Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Zoo Food"

Season 4, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: The culinary crew works with fresh fare from a farmers' market for the quick-fire competition. Then, they must cater a swanky event at a zoo.
Original Air Date: Mar 19, 2008

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Season 4, Episode 2
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Aired: 3/19/2008
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Zoo Food Season 4, Episode 2

In this second episode of the new season of Top Chef, first impressions may change. A fowl-mouthed zebra can change his stripes and some winners who were proud peacocks ate crow. If we continue to see more sunny sites of the city, I may have to take a trip to Chicago. The outdoor Green City Market, making locally grown food available to chefs and the public, was a great location to begin the Quickfire Challenge. With all of the fresh meats and produce, the hardest part for the cheftestants was selecting only five ingredients to prepare an entrèe. After everyone scrambled to locate his or her choices, Spike took a moment to chill and watch a guitar player perform. As Mark was zipping from stand to stand, I felt bad for him when he had forgotten to take his mizuna (a peppery lettuce that I think is similar to mustard greens). And I wasn't quite sure what Richard was going to come up with when choosing the eucalyptus leaves. Richard had a potential soul mate with molecular gastronomist and guest judge Wylie Dufresne, who said they "tend to play in the same sand box." But Richard's braised chicken with apples, eucalyptus and butter disappointed and was deemed oily. Using the aromatic plant was certainly an original choice, but since oil was an allowable option, perhaps he should have omitted the butter. Andrew was unfocused and eventually disqualified after listing six items. (I laughed when Padma noticed the mistake and slowly said: "Did you say balsamic?") Ryan bounced back nicely from the chicken piccata debacle to create a "moist and juicy" sirloin with lettuce, radishes, potatoes and Dijon. Even with one item down, Mark pulled through to win immunity by also preparing a sirloin but was cited for contrasting the bitterness of a turnip with the sweetness of peaches. Heading over to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the Elimination Challenge, the chefs were to cater a party for 200 people and pulled knives with assorted animal names on them to become teams of three. Yes, I was initially puzzled too and let's just say I was glad to hear that the teams were to prepare foods based on what the animals eat. I can't quite imagine a vulture snacking on Team Vulture's tasty menu. Zoi soared high with her Moroccan lamb meatballs with ricotta and pomegranate syrup as did Mark with his anchovy on quinoa croquettes. Over on Team Penguin, Andrew toned down his language and came up as the winner this week. His charred squid ceviche with soy-balsamic tapioca is the dish I wanted to taste the most. Also his yuzu and mint glacier sounded better when I realized I confused the sour citrus fruit with kuzu (a root starch used as a thickener). Dale, appropriately on Team Bear, was at odds with Nikki and her mushrooms stuffed with blueberries. At the judge's table Dale repeated that he didn't produce the dish yet he topped them with more pecorino cheese without telling Nikki or Spike. Gail Simmons said they looked like something the bears would produce instead of eat! The biggest problem was serving them to the judges - cold - after it was decided to hold them back. Incorporating meat into the vegetarian guideline for Team Gorilla wasn't a setback. The judges were pleased with Antonia's lamb and edamame lettuce cups. But former coworkers Valerie and last week's winner Stephanie each prepared items that should have been made on the spot and ultimately had moisture problems. Stephanie premixed her roasted pear and crab salad, tossing it with salt, which drew liquid from the pears and made it watery. She got points for serving her mother's banana bread with caramel sauce. Valerie should have waited to make her black olive blinis to order. The small pancakes would have tasted fresh, not soggy and soft, and would have prevented her from being asked to pack her knives and go. Second Bites " Someone on Team Lion made a Bison Tartare with a tarragon coulis. Bison is not a part of my regular diet. And though I'm familiar with a fruit or vegetable coulis (an uncooked, puréed sauce) how exactly was the tarragon coulis made? " Regarding the text poll, wouldn't you say Judge Tom is more of a bear than a gorilla or a penguin? (Though I've seen some waiters look like penguins.) " Do you think Antonia contributed to Valerie's exit when responding to Tom that given the option she would rather hire Stephanie? " Did anyone expect Richard to disappoint guest judge Wylie? " Has Andrew redeemed himself from his questionable first impression last week? For more tasty treats about Top Chef, check out our Online Video Guide. show less
In this second episode of the new season of Top Chef first impressions may change A fowl-mouthed zebra can change his stripes and some winners who were proud peacocks ate crowIf we continue to see more sunny sites of the city I may have to take a trip to Chicago The outdoor Green City Market making locally grown food available to chefs and the public was a great location to begin the Quickfire Challenge With all of the fresh meats and produce the hardest part for the cheftestants was selecting only five ingredients to prepare an entr232e After everyone scrambled to locate his or her choices Spike took a moment to chill and watch a guitar player perform As Mark was zipping from stand to stand I felt bad for him when he had forgotten to take his mizuna a peppery lettuce that I think is similar to mustard greens And I wasnt quite sure what Richard was going to come up with when choosing the eucalyptus leavesRichard had a potential soul mate with molecular gastronom read more

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Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
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Premise: A reality competition in which aspiring chefs compete for culinary stardom. Each episode features two challenges---a short test of basic cooking skills and an elimination challenge, in which one failing contestant is sent packing.

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