Restaurant Wars

This week was a trip! I enjoyed every minute of this week’s episode. The Quickfire was my favorite to date! From what I understand, and from reading his book “Medium Raw”, that Bourdain himself helped create that Quickfire challenge. I think it shows a great deal of skill- because Le Bernardin is INCREDIBLE and because every chef should know how to filet fish with minimal waste. You can see the look of, “oh hell yeahs” on the chef’s faces. It’s also the look of, “of s+%@, they got me now!” The objective? Tear trough some major fish flesh like the example given and you have 2 more minutes than the guy that has been cleaning fish (his only job mind you) for 25 years! Those that do okay- you will cook Anthony something to eat. Those that suck, go sit in the dining room and wait. It’s pretty clear to me! The top chefs are told to use the scrap to make a dish. I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! This is called FAMILY meal where I come from. Some of the best soups in the world come from these pieces of fish carcass! I have cured a hangover or two from such methods! Let’s see what they have for us…chef’s your time starts now..!

Most chef’s did a pretty good job coming up with some tasty morsels for Tony and his fish slayer. This is what chef Bourdain has waited for. He is tired of the pussy-footin’ around in some of the other challenges. Get to the nit and gritty! Dale uses the fish liver. Record scratch! Did you just incorporate fish liver into your dish??!! I’m sorry, can the rest of the cooks just go wait in the dining room, we have our winner. Smart going DALE! You have won the keys to Bourdain’s heart! Really, all of the food looked great. I applaud them for such valiant efforts. This is what this show should be all about. We want to see the food, not the drama, right!!??

Ha! We just thought we wanted food, but drama we got! Restaurant Wars. Oh, the familar Restaurant Wars episodes. Familiar like a strange pain in the throat just before you know you are about to be sick- you just now it. Hell. This is the one. That one challenge that wins the Emmy. That challenge that will separate chef’s from the cooks. It will also separate sweat drops from your ducts because it is SO stressful! Put up a “pop-up” restaurant in 3 hours. COME ON! Then, I like this touch, they bring in an “expert” chef that has been doing these sort of “pop-up” restaurants for years now. Please, everybody, quiet now…listen to this chef tell you how he has been doing this and how it should work. Never mind how he probably planned this “pop-up” restaurant for 6 months before launching the concept! I love how intently Padma listens to the “experts”. But, the chefs are once again told to school yard pick their teams. This is such a good indicator of the ranking of the chefs to each other at this point in the competition. The first ones picked are the ones that the other chefs see as strong competitors. The last ones, well…you know the rest. Marcel, Marcel, Marcel… I love ya bud, I really do. And as I have told you to your face, you keep giving them what they want, don’t ya? I personally know what a good chef and friend you are. Part of this challenge is that you have to get along and make friends. The other team gets going like a Girl Scout Troop mapping out their cookie sales for this year. They might as well have held hands and sung Kum Ba Yah while they planned. We all saw Marcel’s train starting to derail. There was bickering, back talking, control issues all for the camera-ready taking. The other team was dreamy, whimsical, and euphoric. I was thinking, am I watching the Food Network right now?

We get the sense that Marcel and Mike do not care for each other very much. I can’t imagine them getting along at 1 years old- it is just not a meant-to-be friendship. This shows in the service-they don’t speak to each other. It shows in the food, boring plates. It showed in the service- Tiffany D’s cackle that was strangely irritating even the judges were annoyed! And such guests were annoyed including Dana Cowin of Food and Wine magazine. She acted as if she were in a New York hot spot eating a new twist on Kimchi. this is a MAKESHIFT restaurant in a courtyard! Hardly a real set up! These servers come to you 1 hour before “service”. No wonder they couldn’t find the table numbers! But, Fabio is kissing babies and women, servers and anyone else that will sit still long enough. It is genius really. Good times for his team. They came together and produced dishes that easily could have been served in an LA diner even a blueberry pie to top it all off.

In the end, it is Marcel that goes home. Are we surprised? Not exactly. Marcel is a good contender and doesn’t he have his own cooking show now? I commend your efforts, Marcel. Next time, right bud? When we get together to do TC18?

The lesson to take away from this week’s chefs…the food doen’t have to be over the top but it must be on point. Finally, we have lowered the bar. Thank you Restaurant Wars for showing all of us the way it should be done or more importanly, the way our guests really want to eat.

Sorry I have taken so long to get these out. I promise to be more on top of it next week! have a good one.

Now, go eat some delicious foods!!!