Top Chef

Season 4 Episode 2

Zoo Food

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 19, 2008 on Bravo

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
25 votes
  • Two great challenges and some great examples of cooking from the cheftestants.

    The Quickfire Challenge for this episode was very simple: make a dish using only five ingredients, besides some basic spices that they were allowed to not count as one of their ingredients. While one of the chefs included one more ingredient than he should have, the winning chef actually forgot one of his ingredients and still proved that he had the skill to pull off a great dish with minimal supplies. It was nice to see the chefs presented with a challenge that really made them think, and also that demonstrated that less is sometimes better than more.

    The Elimination Challenge was equally creative and also fun. Each group was presented with a list of ingredients from the diet of a certain animal and asked to cater a party with a menu based around the ingredients on the list. The majority of the teams stepped up to the challenge, although the winning team clearly set a standard that was above the rest. The losing dish was, I think, undisputed in this case. Blinis are not a food that can be transported (I've made them before, and not only are they hard to make, but we had to make them for a four hour or so event, so they had to be made on site), and the ingredients listed just didn't sound appetizing, especially since most of them are bland, and since a blini itself is already bland and more accentuated by the topping they have (traditionally caviar or smoked salmon, which have very strong flavors), it is plain to see why this didn't work. One of the guests at the party even said it tasted like dirt. It doesn't get much worse than that.
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