brunch

Top Chef: Just Don’t Suck

Fresh off a win, Sylva is feeling “a little unstoppable,” which he thinks is a bad thing.  The six remaining chefs are met in the stew room by Tom Colicchio himself!  He promises a treat for them since they’ve been working hard.  They meet him at a marina the next day and they’re going out shrimping!  Even Brooke with her boat-phobia has a great time.

Padma is waiting for them when they dock.  It’s Quickfire time!  They’re obviously making a shrimp dish, which is not news to them, but the fact that it’s a Sudden Death Quickfire is!  The chefs struggle a little bit being outside their kitchen.  Sylva complains about opening a can with his $400 knife and Shirley is a little loopy from the motion sickness medication she took to brave the boat.

The three chefs with Tom & Padma’s least favorite dishes are facing off for elimination.  Sheldon is definitely safe, producing the best dish.  Casey, Shirley, and Sylva are going to have to fight to stay in the competition.  For the cookoff, the three are to use the other things they caught during their shrimping trip– squid, skate, and the like.  It’s a close fight, but Casey is eliminated for chewy calamari.

Phew, all that before the episode’s main challenge!  Padma says it’s time to have fun with your food.  The creator of the cronut, Chef Domanique Ansel, comes out to talk about brunch.  The chefs are to put on a brunch– the judges aren’t looking for anything traditional, but for unique mash-ups.  Man, this sounds hard!  (Slash, I really want to try Tom fois grasffle.)

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Belated Birthday in Beacon Hill

At this point, my birthday was over a week ago… 10 days to be exact!  On the day itself, I celebrated by going to dinner with my family.  This weekend, my friend’s threw me a little birthday brunch to ring in my next year.  It snowed heavily in Boston on Saturday morning, and by the time we left the streets were slick with slush.  Still, I shuffled through Beacon Hill with a belly full of brunch, bag full of gifts, and heart full of thanks. Here’s my belated birthday recap! IMG_6919 [1] My brother got me a record player for my birthday! [2] He got my Taylor Swift’s 1989 as my first record. This is also the year I was born!  [3] My friend Julia got me this adorable iphone case featuring a dachshund drinking Starbucks and a nautical monogram wine tumbler! [4] My dear friend Stacie sent me these adorable dachshund magnets!  Are you sensing a theme? [5] My first selfie of age 26.  Eep. [6] Beacon Hill Bistro where I dined with my sweet friends Carissa, Kelsey, Chelsea, Sarah, and Elaina. [7] Poached eggs with hollandaise is my absolute favorite! [8] Carissa made me a cross-stitch Piplup! [9] Kelsey bought me these awesome Edward Gorey Tarot cards while we browsed the paper shops on Charles St.  My friends just get me. A sincere thank you to everyone who made me feel so special as I entered the latter half of my twenties.  It was a wonderful birthday and I sure hope that sets the precedent for the year!  And happy birthday to my fellow Capricorns!

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 16 Chefs Compete

“As chefs, we’re constantly required to use our minds 24/7,”

Uhh, Chef Ramsay, I’m pretty sure you mean as human beings… Regardless of this sentence bothering me grammatically and logistically, this is how Gordon introduces the memory/creativity challenge.  Our chefs are greeted by 58 silver domes, where 24 pairs of ingidients wait to be discovered in a giant game of memory.  The chefs work in pairs to match ingredients for four proteins: chiekn, ahi tuna, swordfish, and pork chop.  A match means they must use the ingredient, so it could be a double-edged sword.  Both teams run into this– the women end up with both brown rice and bastami rice, and the men end up with three kinds of potatoes!  Once the ingredients are assigned to proteins, the same pairs cook together.  Red and Blue go head to head on…

  • chicken, and both teams win the point
  • pork chop, and the men take the point
  • tuna, and the ladies take the point
  • swordfish where the women use both rices, but the men make a bigger mistake and lose!

The men have put hollandaise on the swordfish which Ramsay treats as a sin.  Although I can totally understand how this does not work, I am over-the-moon about hollandaise and would probably happily eat it on anything.

As punishment, the men have to harvest honey and pull honey taffy.

As a reward, the women enjoy a day at Laguna Beach!

The next day, Chef Ramsay wakes the teams up to a surprise wedding taking place in Hell’s Kitchen.  The elimination challenge has the chefs cooking wedding brunch including Belgian waffles, lobster scrambled eggs, and what the announcer calls a croque monsieur, but is actually a croque madame– the egg makes it a madame!

IMG_0447Remember Julia, the Waffle House contestant from seasons past?  This challenge reminded me of that breakfast service that let her shine.  Ramsay sent her to culinary school which, after winning, is the best of results from a show like this.

This service did not go as well as Julia’s season’s breakfast service.  Though the fruit salad appetizer goes out easily, exploding and undercooked eggs hinder progress.  Eventually, the teams find a rhythm and it’s a race to finish their respective sides of the dining room.  Both get down to the very last ticket, but the ladies clench the victory!  This means the men must my nominations for elimination.  Ralph, red-faced and Boston-accented to a fault, makes an argument for Demarco and Gabriel.

At elimination, Chef Ramsay adds Richard to the mix, calling him out on his performance.  Even though Richard and Gabriel lost the challenge for the Blue Team, as iterated by Chef Ramsay, there’s no doubt that Demarco is the obvious choice to go.  He’s been nominated for elimination every single week, and Ramsay stayed true to his word: this was Demarco’s last chance.