Though one of our hometown representatives has been eliminated from the Food Network's newest reality show competition, Chris Cosentino of Incanto continues to carry the San Francisco torch. Here are our thoughts on the season's second episode. Warning: spoilers are involved.
1) As soon as the show starts, The Chairman makes an appearance via satellite. Or was it just a DVD player? In any event, the cooking starts within seconds for the second time in as many weeks; clearly, the show is holding fast to its proclamation that it is indeed, all about the cooking competition.
2) In the scramble to get ingredients for the first challenge—define yourself in a single bite—Aaron Sanchez thumbs up his nose on tuna, saying it's boring and trite. Cut to an exuberant Cosentino: "I got the tuna!!" Nice editing.
3) Sanchez then proceeds to demonstrate what everyone has always wondered: what happens when someone doesn't plate in time.
4) Soul-patch constituent Michael Symon and front-runner John Besh are clearly the two alpha males, but despite having the biggest personalities, they don't scream "unique" to us.
5) Speaking of Besh, the man can certainly sweat.
6) Highlight of the episode: a cameo by wd-50's Wylie Dufresne to introduce the second challenge centered around scientific innovation in the kitchen. The cheftestants are overwhelmed, and Sanchez's reaction to the thermal circulator is straight out of Dazed and Confused: "Aw man ... that's so cool ..." In other words, Dufresne totally blew his mind.
7) Even if the Food Network tried, they couldn't have found two more representative chefs/personalities of San Francisco and Los Angeles than polar opposites Cosentino and Jill Davie, respectively.
8) For a show that prides itself on just the cooking, it doesn't make much sense to have Gavin Kaysen and Morou at an arbitrary disadvantage by putting them in the back of the kitchen when choosing ingredients.
9) For the second consecutive elimination challenge, Cosentino whips up a dish that wows the judges, this time a very clever (Keller-esque, even) shaving cream and razor clams concoction.
10) The dish nets CC the win, but Davie's own attempt to be witty—a potato-cod entree that was supposed to look like a piece of bone marrow (????)—fell very short. Thus, the next Iron Chef will not be a lady.
· The Next Iron Chef Recap: 12 Thoughts on the Premiere [~ESF~]