Thursday, April 16, 2009

Episode #6 - Who's Dreamin' now?!

So the final three came down to East vs. West, Red vs. Black, Married vs. Divorced (and two single chicks)...and it ended up being a classic show down. First of all, there was not another couple in the other restaurant we would rather have been going up against for a spot in the final two. Sheri and Dean are real fighters, they are amazing in the front and back of house, and they give their heart and soul but at the end of the day to own a restaurant you have to naturally think outside the box, be creative and inventive not only with your food, but with your decor and front of the house presentation and out of the three couples I think the West Coast had them beat on all fronts. 

The Great White Challenge: Hands down the hardest thing to that day Kelsey was faced with. Re-creating Marco's dishes with experience and time is hard enough, but not having either of those made this challenge almost hard to watch. What they didn't show was that once Dean started tasting Marco's sauces the producers came right in and took them away, so neither Kelsey or Lisa had that opportunity. What would have been fair, since Dean has already been tasting them for 5 minutes would be to let the girls have another taste, but that wasn't the way the cookie crumbled. Once again Lisa decided to trash talk Kelsey acting like she wasn't a team player, but if you look closely Kelsey was screwed either way. She could let both Lisa's dishes count and be called a coward who always lets Lisa lead, or she could insist that one of hers count and look like she wasn't a team player, and we all know how it ended up. I remember Kelsey coming back to the restaurant after this challenge, border line tears, and she and I had to have a sister to sister re-grouping to get back in the game. Truth of the matter was that everyone (producers, contestants and Marco) were trying to make Kelsey feel like she wasn't a strong enough competitor. Thank goodness Marco pointed out that Kelsey is like the tortoise, she may be quite and start off slow, but her food makes a statement every time with the critic and she gets her job suck it anti-Kelsey's!!! And being in the final two as the youngest and least experienced team says enough about the strengths that she and I have as a team.

This gets me into another topic that really isn't shown on the show. Kelsey and I working as a team within a team. It really doesn't come through but she and I helped each other out as well. Kelsey helped clean and fold napkins in the front of the house and I made desserts and prepped for the back of the house. I never saw Anapol in the kitchen, and forget about Lisa coming helping front of house. Kelsey and I both have the skills to be in either area of a restaurant. Granted Kelsey was born to be a chef, and I love to schmooze, but if needed we could both switch and survive, which comes into play in next weeks episode. 

Back to breakfast and lunch. Breakfast started out with a bang. It's funny how we were told there would be 40 people for breakfast and 40 for lunch, yet our restaurant seated at least 65 people and was booked to the max, and we turned tables. 40 people my ass!!! Breakfast was a blast, everyone loved it and all of the people eating in the restaurant for that service were related to the show (friends, family and neighbors of producers or people working on the show) so seeing familiar faces and being able to chit chat was really nice. 

Cut to lunch...strangers again! The Riedel family (glassware sponsor) came in for lunch, I think they showed me using their dark purple decanter to pour the wine they were drinking. So once again I was waiting on the sponsors and the critic. As soon as Andrew Knowlton walked in I recognized him. Mainly because I am the biggest Iron Chef fan there is, and he is always on that show. And he does guest appearances on Top Chef every now and again, which coincidentally was on while we were in NY and he was on the show (very surreal). 

So despite Anapol insisting that there was no way we could have won the breakfast/lunch challenge, we did! Which leads me to a total side bar. It is at this point in the show that Anapol becomes exhausted, negative and kind of like and old lady that's been played. He starts complaining, thinking people are sabotaging us, and really rubbing customers the wrong way. That combined with his mad scientist hair (on his head and chest) and blunt humor, makes for a very interesting episode come next week. 

All and all I loved that the four California contestants are going to the finals (Dream on Angie). All of us are creative, hip and passionate. We all love to compete, we keep it clean (minus Lisa's foul mouth, the woman no joke has the mouth of a truck driver and ship captain combined) and we are all good at what we do. I honestly don't feel that any of the other teams would have had the skills to go up against what we go up against, which leads back to why we are in the finals in the first place. Kelsey and I got lucky, we stayed on the show by default on select episodes, but we also worked our butts off we proved to Marco that we learn fast and that we can produce quality results (plus who are we kidding Kelsey is the hottest chef the kitchen has ever seen, so being easy on the eyes wasn't working against us that's for sure). Let's just hope we can stand our ground and survive. 

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