Top Chef Just Desserts - Ben and Sylvia’s 61st
I’m soooo sorry this is sooo late. There’s no way you’ll be able to read this before the finale tonight, but here goes:
Yigit wants to win because he’s from San Francisco. (???)
Morgan feels lonely. He misses his son and his friends. (???) (Who knew...that he had friends?) He thinks it’s the three other chefs against him, ”which is why it’s going to feel great when I beat them”.
They arrive at the Top Chef kitchen. François Payard is in the kitchen. That makes Morgan nervous, because François is Morgan’s old boss. I guess it didn’t end well. François is large and in charge. I like him.
Godiva chocolates are piled up high. The Quickfire Challenge is for the chefs to tell their life story through a box of chocolates. They have to make 4 unique chocolates to represent 4 milestones in their lives and one has to represent their crowning achievement. Hmmm, this is actually interesting.
Godiva will “develop a piece” based on the one winning chocolate and they will distribute it nationwide.
The chefs have two hours to do this. That’s always the laughable part. Tell us everything about yourself in two hours…in miniature chocolate form.
I couldn’t do that sitting at a keyboard. Heck, I couldn’t NARRATE my life story in two hours, much less make 4 chocolates to represent important phases of my life.
Danielle is making a baseball-like chocolate to commemorate her relationship with her father and their bonding over baseball.
Ew, Morgan is telling us about his marriage to a Brazilian woman and that THAT chocolate will be bittersweet.
Yigit tells us that he shared an almond croissant with his beloved when he first met him and that was the beginning of their relationship. One of his chocolates will represent falling in love. He’s so sappy.
Zac is mixing pretzels and chocolate, which represents his parents. They’re all rushing to finish.
Yigit is in trouble. His 4th chocolate didn’t set up.
François and Gail taste Zac’s first. How are they going to each taste the chocolate if each chef is only making 4? Oh, Gail and François each have a box.
François says about one of Zac’s: “Too flat.” About another one:”Very interesting, this one. “
Danielle is darling as she talks about her family. Again, what was I missing all these weeks? And Zac is nasty when he tells us that he thinks Danielle looks like Marilyn Manson (although 3 weeks ago, I might have said the same thing). François really likes “the playfulness” of the caramel corn one decorated like a baseball.
Morgan’s chocolates ARE beautiful. He gets all choked up as he talks about his son. Then he says his last chocolate represents his experience on Top Chef and all the stress that is crushing his soul.
“Good grief,” Danielle says, “Why is he complaining? He’s won more money than anybody.”
François glares when Yigit says his fourth chocolate didn’t set up. Yigit tells him, “My first pastry chef introduced me to BOSUM.” WHAT??? Because the chocolate is shaped like a boob??? Plus I thought he was gay. WHAT is going on?
Oh, he said BUDDHISM, not bosum. The one representing his relationship and great love is François’ favorite.
Morgan wants Yigit to pull it together because he doesn’t want to win by default.
François says Yigit cannot be judged because he didn’t finish. Zac’s are too sweet. So it’s down to Danielle and Morgan. He thought Danielle’s flavors were very interesting. He didn’t like Morgan’s green tea, but he did like the rest. Morgan wins again, but it was very close. Danielle thinks it’s annoying that he shows no emotion. He chooses Morgan’s Top Chef chocolate to be featured by Godiva nationally.
The Elimination Challenge features a cute elderly gentleman. Ben walks in to say he’s celebrating his 61st anniversary to Sylvia. The chefs have to make them an anniversary cake. Ben tells the story of first meeting Sylvia at a beach party. (She was wearing a yellow two-piece.) He says it took 2 years, but finally she married him.
The chefs shop and then start to bake. Gail walks in and says they’d love them to spend time with Ben and his wife. And in walks…Sylvia…Weinstock and Ben. She says,”Are you surprised?” They ARE!
They tell the chefs what they want in a cake and about themselves. Sylvia loves lemon, Ben loves chocolate. (Shouldn’t they have had this little chat BEFORE the chefs went shopping?)
Sylvia’s wedding dress was grey and she carried pink roses. They had chemistry, she says. Ben tells the story that after the beach party broke up, they ended up at her cousin’s apartment “smooching” under a grand piano. Something good must have happened, because they have children and grandchildren. She says they’re looking forward to their cakes.
Morgan says this is the most important cake he’s ever baked. He wants it to be Yigit, Danielle and him in the finals, because Zac would throw him under the bus.
Johnny appears. Where has he been all season? He does look dashing in his black chef’s coat. He says making a cake for Sylvia Weinstock would be daunting EVEN FOR HIM. That sounds a bit boastful.
Morgan hides things from the other chefs, because he thinks they are hiding things from him. “Why should I continue helping people?” WHAT?!! When did he ever help people?
