Slicing skills put to test in multipart challenge
Jan 09, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Last week, nine chefs remained to vie in challenges that brought with them lucrative prizes.
For the Quickfire, Maui's Sheldon Simeon and his competition were divided into three teams for a three-part challenge that tested their knife-sharpening and slicing skills, then mastery of the tool as demonstrated by breaking down a rabbit. They were assessed by master bladesman Bob Kramer, whose custom knives sell for a whopping $500 per inch.
Winner of immunity and a $4,000 Kramer knife was Micah Fields, who said he found his Zen while working on the rabbit.
The Elimination Challenge assigned a memorable moment from the past 10 seasons to each cheftestant, who was to create a healthful dish inspired by that moment. Victory would bring a $15,000 prize plus the honor of having the winning recipe serve as inspiration for a Healthy Choice dinner.
Simeon's Beef Carpaccio with Poi Aioli, Mizuna and Mushroom Salad, Silken Tofu Foam and Miso Candied Salmon, based on a Season 4 carpaccio dish, failed to elicit praise from the judges, including Season 10 judge Wolfgang Puck and guest judges Wylie Dufresne, Jonathan Waxman and Chris Cosentino. One of them called Simeon's creation a "runny mess."
But the worst dishes in the challenge came from John Tesar, whose risotto was undercooked in some spots and overcooked in others, and Lizzie Binder via scallops that were on the verge of spoiling. Ranking at the bottom meant they had to hit the kitchen an extra time, facing off to cook a burger with spicy pickles, a reference to Season 10's memorable moment when CJ Jacobson and Tyler Wiard presented judges with a hamburger and pickle that earned them elimination.
In the end, Tesar's lamb burger couldn't match Binder's moist, flavorful chicken-breast burger.
On the sunny side of the episode, winner of the $15,000 prize was Kristin Kish, whose Poached Chicken Breast with Miso and Herbs, Carrot Puree and a gravy of Poached Garlic, Soy Milk and Tofu was inspired by a chicken pot pie.
Last Chance Kitchen: Tesar met up with arch enemy and reigning champ Jacobson over yard-sale pots and pans. His Corn Veloute and Succotash with Roasted Lobster and Foie Gras fell short of Jacobson's Seared Diver Scallop, Foie Gras and Dashi with Mayo and Caviar.
Save a Chef: "Most hated chef" Tesar faces off against the formidably popular Kuniko Yagi. Vote at www.bravotv.com/top-chef.
Tonight at 8 on Bravo (repeats at 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.): First, cheftestants must win over Puck using one of his favorite ingredients. In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs utilize new concepts to create dishes for the host city's premier food event, "Bite of Seattle."
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