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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top Chef, season 6, episode 11

Like whoa. It was about time that Robin disappear from Top Chef. Seriously! She's been on the chopping block for quite some time and although I wasn't part of the cult of hating Robin, I just didn't think she deserved to be there and she was long overdue for a departure.

But I have to say that I wasn't surprised to see Eli in the bottom three. His dish was 5 kinds of nasty. Peanuts and apples? In a chunky soup? Topped with ground popcorn? And a weird raspberry sauce foam type thing? WTF! How does ANY of that sound good by itself? How does combining any of those things, let alone ALL of them, make sense? YUCK! It honestly sounded too disgusting for words.

So even though I think that Eli's dish was, by far, the most epic fail of the three bottom-tier contestants, I think they were just tired of Robin being there and they sent her home. Yes, her dish was technically not as horrendous as Eli's, but the judges did point out that she fucked up something as simple and basic as a panna cotta--and this IS the umpteenth time she's been in the bottom three.

I just have to pause and point out here that I wouldn't know a good--or bad--panna cotta if it punched me in the face. This is because I tend to avoid all types of gelatinous desserts. I can handle something with the soft and creamy consistency of a pudding or mousse. I can handle something with the harder yet still melty and solidly creamy consistency of hard ice cream. But everything in between--mostly the custard family and the Jell-O family--I just can't handle it. It's something about the texture... it just grosses me out. It's moist and slippery, and you sort of have to chew it just the slightest bit because even though it's soft, it's still sort of... solid. Yugh. And Jell-O is just too disgusting for words. It reminds me of being sick (I had a lot of problems with my stomach as a child, and was even hospitalized for horrible stomach aches and bouts of vomiting that NO ONE, not even the doctors, could figure out). I ate a LOT of Jell-O as a child, and it was gross. That globby, wobbly texture in my mouth; the filmy skin on top; the slightly gritty last spoonful at the bottom of the dish that was sometimes there when the powder didn't dissolve all the way---UGH. All of it brings back horrible memories. So can you blame me if I'm not into custards and such? Which I know means I should be thrown against a wall and pelted with over-ripe fruit, because what good Cubanita doesn't eat flan--but I just can't handle it!

So yes... Robin deserved to go home. Because she just wasn't on the same level as the other chefs, because she didn't know how to make a proper panna cotta, and because she made a panna cotta at all.


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