Danielle says they’re heading over to Ben and Sylvia’s friend’s house, where the party will be.
They set up their stations in the backyard around the pool (of course). Morgan brags that he has 2 hours to get about a half hour of work done.
Zac’s cake looks really messy and kind of amateurish. Plus it’s a garish blue. Isn’t there some rule about no blue food? (Blueberries are purple.)
Folks arrive. Gail thanks the owners of the house for hosting the party. We don’t learn their names, but the gentleman has a huge white bushy moustache.
These are the tasters – Gail, Johnny, Hubert, François Payard and the happy couple - Silvia and Ben.
Top Tier: Lemon Sponge & Raspberry Panna Cotta
Bottom Tier: Dark Chocolate Sponge With Ganache
Morgan says since they met at the beach, he decorated the cake with shells. It’s pretty…AND pretty plain. He went as minimal as possible bordering on almost apathetic, if you ask me.
Morgan did make a little piano and put it on top of the cake to commemorate the couple’s first romantic moment. There was also a miniature yellow bikini top lying across the piano bench. He brought in the pink roses of the wedding bouquet and put (piped?) pink roses inside the piano. Eh! I’m not that impressed.
Sylvia says he did a great job. Really? Johnny likes that Morgan made the cake very 3 dimensional. He did? Are Sylvia and Johnny looking at the same cake that I am?
Sylvia: “I like the texture of the yellow cake. I like the chocolate cake too, by the way and I’m not a chocolate lover.”
Chocolate Cake With Sour Cherry Compote And Greek Yogurt Ice Cream
I’m really liking Danielle. I think she’s a trouper and suddenly all her little affectations are endearing, not annoying.
I think her cake looks beautiful. It’s grey (like Sylvia’s dress) and is decorated with black and white rectangles, representing the piano keys, arranged like a spiral staircase going up and around the cake. The initials on the cake look a little messy, but the icing is completely smooth and flawless (from this angle anyway).
Danielle says the keys were inspired by the kissing under the piano story. Sylvia doesn’t look that enthralled with this cake. Danielle also says she piped 3 pink roses and 6 grey roses on top of the cake to represent her three children and 6 grandchildren. Sweet. Oh good, that’s what Sylvia says. Sylvia tastes it and goes Mmm and she likes the filling.
François: “Zee chocolate sponge is very moist, you know.” But Sylvia says she doesn’t like the battleship gray color. Johnny says, ”Maybe that’s a reference to 61 years married.” Hardy har har. Gail says it’s more like the Love Boat. Good one, Gail.
Top Tier: Dark Chocolate & Fresh Raspberry
Bottom Tier: Lemon Sponge & Raspberry Jam
Sylvia goes up to Zac’s blue disaster of a cake with all kinds of chotches on it and says, “Oh my!”
Zac says he loved the story about Sylvia pulling Ben into the water to play. That may explain why he made the cake blue, but not why he made it all messy.
He added white and dark chocolate shapes, placed every which way on the cake, to remind them of the piano. Really unprofessional looking. Morgan says that Zac’s cake “is the Christmas tree he didn’t want his cake to be.”
Zac even admits that “Visually, this was a caketastrophe.” Well put.
Hubert expresses his displeasure in a low-key way. He says the cake reflects Zac’s personality (flamboyant, I guess he means) but that it’s not his favorite.
Sylvia:”The guy’s creative, but it’s not elegant enough.” Where is Shinmin when we need her? WHAT in the world would SHE say about this cake?
François: “You eat with your eyes first. If it’s not appealing… you never want to buy it.”
Sylvia says it would be a great Bar Mitzvah cake. Nah, I think it would be cake for preschoolers, because that’s who it looks like made it!
Johnny “appreciates” the fact that Zac added hazelnut praline to his passionfruit ice cream. What an awful combination!
Sylvia asks François if he likes the chocolate sponge. He says the cocoa powder tastes burned. Hubert says the yellow cake was nice and moist. That shouldn’t be enough to put Zac in the finale.
Top Tier: Almond Cake With Chocolate Mousse
Bottom Tier: Sponge Cake With Lemon Cream
Oops, it’s impossible to cut the lemon layer nicely. And the Pâte de Fruits layer is hard to get through. It’s impressive that Yigit made that, but do you usually put that between cake layers? Also Hubert says the Pâte de Fruits (I just like saying that) is kind of tough.
François thinks the whole thing is too complicated with too many layers. Sylvia says,” It’s like a woman who wears all her jewelry to the occasion. Don’t do it.”
Hmm, but will they hate Yigit’s cake more than Zac’s? It seems pretty clear that either Zac or Yigit will be going home. Not that I like either one, but I think it should be Zac who goes home…although Yigit should have gone home last week, so whomever goes home (between those two), I’ll be okay with.
