"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Top Chef, season 6, episode 5

Ceviche is the new scallop.

Seriously. What is WITH all the chefs this season obsessing over ceviche? How many ceviches have we seen already this season? We're only on episode 5, and I feel like I've already seen about 89 ceviches. Some of them mispronounced. I almost yearn to see an over-abundance of scallops a la season 5 instead.

Making a trio of ceviches at an outdoor ranch for a bunch of cowboys just doesn't seem like a good idea, no matter what country you're from, so I have no idea why Matin thought it would be a good idea to make ceviche outdoors on a hundred-degree day in a dusty place with outdoor firepits for people who are used to eating slabs of meat. Really? Raw fish in citrus is a good idea in this scenario? No. Just no. Take advantage of those grills and make some steak, hoss!

I loved Eli's reaction to the knowledge that they had to camp overnight at the ranch. I feel EXACTLY the way he does--we've got electricity for a reason! No one should want to sleep in a tent on th ground when they can sleep in a comfy bed. I know people will disagree with me and say oh, camping, the joys of nature, appreciation of the great outdoors, hiking, blah blah, to which I say: I can appreciate all that stuff and then go home at the end of the day and go to sleep in a BED!

And cactus. I have to say I have never eaten cactus, although it's an element of Mexican (and maybe some other Latino) cooking. Many times while perusing the Goya/Latino aisle of the supermarket, I see jars of nopalitos cactus but I never buy them. I have no idea what I'd eat them with or what they taste like. Maybe I should find a recipe and try it out? Or maybe I should just wait to go to a restaurant and have them there. I don't particularly like things with a slimy texture, in terms of eating or preparing, so I'm not so sure how I'd feel about cooking or consuming these things. We'll see. Maybe if I feel adventurous one of these days. (On a ridiculous side note: I had a bunny rabbit named Sassy when I was 13 and my father once gave her a chunk of cactus that had fallen off one of his plants. He trimmed off the spines and put the thing in her cage--it was as big as she was. She didn't seem particularly interested. I remember her grabbing it in her teeth and trying to fling the thing across her cage. Poor bunny. My father treated her like an eating experiment: what will the bunny eat next? Maybe her not being into the cactus was a sign that I should avoid it too. I digress!)

So yes. Matin went home for his raw ceviche, and I definitely thought he deserved to (though Robin's nasty prawns were a pretty strong contender for horrific meal of the deal). He already did rather poorly last week with his overly bacony sauce, which was an embarassment because it was a French cooking challenge and he's French. And he hadn't been doing so well throughout the whole thing--he was never a standout chef, he just sort of coasted through--so while I'll miss his charming accent and natty red neckerchief, I think he'll fade from memory pretty quickly. Not like Hector... I miss that guy!


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