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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Top Chef: Just Desserts, Week 8: Mary Poppins Kicks Ass on Oprah

Posted By on Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM

click to enlarge Don't mess with Mary.
  • Don't mess with Mary.

Last night's Top Chef: Just Desserts wasn't all flowers and tea parties, though it appeared to be. The Quickfire Challenge was to create an edible bouquet, with guest judge Shinmin Li of shuttered I Dream of Cake in North Beach. Zac offered a warning: "She's very pretty but that girl breathes fire!"

This challenge definitely showcased the style of each of the five remaining pastry chefs. Zac did messy gold-dusted chocolate disco flowers. Eric, the baker, stuck to baked goods with buttercream-piped flowers. Danielle's bouquet was wacky and unfinished (the backs of her flowers were unfrosted). Yigit's were well designed but overly ambitious ― each orchid petal had its own personality. Sadly, he lost one of his pulled-sugar vases to Morgan's elbow and the other to his own hand. Morgan won, again, with his show-offy aesthetic of sugar-pulling and chocolate flowers.

The elegance of last night's episode continued with a tea party. No, not THAT tea party, we said elegant and civilized. The "Celebritea" Elimination Challenge had the cheftestants create a dessert inspired by a celebrity couple for a Dana Cowin-hosted tea party.

These pastry chefs chose the weirdest couples ever (most aren't even together anymore): Coco and Andy Richter, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Oprah and Stedman, and Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian.

When they got to the kitchen, they got the twist: No chocolate. It was a tea party, the judges said: Chocolate shouldn't be the star. This threw the already shaken Yigit off his game and made Zac giggle, since for once he'd decided not to use chocolate.

Zac giggled all the way to the top with his homage to Julie Andrews and her Pink Panther hubby. He made a mascarpone cheesecake with Cap'N (von Trapp) Crunch and (a spoonful of) tarragon sugar for Julie and a pink (panther) pavlova with grapefruit curd and meringue for Blake. He didn't stop there with the puns. He called it "practically perfect," just like Mary Poppins.

That was the upside of Team Go Diva!, but our Yigit landed in the bottom with Eric. He admitted that he was just having a bad day and let his emotions get the best of him. Thankfully, he's still in it to win it. Eric the chef (his title was upgraded) fell short with his Oprah and Stedman shortbread duo.

Read more from Carina Ost at Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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Carina Ost


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