Here’s the abbreviated summary from, with commentary in italics

Zoo Food

This week’s episode brought the chefs a little bit closer to nature. First, they visited Chicago’s Green City Market to gather ingredients for their Quickfire Challenge where they had to create a dish using only five ingredients, not including salt, pepper, sugar, and oil. (why bother with the sugar?) Mark forgot one of his bags at the market (because he was all i’m-in-a-hurry-so-i’m-allowed-to-be-a-jerk!), but Guest Judge Wylie Dufresne was so impressed with his dish and his ability to “make it work,” that he gave Mark the win. (who could even tell how he was going to use whatever he left behind? was it really a big deal? lame)

The chefs were then split into five teams of three for the Elimination Challenge. The teams were: Vulture, Gorilla, Bear, Penguin, and Lion (why vulture? seriously?!). The chefs were tasked with creating menus for a cocktail party based on their assigned animals’ diets (I really really really WISH that they had all taken this more to heart!). Despite a few disagreements, most of the teams seemed to leave the drama out of the kitchen. There were only a few questionable dishes, including Team Bear’s mushroom-blueberry-Pecorino cheese debacle and Stephanie’s watery crab salad. But in the end, Valerie paid the ultimate price (really? getting kicked off a reality show is “paying the ultimate price” now? so much drama!) for serving blinis — a dish that needs to be prepared a la minute. While Andrew’s ingenuity and just plain good-tasting dish earned him the win.

So, overall good challenge. I liked that they showed that San Fran isn’t the only city with a green ‘tude. and the zoo challenge could have been super-fun.

As it was, i was disappointed by the cheftestants’ lack of enthusiasm for spinning the animals’ diets into people food. I mean, COME ON! it could have been SO fun!

The Penguin Team and Andrew totally deserved the win – raw fish and a glacier! so perfect for this challenge.

As i mentioned in my bios, the blinis were just a bad idea and Valerie even acknowledged that she had reservations about making the blinis in advance so why not just ditch the idea and do something else?!

I think that in Week 2 the cheftestants are still too wrapped up in “showing the judge’s what they can do” and aren’t having enough fun yet! That’s why they didn’t take this awesome challenge by the horns and ride it all the way home!