Hubert says he liked the presentation of Yigit’s cake. He says the chocolate replica of Sylvia’s glasses was a nice touch. Good point. It should be Zac who goes home.
The chefs walk into Judges Tables with Gail, Johnny, Hubert and François. The winner will receive $15,000.
Hubert says Danielle’s was imaginative with the piano keys winding their way up the cake like steps. “Pretty brilliant,” he says. Wow. François says the flavor was good and her cake was moist. Johnny says, though, that the gray is really unappetizing. Danielle says she likes the combination of grey with pink roses.
Yigit says he almost started to cry after he heard Sylvia and Ben’s love story. Oh please, don’t do the ugly cry again!!!
Johnny says Yigit overthought the cake and made it too complicated. François thought his cake LOOKED the most elegant. Gail says they all agreed that the pâte de fruit didn’t work. It was the texture, not the flavor that was bad. It made a “separation” in the cake. Yeah, I definitely get that.
François liked the simplicity of Morgan’s cake. He even liked the piano on top, but he thought the panna cotta (ice cream?) alongside it was missing some acidity. Hubert says Morgan’s chocolate cake was a little dry. HA! My girl Danielle made a better chocolate cake than Morgan. So there! Johnny says Morgan’s shell border was unevenly and not well done. Wow, is he in danger? Probably not.
Zac claims he was nervous about making a cake for Sylvia and that he didn’t want to insult her. So he made THAT cake? That makes NO sense.
Hubert likes the TASTE of Zac’s cake. Johnny “appreciated” the fact that he took them back to their childhood. (Doesn’t he mean infanthood?) But Johnny wishes he had found “a more mature way” to do that.
Zac says his cake was a mess, BUT at least he didn’t play it safe. THEN Zac says, looking at Morgan, that it really upset him that Morgan won $20,000 in the chocolate fashion show and had no reaction. He seemed like he didn’t care in the least.
Oy, Zac goes on and on. Hopefully, he is SO going home. None of this matters. We don’t care how enthusiastic Zac is or how robotic Morgan is. CAKE IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS! Zac's cake was a disaster and so was he. Byuh-bye.
Morgan (makes the mistake of answering him and) says that singing show tunes just isn’t his personality. Oh gosh, are we getting a disguised gay slur in here?
Morgan says he doesn’t think it’s polite to brag about winning. Wow, that’s the first decent thing he’s said all season. Gail says alrighty then (or the equivalent), ignores all of the drama and shoos them out of the room.
Back in the stew room, Zac says “It’s personality. It’s not personal.” Morgan says (to us), “Yeah! Yours sucks, go buy a new one.”
Hubert says Zac is “a flamboyant artist” and it just got away from him. François reminds them that the cocoa tasted burned and that it’s “all about the cake”. THANK YOU! My point exactly!
Gail says Morgan really held back and kept it too simple. François says it was the most appropriate for the occasion. Hubert rightly says that Morgan’s cake “was SO simple, it has to be perfect and it was not”. Johnny says Morgan’s cake really wasn’t his favorite and that it was too bland.
Johnny reiterates that he didn’t like the color of Danielle’s cake and even though she was referencing Sylvia’s wedding dress, she was making the cake for today. François says the taste of Danielle’s cake was incredible. “The flavor was really there.”
Hubert says Yigit made his cake with HIS (Yigit’s) mind on the outside and Zac’s mind on the inside. Got that? I guess he means that it looked elegant on the outside, but the inside had too many elements with some that just didn’t work.
François: “Too bad, he (Yigit) was much too complicated. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember the cake.” Johnny says he remembered the pâte de fruit and that he didn’t like it. It’s amazing that Zac may just slide through with his mess of a cake and Yigit may go home.
I’m thinking Danielle may actually win this week. Johnny says (incorrectly) that they ALL deserve to be in the finals. They show a close up on Gail who takes a deep almost painful breath as she announces the loser.
Oh, wait, she asks François to announce the winner. And it’s Danielle! She’s thrilled. Yay! She jumps up and down and then Gail says she’s in the finale. She runs out of the room.
Johnny says Morgan played it too safe. Zac put too much Zac in Sylvia and Ben’s cake and Yigit hasn’t learned the art of restraint. And the loser…(I think it’ll be Yigit)…is…Zac. Gail looks almost ill as she says it.
Zac says he wasn’t surprised to be eliminated, but that he WAS surprised that they didn’t mention how rubbery Morgan’s cake was. He tells the others there’s some fairy dust under his station if they need it. So long, suckah!
I can’t believe that Morgan ISN’T going to win. I'm guessing that if you put all of his creations up against all of Danielle’s and Yigit’s, then Morgan would deserve to win. But, of course, the decision isn’t made with commonsense. It’s all about what happens tonight.