Top Chef- Part 2 (The Results)

28 Aug

I know… the anticipation is killing you.

I was nervous about a few things going into the competition.  First, I had the insane plan to cook pasta in a microwave.  Luckily it was fresh pasta which cooks pretty well just by soaking in water, however, I was afraid the texture would be terrible or it just wouldn’t work at all.  Second, there weren’t any real guidelines for setting up, prepping, etc. So I’d have to wing it.  And wing it I did!

I went down early to claim a spot at a table (I thought I was first in line for the judges but wound up being last… Oh well!)  When I went to say hello to our host, I noticed he was speaking with someone vaguely familiar.  It turns out it was Lisa Fernandes, runner up of Top Chef Season 4, who was going to be our guest judge!  How exciting!  This is where my dorky excitement for TV chefs came out.

It took a very long time to heat the water for the pasta in the microwave, and when I saw steam, I gave up on the notion of waiting for boiling.  I threw the pasta in and in less than 2 minutes it was done.  I strained it into the hallways sink and it actually tasted quite good!  I knew it was going to get gummy quickly, however, but I decided it was worth the risk.

I set up the chocolate peanut butter bars in a plate tower and they looked quite lovely.

(the flash gave this a very ethereal shot)

At noon on the dot, people started coming up for food.  I was “plating” my pasta and crab cakes with beurre blanc sauce like a mad woman! I decided to put them all into golden cupcake cups.  It made for a nice, cheap little serving bowl!

As the tasting went on, people started spreading the word and before I knew it, I was almost out of everything!  I had to make a little corner reserve for the judges and thank goodness I did.  I was out within 20 minutes. 

There were about 20 other cooks around the room, however, I was so busy serving that I didn’t get to see, photograph, or try any of the other food.  Shame!

Judge’s Table was pretty intense.  There was a lot of hush hush discussion going on.  Have I mentioned yet that I am incredibly competitive?  I was quite anxious waiting for the announcement.

First they announced the top dishes for audience choice.  My chocolate peanut butter bars tied for first!  So exciting.

Then they announced the top three judges picks.  They named the dates wrapped in bacon, the sweet dumplings, and…. MY CRAB CAKES!  After some more discussion, Lisa chose the winner…


She said that my sauce was great and the “perceived effort” (a judging point) was deemed high.  She mentioned that she was impressed that I cooked the pasta in the microwave and that she had never done that herself.  I was awarded my grand prize of a BBQ set from a publisher (which is funny since I do not have a BBQ and have received more publisher shwag than most anyone).  My ego boost was the big prize though. 🙂  Ok… ok… the real winner was the charity.  We raised $600 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters (it was $10 a person to “sample.”)

Anyway… back to me winning!

It was a proud moment.  A proud moment indeed!

On a personal note, this will post just about the time that I get out of gallbladder surgery on Friday morning.  Unfortunately, the next few weeks will probably be slow in terms of food (since I won’t be eating much, and especially not anything interesting), so I have decided to leave you with a high note for now.  I hope to return hungry and ready to nom soon.  Stay tuned!

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