Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in July-ish

How odd do you think that it must have been to be preparing a Thanksgiving meal for a Thanksgiving episode in what…July? Anyway, I know I’m late getting something posted about the show, but with the aforementioned holiday, my mind was elsewhere.

With the chefs breaking into two teams, the assignment was to make dinner for the Foo Fighters and their entourage of roadies that was consistent with a Thanksgiving theme, and fit criteria of likes and dislikes set forth by the band. Oh by the way, they had to cook outside with toaster ovens, microwaves, and one lone burner. I have to give credit to many of the chefs on both teams for quickly assessing the situation and not taking an hour to piss and moan about how lousy the circumstances were. So with a number of ideas in mind, teams “Sexy Pants” and “Cougar” were off to the races.

In a losing effort, Ariane started to take steps in the right direction. She had a strong showing in the preparation of her turkey in a toaster oven. I like to think that I know a thing or two about cooking, but I wouldn’t have had a clue where to begin? And though she found herself on the losing team, the judges were quick to tell her that she was safe from elimination for the week. Good thing too…I don’t think she could have taken the stress of being in the bottom two for the third week in a row.

Jeff found himself on the block with a weak dessert bringing him before the judges. Pumpkin foam and raspberries just don’t sound good together. But Jeff seems to have a mystique and charisma about him that compel people to follow him and trust him, even when they are in competition with him. So with that, he assumed the role of the head chef and did more traffic directing, as a head chef does, than cooking. His leadership, not his food saved him this week.

Richard made a mistake mentally that cost him his station in the kitchen. When reading what the band really liked, he got stuck on bananas. For some reason, he thought it best to pair that idea with S’mores. He just got locked into those two components, and couldn’t let them go.

Originally, I wasn’t a big fan of Fabio. But with the passing of each week, he impresses me more and more. Thanksgiving is an American holiday, holding understandably little significance to a lot of immigrants. But he took the idea of a pumpkin-based dessert and made something he knew in tiramisu. And he did it with toaster ovens and microwaves. Original, creative, and resourceful…exactly the traits that help people go far in this contest or even win it all.

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