Top Chef

Season 2 Episode 7

The Raw and the Cooked

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 06, 2006 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

This round's theme is all about working with limitations. First the contestants must create a dish that is not cooked, and then they must plan a dish without knowing the kitchen equipment that will be available to them. Guest Judge: Raphael Lunetta QuickFire Challenge: Create an Entree Using Only Raw Food Without any Cooking. Elimination Challenge: Create a Gourmet Breakfast for Mystery Athletes. Round Seven.moreless

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  • Well at least this time they actually cooked something...

    I was mildly impressed with this episode. For once they actually cooked food and did a half way decent job of it. I am glad that Marcel won the quick fire, he did good. And I am impressed with Betty, she was not as evil and actually nice this time. The team actually used team work. Frank for sure needed to go, what a jerk. Ok I don't really like Mike that much but he is better than Frank any day. I thought it was cool that they did a beach and surfing. And it was cute to see Marcel and Elia playing together. All in all it was an ok show maybe they will all step it up a little.moreless
  • Fun and Sun at the beach -NOT!

    This was an interesting set of challenges. The cold challenge was ok. I am not sure why Marcel won, I don't consider his dish an entree. I thought it was a good looking salad. Also, once again we see Marcel doing the multi item plate instead of one item.

    For the elimination challenge I thought the beach was great. It was like a huge equalizer. I was glad to see Betty get back on track and for that matter all of the women in the top three.

    I don't think Frank should have been eliminated. I think you see one of the problems with the single elimination format. Frank is a strong cook who has done well in prior challenges and yet one error and he is gone. If that was the way it should be then Micheal would have been gone long ago. I would love to see this show go to double elimination. It would not be hard. Any combination of two loses Quick fire or Elimination and you are gone. Get rid of immunity and I think this makes a contest of it.moreless
  • Breakfast on the beach

    Betty was chosen in the bottom again for her quick fire dish. Marcel won his first quick fire challange and won imunity for the next elimination round. The next elimination challange is to cook breakfast for athletes outside in the sand over a pit. Michael left his eggs so he solicited the help of the others. I was glad they helped him. I think this was the first elimination challange where majortiy of the chefs were nervious about their dish. The top three were all women and I was happy about that. At the end Frank was the one that got sent home.moreless
  • This week's theme was to work wih limitations. In the Quickfire they were asked to shop at a fresh market and then create a dish without cooking. The Elimination Challenge was to cook breakfast over a barbecue pit at a beach for surfers.moreless

    The chefs were told that they were going to be asked to work with some major limitations for this one and they didn't lie. In the Quickfire their task was to use products obtained at a fresh market in a dish that they were not allowed to heat. A surprising number of the chefs hit the seafood vendors with mixed results. Elia's tuna was well received but Betty's halibut was one of the worst dishes. They also approved of Frank's scallops and Marcel's watermelon steak with Marcel topping the group and earning immunity. The Elimination challenge was presented as a mystery. They were told that they would be cooking for athletes after a workout at their training ground but were <i>not</i> told what equipment would be available to them. This proved crucial, since the athletes were surfers and they were expected to cook over beach barbecue pits. This difficulty was overcome with grace by the three women but Frank, Sam, and Cliff greatly rued their choices at the supermarket of the previous day. In the end Elia was the favorite and Frank, who's salmon scramble was a long way from his planned quiche was told to pack his knives and go. The contestants as a whole rose gracefully to this challenge. The judges had few complaints about the <i>flavors</i> of even the bottom three chefs, and the decision came down to presentation. I would have picked Mia as the winner, and Cliff as the loser simply because of the sand in his food. There was good interaction amongst the chefs- Michael and Frank's sniping, Marcel's arrogance, and Betty's redemptive moment when she gave Michael some of her eggs. Even Mia was a gracious loser, looking genuinely pleased for Elia instead of furious that she was passed over yet again.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • First Run Fan Poll:

      Who has overstayed their welcome?

      A. Betty 25%
      B. Frank 27%
      C. Michael 48%

      (all percentages as of the end of the episode.)

