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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top Chef, season 6, episode 6

Oh no... deconstruction.

Playing with your food. Turning food into art. And all that. 

But is there anything more pretentious and snobby and sort of inherently ridiculous than deconstructing food?

I know this is a trend that people seem to cream their pants over, but I just don't see what's so great about it. Yes, it looks interesting, and it is a challenge to do it well, and sometimes it can be fun, but seriously? I'd rather just have a cohesive, traditional dish done well that is cook properly and tastes great. I guess that's because I'm not a crazy foodie or chef. Maybe what really bothered me about the challenge was some of the foods they chose to deconstruct. I mean, paella? How do you deconstruct a dish that sort of already IS deconstructed? Paella is rice with vegetables and proteins and while they are mixed together, they aren't really blended. They are already separate elements that are placed side by side. Trust me on this---I've eaten a LOT of paella dishes in my life! And fish and chips also boggled my mind because there are three elements to it: fish, batter, and potatoes. Yikes. How do you deconstruct that?

And backing up to the quickfire and Eli's comment about Robin---I don't want to make light of anyone's struggle with cancer, and I find the fact that Robin overcame cancer empowering. But I also wasn't quite sure why she had to bring it up in this challenge. It was about good versus evil, not about overcoming personal struggles or personal battles. You can read a Q&A blog with Eli here to learn about why he said what he did. All struggles with cancer aside, Robin's dish seemed a little lame and I'm not sure it should have won the challenge.

I did think it was sweet that all the chefs (except Robin) wore red scarves as neckerchiefs in honor of Matin. Apparently the Frenchie lives on! And judging by the Quickfire, looks like scallops are back. Are scallops the new ceviche?

Do I think Kevin should have won the Elimination Challenge? Well, based on the fact that I'm not into deconstruction, I certainly think he executed an incredibly complicated dish very well. Mole has dozens of ingredients and the recipes often vary by region, so the fact that he was able to lay out something so complex on such a simple plate that everyone seemed to enjoy made him pretty deserving, in my eyes. I was sad to see Ron go, because he was a jolly guy, but his paella really was atrocious. And seriously, fuck Toby Young. What authority does he have to judge food AND be such a dick about it? I think he's just bitter because his tenure at Vanity Fair was such a spectacular failure and that he's such a magnificent twat. I was SO thrilled when Michelle told him off for his obnoxious comment about why was everyone pronouncing it pa-EY-yah instead of pah-EL-lah. Good for her.


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