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Last Restaurant Standing - Review

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Before I start my review today I just wanted to mention 2 things. 1, that happy chicken week will resume tomorrow with a recipe for risotto using that great chicken stock, and 2, that the new season of Top Chef starts tonight on Bravo. This is hands down the best reality show about food there is on TV. (ha) Definitely check it out tonight. I WON'T be reviewing the show because a ton of other sites do including my favorite food blog Serious Eats. Also because it comes on at 3AM in Bermuda and I have to watch it a day or 2 later. I will however tell you that without seeing even one episode, or knowing anything about personality, TFIMB dot com is officially supporting Andrew for winner of top chef season 4. Just look at that formidable beard.

Now on to Last Restaurant Standing!

I loved this episode. It was interesting, funny, and the right team went home. It was refreshing after last weeks lame episode.

This was a challenge week meaning somebody is going home. Today's challenge was to focus on local and seasonal ingredients - something that is very important on many chefs' minds these days. But not Jeremy's...

Jeremy and Jane of "8 in the country" had a real tough time finding local ingredients in their area. Shop owners kept telling them nothing was in season. The things they could find were fairly expensive which inspired moronic quotes from Jeremy such as "if its more expensive to buy local, then I don't agree with it." While this could be true of a budding restaurant entrepreneur, any chef should know the value of buying and eating local. Especially when it is the main point of the challenge. They ended up making things like parsnip soup even though the season ended over 3 months ago.

Grant and Laura of "Jack Thompsons" got lucky. Their restaurant is in a very historic area and they were able to find all sorts of farms and great local fresh in season produce. One of the stores they went to was amazing with veggies bursting off the walls and animals roaming around in the back. They also hired an expert on medieval cooking to help them come up with a menu. Because of her influence, most of the dishes looked unappealing, however the diners and judge were all impressed by the taste.

Nicola and Tom of "Monks" also did a good job gathering the local ingredients. One thing I thought was funny was toms discussion with a butcher. He was asking about the pigs and the butcher said, "yea they are just all out back in the barn" to which Tom replied "are they free range? Can they walk around?" and the butcher said "no, the one wall is open so they get fresh air and sun, but they can not roam freely." Then the scene cut to the outside where tom was saying that they couldn't buy the meat because it was against their ethics. Well Tom, you weren't thinking of your ethics last week when you were running rampant through the supermarket grabbing whatever meat you could, I mean, they didn't specifically show him buying free range or not, but I think the show would have focused on the fact if it was true that that was the only kind of meat they buy. The show does focus on this with the twins restaurant "green and brown" so I think they would have mentioned it. So Tom, is it against YOUR ethics? Or this episodes ethics?

Judging was also fun this week. We find out that Jeremy and Jane bought stuff from India and Australia.... In a local food challenge. Wow. This prompted an Oscar deserving performance from Jeremy where he could not figure out what to say so he instead was rubbing his hands all around his face and head and taking dramatic deep breaths while Jane spoke for him. We also realize that Adua is kind of a Biotch selling out whoever she is teammates with (she did it at the last challenge too but 2 times is too many). Nicola received the same complaints she always gets. She is a good home cook but not good in a restaurant kitchen. I have liked Nicola all along because she seems like a nice lady, is a smart businesswoman and I bet can cook you some awesome food in her kitchen BUT this all doesn't matter here, she needs to know how to cook restaurant food. Also Tom is awful, if I saw that monk suit one more time I don't know what I would have done. This is why I think the judges made the correct decision today. Even though Tom and Nicola did better in the particular challenge, their restaurant was closed. This is because 8 in the country has a lot of potential, and monks has none.

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Hey, Dan...Amy turned me on to your blog and I love it! Before Top Chef debuted Season 4 a couple of weeks ago, I, too, had picked Andrew to win based on this bio and work experience, but after seeing the first two episodes....I dunno; I think he's going to have a hard time! My top were Andrew, Nikki (but she seems like a control freak), Manuel (haven't heard much from him yet), Spike, and Ryan. Valerie looks like Rachel Dratch, don't you think?

My place is shit for entertaining otherwise I'd have y'all over on a Wednesday night to watch Top Chef at the actual air time (I have Dish Satellite so I get it at the normal time).

Now....I need to look into this "Last Restaurant Standing" show!


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