Top Chef Review: You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum
In honor of Top Chef's 100th episode, head judge Tom Colicchio threw himself into the Quickfire Challenge this week and went head to head with our favorite All-Stars.
With that in mind, let's get to a detailed review of the episode...
The theme of the episode - aside from dim sum (yummy!) - was speed. In a dizzying display of knife skills and nimble footwork, Tom plates his dish in about eight minutes. It's actually impressive and cool to see cook for the first time, showing off his prodigious skills.
Moreover, the way that our chefs applaud and watch like fanboys is pretty entertaining. I would actually say watching Tom cook like Speedy Gonzalez with dramatic music in the background was one of the best moments in Top Chef history. Okay, I'm definitely crushing on Tom Colicchio...
As Tom sets the bar (at 8:37 minutes) with his black sea bass dish, the chefs must plate their own dishes in less than that given time. As someone who finds it difficult to even make omelets in under a half hour, I felt bad for the contestants.
Poor Dale fell short of making his noodles properly, while Angelo him criticized for making a cold dish. Jaime makes more food than she has during the entire competition with a single, tiny clam. I guess you're not so "fast" after all, eh Jaime? An empathetic Tom announces Mike as the winner for his branzino dish, earning him immunity AND a new Prius. Pretty nifty.
Continuing the speed theme of the episode, the chefs are sent to Chinatown to cook traditional dim sum at a popular Chinese restaurant during lunch rush hour. I've never seen the chefs struggle so badly in a challenge before. From their confusion in the Chinese supermarket to the unfamiliar kitchen tools, the All-Stars were clearly out of their elements.
With Susur Lee, a connoisseur of dim sum, as a guest judge, the chefs were on thin ice, struggling to expedite service. The contestants attempted to stay true to their tastes and plating aesthetics, which clashed with what the diners wanted: fast, hot, dim sum. It was kind of frightening to see Antonia lose it completely and Tom intervene to rush the service.
None of the chefs were very pleased with one another. I felt badly for Antonia,who took responsibility for Casey and seemed to hustle the most in the kitchen. Conversely, I did not feel bad for Jaime whose food clearly sucked. To no one's surprise, Angelo and Dale did well. To everyone's surprise, Fabio was universally praised for his pork ribs, with a lovely compliment by Susur himself. Dale wins for his sticky rice; while his surly attitude doesn't endear him to me, at least he'll buy his girlfriend a nice engagement ring.
I honestly don't understand why Jamie didn't go home; I'm beginning to think they're keeping her around for drama. In the end, it's Casey who got the boot.
Who else wants see Jaime go home ASAP? Did you enjoy the episode or was it too chaotic? Sound off now!