Oh, a vegetarian challenge! What a joy, what a delight to see the looks on everyone's faces when they realized that they were cooking a meal in a steakhouse and couldn't use any meat. It's about effing time y'all back away from the protein and get your veg on.
The TV dinner quickfire was sort of charming, mostly because I didn't grow up eating TV dinners, so to me they are a quaint, charming concept. Almost exotic. (I now think frozen meals are, as a generalization, evil, due to the inordinately terrifying amount of unpronounceable non-foodstuffs that go into them.) I think I just really like the idea of compartmentalized dishes. I have a couple of compartmentalized dishes at home from Target that I use to put snacks out for parties, and I just love them.
That Kevin. Is there a challenge he WON'T win? Are the other cheftestants sort of sick of him already? I would be, if it weren't for his thoughtful, pleasant nature and the fact that he doesn't seem to have a mean bone in that roly-poly body of his.
There was something about the Natalie Portman challenge that perplexed me though (I was recently talking about it with a friend of mine): were they ONLY allowed to use vegetables? I saw no pastas, rice, or meatless substitutes like tofu or seitan going out on dishes. Give that girl some buckwheat noodles to chaw on, for cod's sake! Maybe they just weren't readily availble in the restaurant, or maybe they weren't allowed to use them, but considering that Michael used polenta (ugh) in his dish, I don't suspect that there were any limitations on adding other non-veg elements to the dish.
(Sorry... I just can't stand polenta. It's the texture. It's grainy and creamy all at once. BLARGH. So sue me.)
Anyway. The leeks looked like a pretty bad idea to me. I'm not sure why Mike thought that he could take a leek and make it mimic a scallop, but whatever. I'm not sure why someone would WANT a leek to mimic a scallop. It got him sent home, and that's enough for me. I was NOT a Mike fan, by any stretch of the imagination (although really, maybe it was time to just get rid of Robin, because how many times has she been in the bottom now?). The weirdest part to me was when Jennifer hugged him after he was eliminated, because I sort of thought that they weren't fans of each other.
Speaking of Jennifer, my goodness, girlfriend needs to pull herself together! She is NOT doing well; the stress seems to be getting to her and it seems like she is falling apart at the seams. I hope she can pull it together, because I think she's talented and cooks good food.
Also: as a special bonus to all the Carla lovers, HOOTIE HOO! She was, by far, my favorite cheftestant. LOVE HER.
CHEFTESTANT FAIL #11!