This may be spottier than usual, I’m bouncing back and forth between election results and top chef. Yes, a DVD/R would be very useful tonight. If I could figure out how to work one–the VCR never did have the right time set.
Skip the opening foolishness and jump right into QF challenge–Susur Lee will be judging!  I love this guy. And his cookbook/bio Susur: A Culinary Life is awesome. Oh, Dustin worked for him for years, but Susur assures us that all will be judged equally.
Create signature salad! 30 minutes! Lots of running, greens, and yammering about fresh, crisp, clean.  Caplin!  Oh, that’s different, what else did Todd pack in his NL suitcase?  So far that’s seal flippers and smoked caplin. Perfumey!  Judging. Much politeness as Susur tastes. Not too much commentary, but thanks all round.
Disasters: Francois/too heavy, Todd/textures didn’t match, Rob/execution–Rob’s was the worst. It motivates him to try harder. Do you suppose the Top Cheftestants were provided with a dictionary of reality tv catchphrases?  Because mostly, they don’t have much else to say.
Favourites: Darrell/simple and good taste, Andrea/lots of ingredients combined well, Dustin/acidity in balance (good thing, it would be embarrassing if he sucked)
Winner-Dustin. Oh.  Not sure what to think about that.
Prize: immunity!

Challenge: Another team one, with knife drawing to determine what ethnic cuisine they’ll be doing. Lets see what countries are involved. Jamaica, Japan, Ethiopia, Mexican, Korea, Portuguese…with the exception of team Mexico no one seems to be happy about the food choices. Speaking of bad luck, Jamie and Dale are paired up. Ewwww.
One person does the hot, the other the cold. One shops at Loblaws, the other at a market specialising in the cuisine they’ve picked.
I’m going back to election results and be back for the judging. Hang in there!

Judges tables!
Korea Darryl/Chris presentation good!  textures vivid! good kimchee! Overall well received.
Jamaica Francois/Patrick no jerk/potato undercooked/overcomplicated/Patrick fares better but neither had any heat
Japan Rob/Andrea fish not cold enough/flavours not good/mushy noodles/flat for both
Mexico Dustin/Derek bottled sauce taste/not too many comments so-so
Portugal Jamie/Dale elegant/nice/best so far for Dale, not so good for Jamie
Ethiopia Todd/Connie plate not Ethiopian says Susur about the presentation/Connie’s delicious moist tasty/Todd knocked salad out of park
They have much, much praise of this meal regarding modern and traditional combos. I think NL Todd will be safe again.
Susur’s not so polite at judge’s table. MM is mean too–but they are both not gratuitously mean, their comments are warranted. And their passion for food is clear:
when it’s good, their praise is just as intense, meaningful, heartfelt.

Winning Team: Connie and Todd!  Holy Hannah!  The toughest cuisine pulled off quite well. Todd–good for you buddy, you’re darn tootin’ there’s not much Ethiopian food in St. John’s!
Unlike Halifax, where at one point there were two–the Ethiopia and Addis Ababa. And both on the same street! Both had very good, cheap, hearty food, but eventually petered out.

Derek packs his knives and exits graciously, with more maturity than his cooking showed.

Back to the elections!

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