    • Despite having to cook on the beach, only one chef's food had sand in it- the hash made by Cliff.

    • The surfers' favorite was Mia's crab cake. Their least favorite was Sam's "Toad in the Hole Bagel".

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes:

      >Mia - Mama Mia's crab cakes Benedict with mango cream sauce.
      >Elia - "Organic Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: Waffle with ham, cheese & fried eggs.
      >Ilan - Spanish tortilla on "pan con tomate" with chipotle aioli.
      >Betty - Black Forest ham & egg bundle, corn & leek ragout on rustic toast.
      >Frank - Zucchhini & salmon scramble, cannoli cream with strawberries & Holland waffle.
      >Cliff - Chicken apple sausage with sweet potato hash & chive scrambled eggs.
      >Sam - Scrambled eggs with basil-almond pesto served "Toad in the Hole" style.
      >Michael - Chicken & egg tacos.
      >Marcel - Poached eggs, hash browns, gravlax & cream cheese with bacon lardons.

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes:

      *Betty - Fresh halibut ceviche, Kyoho grape guacamole.
      *Mia - Fresh corn salad with tomatoes, chili, avocado & creamy lime dressing.
      *Ilan - Summer squash with tomato sauce, walnut & almond pesto.
      *Cliff - A salad of radishes, french beans & bronze fennel with tomato butter puree.
      *Elia - Tuna with spinach, onions, sesame, lime, ginger & garlic.
      *Frank - Scallop carpaccio with radish salad, smoked salmon & honey vinaigrette.
      *Sam - Crudo of summer squash, zucchini with a quick pickle of peaches, plums & grapes.
      *Mike - Watermelon Napoleon with avocado, cilantro & salmon jerky.
      *Marcel - Watermelon & Tomato Trio: Watermelon steak, tomato carpaccio, nasturtiums & opal basil.

    • Frank is sent home.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Michael: (of the QuickFire Challenge) I don't eat raw food, so I'm like, 'What the hell am I gonna do?'

    • Frank: I am the sacrificial lamb.

    • Cliff: (at the Judges' Table) There's no way I'm going home.

    • Marcel: I'm stoked; it's my first win. Not to mention the fact that I was totally proud of my dish today. My performance could not have been any more soigné.

    • Frank: Mike is definitely a hack. I don't think Mike could cook his way out of a paper bag, unless it had french fries with it.

    • Michael:I'm getting to the end, where like I'm plating up, and Frank's working next to me, and he's humping some gorilla on his prep table or something, you know. Shaking everything, It's like a freaking 7.0 earthquake. I Hope Frank goes home.

    • Frank: I've been on a roll lately. I've been in the top three the last four shots. For the past eight, ten years, I've been the best at my field, and I'm fully relying on my abilities to take me over the top.

    • Sam: I feel like I have a great chance at the title. People know that I'm a force. And um, and a team leader, ya know, and I think I have a great shot.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Lee Anne and the production team had a difficult time ironing out the rules for the QuickFire Challenge, since there is more than one way to cook food. Aside from applying heat, a common way to cook food is to marinate it in an acid, such as lime juice. They decided to make things clearcut for the contestants by limiting the rules to no heating, no flames.

    • Special Thanks: Redondo Beach Farmer's Market and Leo Carrillo Beach.

    • Raphael Lunetta, the guest judge, is a former Food & Wine magazine "Best New Chef," and now is the chef and owner of JiRaffe, a restaurant/bistro in Santa Monica, California.


    • Sam: So my idea behind this challenge was to call the dish Green Eggs and Ham, 'Sam I am', you know.

      Green Eggs and Ham is a children's book by Dr. Seuss.

      The title is a sort of pun. In the United States, "green eggs and ham" is a breakfast menu item in which normal eggs are cooked with spinach or some other green vegetable, and served with normal ham. The plot revolves around Sam-I-am's efforts to get his friend to try "green eggs and ham" meaning literal green eggs and green ham.