Top Chef

Season 1 Episode 9

Napa's Finest

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 03, 2006 on Bravo

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
24 votes
  • Chefs are to prepare a dish using black truffles and a rare wine.

    This episode was a sad one for me, because Lee Anne was eliminated.

    The Quickfire Challenge was to take a junk food and make it fancier, for a lack of better words on my part. Dave chose nachos, and failed. Lee Anne chose hot dogs, and made a japanese sausage that was well received. Tiffani chose the corn dog, and hers was also well received. Harold came out on top, with a popcorn dish that had the judges singing his praises.

    Harold rightfully won this challenge in my opinion, and Dave rightly lost. There was no question about this challenge.

    At the market, they all got their ingredients. Lee Anne got lamb, followed shortly by Tiffani, and then by Harold. Dave wisely chose beef.

    They prepared their meals, and when the judges tasted them, they enjoyed each, but found problems with each as well.

    At the judge's table Lee Anne was unjustly eliminated, in my opinion. Had she gone first, the outcome most likely would have been different, because the chef's palates would not have had lamb in them :(
  • Final 'challange' episode. Next its the final in Vegas.

    In the quickfire challenge, Harold won the day putting him in good shape for the elimination challenge. Dave was Dave and lost the quickfire challenge completely! This put Tiffany and Lea Ann in the position of controlling their own destiny.

    This battle was partially decided at the market place when three of the contestants went for lamb. This turned out to be a strategic mistake of huge proportion.

    When the cooking started, it was interesting to see how the personality of the individual chef manifested itself in their dishes. Harold in his element (high quality ingredients, meat), Tiffany finally had her audience of choice, Lea Ann free to show her skills, and Dave who was able to stay true to himself.

    In the end, Dave’s simple meal went the furthest to highlight the key ingredients (truffles and Schaefer Reserve wine). His Mac and cheese was the star. By doing beef, he had separated himself from the pack and allowed his food to be judged for what it was, really, really, good food!

    Harold and Dave won outright, sadly Lea Ann lost because she just tried to meld to many flavors and textures, and she used lamb. By the time she delivered her plates, the judges had already tasted two other lamb presentations. Had she gone first, the results may have been different.

    Las Vegas should be interesting, Dave, Harold, and Tiffany. I think early odds put Harold 1st, Tiffany 2nd, and Dave as the dark horse. But as the saying goes, on any given day, anyone can win!

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