Episode 6: Star Studded Supper
(Original air date 02/10/2013)
It’s time for the season finale! My, how time flies! Speaking of time… what happened to all the intervening episodes? Well, between being sick and business travel, I have simply not been able to keep up. So, bear with me – “Ima gonna let you finish reading all the episodes” – but first I have to blog the finale, then I’ll go back and play catch up. ‘K?
So, it turns out that Dean McDermott (Team Guy) and Carnie Wilson (Team Rachael) are the two finalists, having outlasted their six teammates and co-contestants. (Don’t wonder about how they got to this point: that will be revealed when I get finished blogging all those intervening episodes.) Both of them admit to having a major case of nerves on
National Cable TV. Then, they head off to meet their mentors/judges, and Guy’s sunglasses and spiky hairdo remind us that they are playing for charities.
The challenge this night (our time, not theirs, for they are standing out in the bright sunlight): take everything they have learned, and throw “the most important dinner party of their lives.” A dinner party featuring 11 of the top chefs in the world, and also Kathy Griffin, who is
mis-identified as “one of the funniest women in the world.” The twist: they will be working out of a “mystery” kitchen, and have no idea what ingredients they will have to work with. They will be responsible for a three course meal consisting of an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. They will have 30 minutes to prepare the appetizer, 40 minutes for the entree, and 20 minutes for the dessert. They will be given some “surprise help” who they will meet in the kitchen.
And then, it’s time for planning! Dean goes for “elegance”, Guy steers him toward “decadent” and talks about “securing the proteins”. Carnie is freaking out, and Rachael has her talk about the type of food she normally cooks. Then Rachael causes Carnie to get her freak-out back on, reminding her that all the ingredients she is looking for, may not be there.
They head into the kitchen, put on their coats, and head for the pantry. Carnie is continuing her freak-out while looking for tuna, while Dean raids the fridge and grabs ALL THE SEAFOOD (except for canned tuna, because who keeps that stuff in the fridge anyway?) He starts his prep work on the appetizer, and in come Guy and Rachael to
kibitz coach. Dean looks like he has just been caught in some horrible illegal act, but not to worry – Guy is offering to help cook! That ought to be scary enough for anyone! Rachael says that just won’t do, but offers an alternative – and rattles off the names of two friends, one each for Dean and Carnie. This, for some reason, sends Carnie into full-fledged waterworks mode. (I wonder if this counts against her 30 minutes?) They go back to their work, and after Carnie’s friend convinces to CALM DOWN AND CARRY ON, she finally – FINALLY! – manages to find the tuna. Meanwhile, Dean scores his scallops, and then makes a gastrique and a salad with micro greens. Dean continues to pull stuff out of various cooking locations, and Carnie goes back into freak-out mode.
As the clock winds down, the “guests” show up.
It’s time for plating. Since Dean has taken over the ENTIRE KITCHEN, Carnie has to plate her food ON THE PANTRY FLOOR (don’t let the Health Dept see that one!) Pandemonium reigns supreme as the clock winds down – will they get everything plated in time? (Yes, they will!)
Time for the first course to be presented. But first, we have to raise the stress level for the finalists by introducing the “guests”: Jet Tila, owner of The Charleston; Chef Brad Miller, from the Inn of the Seventh Ray; Suzanne Goin, owner of three restaurants; Nancy Silverton, from Mozza / La Brea Bakery; Michael Cimarusti, Executive Chef at Providence; David Lentz, Chef and owner of the Hungry Cat (a restaurant, not a meme); MULTIPLE EMMY AWARD WINNING AND D-LISTRESS EXTRAORDINAIRE Kathy Griffin; Dr. Sean Daneshmand with Miracle Bables (Dean’s charity); and Dr. Stephen Eleson, Autism Research Institute (Carnie’s charity).
And now, for the dishes:
- Carnie – “Take a dip in the sea” tuna dip w/chips and celery. Kathy likes the tuna dip, especially since it isn’t “so” tuna. The flavors are great, but it is a bit runny, and the portion size is “too much”.
- Dean – introduces his theme of “Kathy’s DaY”, which isn’t kissing up to Kathy Griffin at all, NO-SIRREE IT ISN’T. His appetizer is a seared scallop on a micro green salad with a herb crostini and a poached lobster. Jet notices the score on the scallops, and commends Dean for the technique. Kathy doesn’t like scallops, but thinks these are good. The lobster was over-cooked, and one diner didn’t “get” the dish.
And now, it’s back to the kitchen! Entree time! Carnie is torn between Chicken Picatta and spaghetti, and settles on the latter. Dean can’t find the meat he is looking for, so he settles on flank steak and adds veggies and a lot of spices. This time, Carnie’s friend helps to keep her calm, while Dean gets frantic as he realizes he has too much going. Once again, it is right down to the wire.
And now, for the dishes:
- Carnie – Jalapeno lime shrimp, deglazed with tequila, and a mixed herb pesto on tube pasta. She Kept It Simple, but a lot of the flavors were missing.
- Dean – Petite filet wrapped in flank steak with a cauliflower curry puree and asparagus tips with pancetta. The execution was great, but it was a disjointed dish.
Back to the kitchen! Carnie heads for the fryer, while Dean heads for the booze. Not so much pandemonium this time, even though they have less time.
And, one last time, for the dishes:
- Carnie – Baby apple fritter balls and vanilla ice cream. Kathy LOVES it. The only critique: needs more donuts.
- Dean – GRILLED pound cake with macerated berries and syllabub. The idea for grilling the pound cake was
ripped off frominspired by Kathy Najimy. Critique: some felt there was too much alcohol. Others felt it was an absolute home run.
Rachael and Guy hand out the ballots to the diners, then head in to meet with the finalists. After one last pep talk, the results are delivered.
And now, it is time to reveal the winner. But first – one last surprise! The winner will had a check for $50,000 to their charity – and the runner-up will have a check for $10,000 to give to theirs! And, the friends and family of the finalists are invited in for the Unsealing of the Envelope!
And now, the winner… of Rachael vs. Guy, Season 2… is… by one vote…
DEAN MCDERMOTT! MR. TORI SPELLING WON IT!
No confetti, no champagne, nobody in the pool. Just lots of gratitude, and more than a few tears. And, Dean McDermott can now call himself the “Gourmet Dad”.