This week’s coverage of Top Chef Just Desserts was a bit delayed by a faulty DVR (mine). It didn’t record the first time out, and my second effort came up a half hour short (the first half hour). Thankfully, Michael Laiskonis, Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, has a more reliable DVR than I do, so he’s here with his expert commentary — and to fill in the blanks for me!
So, what the hay happened at the QFC?
First, I have to say, from the opening shots through the entire episode, it appears that our final five are quite close and friendly, which is great to see. At this point it could be all about the tension of competition. The civility amidst the threat of elimination is kind of refreshing. It’s a good group, I think!
Yet, fear crept into the hearts of our chefs as they entered the kitchen to find before them the imposing legend Francois Payard. His career began at a very young age in his family’s patisserie, and in his 20 years in the States actually began as one of my pastry chef predecessors here Le Bernardin! From there, he served several years with Daniel Boulud, before opening his own series of shops, here in New York and around the world. In short, he’s the man.
Pie is the focus of the Quickfire, but with a twist, that the chefs prepare their rendition with only one hand. It immediately brought to mind my own stint as a judge last season, when the first challenge had to be executed with a single pot.Continue Reading