menu and the room for their event.
Brit decided to make fish tar tar and not cook. She blends avocados to get a mush. Geoff makes poor man’s lobster/monk fish. The monk fish is not cooked enough and that is dangerous. JJ makes scallops with corn.
Rocco asks for the input of contestant while he tries another’s plate.
Britt is sent home. If you make raw fish, it should be perfect.
Rocco introduces Jes Gordon who will help the young chefs design their dining rooms to fit the theme of a Speakeasy which is an establishment that served alcohol during Prohibition.
JJ decides to create a Harlem feel with a down home/ comfort food menu and the feel of jazz with a piano and instruments. Geoff goes with boxes of liquor and uses the terrace and he uses “the Garden of Eden” as his concept. Later, his dining room is described as Sunday afternoon and JJ’s dining room is said to be like Saturday night in Harlem of the 1920s.
We see the chefs shop and prepare the meals as they tease each other. This is an opportunity to show their ability and to gain fame on national TV.
Rocco appears in the kitchen with special requests. One of the guests never uses alcohol and another is a vegetarian. There are also allergy issues.
Geoff serves scallops which the guests love. The vegetarian version is zucchini and it was good. There is sweet potato bisque served in a shot glass which was a bold choice and was successful. The cod was weak. It was not black cod as the chef suggested. The short ribs were excellent and the crème brulee with spun sugar was incredible.
Geoff is done and he is enjoying a glass a wine while JJ works quickly to get his meal on plates for his dinner.
JJ’s creamy grits fail. They were over cooked. His oxtail with beets is a success. The guests love his caramelized banana bread pudding. His onions, carrots and beets add color to the plate and are delicious.
Rocco discusses the meals with the guests and he makes his decision based on the dinner that the guests enjoyed the most. The experience of Harlem in the 1920s won the contest for JJ.
Geoff leaves the kitchen and JJ goes with Rocco to enjoy the end of the party and talk to the guests.
Until Next time…