overall, good episode all around

Lisa wins for bacon
Zoi goes home for mushrooms

so it begins –

Zoi and Antonia are still whining about last week
Ming Tsai is the shit
Padma says “this is about good taste” and the camera cuts immediately to Spike wearing one of his idiotic hats

i usually love the palate Quickfire, but could they have made this any LESS dramatic? seriously, create some suspense somehow, PLEASE?!

How did Ryan get so cocky? He seems like such a doofus

i HATE Dale’s camo hoodie

Richard has a funny-lookin’ chin/neck area

strangely foreshadowing when Zoi says she wishes she’d beat Jennifer, to have the bragging rights…

Did you see Spike’s Dick Tracy wannabe hat in the chef-fesional?!

So Ming says “keep it simple” as his parting instructions before the challenge and NONE OF THEM LISTEN!

So I suddenly notice the evidence of the rumors going around that Lisa is a dirty girl – a dirty girl who rarely showered! yuck! i just don’t get it. when i used to buzz my hair to an 1/8 of an inch i still soaped my scalp daily because i hate that greasy/soft feeling – and her hair is all touching her face and stuff! how can she stand it?!

the Fire team was a front-runner from the start – once they picked shrimp i knew they were pretty much safe. shrimp + bacon = yum

i was very concerned about the sous-vided salmon, it just doesn’t sound right…

HOLY F**K! Spike?!! Where does one even find a straw woven baseball shaped cap? and WHY OH WHY are you wearing it on TELEVISION?!!!

They should have known that faux-caviar nonsense can’t be repeated so often – they just used it last week!

That Air team just didn’t get it – and Colicchio is right, the whole little drink with the dish thing is SO OVER

Nikki’s giant bouffant bun disturbs me

LOVED the fighting at the end, i’m glad they’re getting their frustrations out!

Dale is allowed to be upset that Lisa won for making bacon and then she shushed him after she’d been bitching all day

of course Jennifer’s upset because her lover had to leave

and Spike and Antonia had a real conflict

Confrontation is HEALTHY!

Once again, I felt that the teams just didn’t take the challenge and run with it
the Fire team definitely deserved the win because they tried to integrate the theme into every element of the dish – spicy, grilled, smoky
But everyone else was too literal or too vague.

I was frustrated so I brainstormed some ideas that the different teams’ themes made me think of

AIR – souffle, savory meringues, savory profiteroles, anything with fluffy eggs, english muffins or biscuits, glass noodles bird’s nests – i’m thinking, airy, puffy, layers, pockets…

WATER – fish soup in clear broth (fish balls with little tiny glass noodles in chinese soup spoons or little bitty mugs), trio of oysters including one served raw with a cool mignonette

EARTH – mini sandwiches of roasted turkey with sage and grilled apple on brown bread maybe with chestnuts, some kind of squash gratin with toasts, simple spaghetti squash served with herbs and oil like pasta

FIRE – red pepper noodles with spicy shrimp, grilled eggplant wrapped around bits of spicy grilled sausage (maybe lamb or merguez…), OR one of my all-time favorite dishes ever which I learned from Chef Raul of Fonda del Mar at a cooking class at the Treasure Island on Clybourn
(Fire just automatically makes me think of Mexican food!)

(see next post for a description of the chile rellenos and more on Fonda del Mar)