Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef Just Desserts Episode 8

As this week's thrilling episode opens, we find that Danielle is pleased to be the last woman standing in the competition. And Yigit misses his friend Heather H. He's feeling down in the dumps and his confidence in his abilities is low.

For the Quickfire, the guest judge is cake designer Shinmin Li, wearing what appears to be an exceptionally wrinkled skirt. She's there to judge the pastrycheftestants' ability to make an edible bouquet in three hours. For the first time in the competition, we see pulled sugar work: Morgan makes a sugar bow not unlike the ugly things we put on Christmas packages, and Yigit makes exceptionally thin sugar vases. Morgan, of course, accidentally breaks one of them, and Yigit gives him the stink eye. Yigit then breaks the other extremely fragile vessel by touching it. Or breathing on it.

Morgan and Yigit finish on top in this challenge, with Morgan taking the win. He gets no immunity, but he does win a cool $5K in sponsor-provided cash. And Yigit takes this loss as yet another blow to his not insubstantial ego.

For the Elimination Challenge, the pastrycheftestants must cater a tea party for Dana Cowin and her "friends" (translation: people pulled off the street). Each chef is responsible for creating two small dessert bites for 100 people...based on a celebrity relationship of their choice. Yes, it's a celebriTEA party.

(Good thing I had been drinking while watching and was somewhat mellow, otherwise I might have thrown the remote at the TV and gone to bed. Are these challenges completely stupid, or what?)

Anyhoo...since Zac had a chocolate disaster in the bouquet challenge, he decides to create two non-chocolate desserts, based on Julie Andrews and husband Blake Edwards. Eric has chosen Oprah and her "boyfriend" Steadman as his inspiration. Yigit goes with Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie. Danielle takes Conan O'Brien and sidekick Andy Richter. Morgan - who claims not to know anything about celebrities and their relationships - picks up a tabloid in Albertson's to get his inspiration: Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian.

As the pastrycheftestants enter the kitchen and make a beeline for the chocolate, they find this essential ingredient is "out of stock." Elvis Iuzzini comes in to break the bad news that chocolate is verboten in this challenge, so three of the five remaining contestants who had planned to use chocolate have to come up with a Plan B, and fast, because they only have three hours to work their magic. Yigit is suitably distraught.

The next day, they head to the venue, Madera Design House, which despite "design" in the name looks like a really depressing place to me, what with the walls painted in somber shades of Depression and Melancholy. The pastrycheftestants have one more hour to finish and plate their dishes and feed Dana Cowin's "friends" and the judges.

Maybe I heard wrong, but it seems that only Morgan and Zac got praised for their desserts, yet somehow Danielle also made it into the top three despite having had "leavening issues" with her cake, too much jalapeno in her topping, and a mismatched buttercream/oatmeal bar. Zac gets the win for his very clever (and non-chocolate) Pink Panther Pavlova and Cap’N Von Trapp Crunch with a Spoonful of Tarragon Sugar.

On the bottom are Eric and...surprise! Yigit. His cake is too bland and squishy to be Madonna. Eric, however, could only come up with two variations on shortbread for Oprah and Steadman. Sadly for him, his lack of creativity gets him the boot.

So what did you think about this episode? Did you think it was curtains for Yigit? How on earth is Danielle still in the competition? Leave a comment....

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