TC9, Ep. 4
This episode featured James Beard Award winning chef and owner of Fearing’s of Dallas, Dean Fearing. The focus was on sauces and each of the 13 remaining chefs was assigned by knife draw to this master sauce:
Espagnole (veal or beef stock plus tomato paste, roux, and aromatic vegetables) –
Hollandaise (egg yolks, oil; just before it is served add lemon juice and a little cold water) –
Bechamel (stirring cold milk or cream into a butter-flour mixture called a roux with onion and cloves ) -
Tomate (tomato, chopped garlic cloves, red or white wine, beef or veal stock
Veloute (chicken, veal, or fish stock thickened with white or pale roux)-
Their assignment was to make a variation of their master sauce in 90 minutes. The sauces created were:
Beverly - Sauce w/ Charred Shallots w/ Pepper Corn, Sake, Red Wine, Crab Maki Roll w/ Rib-Eye
Chris J. - Onion Soup w/ Butter Onion Puree
Paul - Quail w/ Pickled and Roasted Honshimeji Mushrooms, Garlic Scapes
Grayson - Scallop, Charred Corn Sauce w/ Paprika, Corn Ravioli, Blueberry Balsamic Reduction
Lindsay - Charred Scallion w/ Soft Boiled Egg, Creamy Polenta, Pickled Herbs
TyLor - Hollandaise, Ahi Tuna, Bok Choy w/ Sugar Snap Peas
Dakota - Béchamel Infused w/ Peach, Truffle + Lemon Crab + Mushroom Duxelle, Seared Scallop
Edward - Cauliflower Milk Béchamel w/ Poached Red Snapper, Crab, Fried Oyster
Heather - Gruyere Croquette w/ Chinese 5 Spice, Apple Ginger Compote + Asian Slaw
Nyesha - Tomate Sauce w/ Coconut and Ras El Hanout Braised Lentils
Whitney - Poached Shrimp, Fennel Pillau, Sauteed Okra, Pancetta
Chris C. - Halibut over Mussels, Andouille, Hajimachi Mushrooms, Veloute w/ Mussels, Lemon Puree
Sarah - Shrimp Poached in Veloute, Braised Fennel + Leeks, Bread Crumbs + Fresh Herbs w/ Tarragon + Fennel Tops
Fearing had questions for several chefs on whether had had used a roux or clarified butter. It appeared that he did not like the answers he received. Dean apparently likes sauces thickened with classic roux.
The results of this were that these chefs had inferior sauces: Dakota, Nyesha, Beverly.
The best sauces were by Grayson, Chris J. and Paul. Grayson was the winner and received immunity for the Elimination Challenge.
The group was to cater the Cattle Baron’s Baron, a fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society held at the South Fork Ranch for 200 guests. The chefs had to team up to do 4 courses, plan for 30 minutes, spend $4000 in 30 minutes at Whole Foods, prep in the Top Chef Kitchen at Le Cordon Bleu School in Dallas 3 hours, then cook the next day for 3 more hours at the South Fork kitchen. All steaks were to be served medium rare. The winner would get a 2012 Toyota Venza SUV, quite a valuable prize.
The courses and chefs responsible were:
#1 Soup – Dakota, Beverly, Sarah
#2 Rib-Eye Steak in a Salad –Chris J, Edward, Paul
#3 Sirloin Steak – TyLor, Whitney, Chris C, Nyesha
#4 Dessert – Heather, Lindsay, Grayson
Due to the fact that Heather and Lindsay finished the cake (similar to the Quinceanera cake) during the prep period, they became expeditors responsible for the overall flow and timing of the other courses. TyLor was assigned to work outside in the 112 degree heat at the grill to mark 200 steaks after stabbing his hand and requiring stitches in a local emergency room overnight. Heather and Lindsay were to time the firing of them for finishing in the oven. This did not go well and many steaks were fired too early and cold when served. Whitney’s potato gratin was also a bit cold.
The actual dishes served at the Cattle Baron’s Ball were:
Course 1 - Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho, Poached Shrimp, Avocado Mousse
Course 2 - New York Strip Carpaccio, Pistachio Vinaigrette, Mushroom “Bacon”, Red Onion Jam
Course 3 - Grilled Rib Eye, Creamy Potato Gratin, Braised Greens, Thyme Jus
Course 4 - “Right Side Up” Texas Peach Cake, Whipped Mascarpone, Pecan Streusel
The overall response from the judges was that “we expected a lot more from 13 chefs.” One major problem was the lack of coordination on the steaks and another was Whitney’s cold and undercooked potato gratin.
The winner’s group was Chris J., Nyesha and Heather. Heather got the nod and the Venza because her cake was just that special. The loser’s group was TyLor, Whitney and Chris C. Whitney was sent home for her undercooked potato gratin.