Friday, January 27, 2017

Top Chef: Childhood

This was one of those challenges that had two pitfalls that in some ways hit the newbies a little harder, although certainly Casey got a lot of time to rail at the unfairness to the camera.  One - asking people to access a childhood food memory has been tricky before, because finding that balance between this tastes like my childhood and this is a dish that people who paid $500 to be here at this charity event will approve of is hard to do, even along with getting away from your own attachment with how things from your childhood has tasted.  And well, the event was outside, which was a challenge if you made anything that needed to cool, or rest, or maintain a shape.  
Sylva was able to work through that to great success, and Sheldon and Brooke did great.  John enjoyed the last shot at being in the middle (since now there will only be top and bottom left).  And Shirley made something that wasn't easy to eat when standing at an event, Casey had some seasoning issues, and Emily had issues with the ovens and so the cake smush she served ended up fine, but muddled and not as elevated.  So, Emily got to go home on a dish she was at least proud of, which is pretty much where we are in the competition.  And Casey was so upset that the critique added up to needed more salt.  So here's the thing, I totally get her point that if everything else was great and maybe it just needed a little more salt how is that something she can take forward to the next challenge?  Well, as TV writers on the podcasts listen to when talking about notes from the network, sometimes you have to look beyond the critique.  Needed more salt could mean it needed more salt.  Ultimately it means the flavors didn't sit right.  Might be as simple as salt or acid.  Something was off and I didn't like this as much. And honestly, in the end taste is partially subjective.  If they liked four more people's things more than yours even if yours was good, it doesn't matter.  And that's how competitions where things are decided by judges go.