Kelly the Culinarian: Media meal: Top Chef's meat extravaganza

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Media meal: Top Chef's meat extravaganza

This episode was all about the meat. To begin the episode, the remaining five chefs were given 20 minutes to create seven tomahawk steaks out of a slab of dry-aged beef. Not only was the slab huge, but dry age is really tough to cut through.
Spike won this through superior butchering skills. His secret was to cut off the aged parts and then trim up the chops to the signature lolly pop shape. The quickfire had nothing to do with taste -- after butchering, the chefs got 30 minutes to create a medium-rare steak. It was all about the cooking and butchering. Some chefs went with hybrid combinations of stove, oven or grill, while others braised in butter or oil. But the butchering is really what made the steak.
As a result of his win, Spike got the advantage of yet again picking what ingredients he would like to use in the elimination challenge, which meant the other chefs couldn't use it. And he blew it again.
The chefs were tasked with taking over Rick Tramonto's signature steak house, Tramonto's Steak and Seafood, for the evening. The joint is actually located in Wheeling, just in case you're considering a trek.

The VIP judges table included the winners from the past three seasons. No pressure, or anything.

Spike chose frozen scallops and the tomahawk steak. The scallops were one hot mess. As they thawed, he realized they were all ill prepared and soggy. In his attempt to shake the competition, he did himself a huge disservice. He got himself eliminated over it, just shy of the final four. Lisa was also in the bottom with another ill conceived dish.

Stephanie, while she was on the bottom at the quickfire for an overcooked steak, took the prize at this challenge. Antonia and Richard also got the nod for favorite plates.

So get ready for the final round in Puerto Rico! Sounds delicious. And don't worry, I'm sure we'll see the eliminated chefs as assistants in the final episode.

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