Plan a menu. Cook delicious food. Open a restaurant. In just one day. This week’s “Top Chef D.C.” episode needs little other introduction: It’s time for Restaurant Wars.
Success stories: Chefs competed in two teams at the Redwood Restaurant in Bethesda, Md. Judges found success in fish dishes that kept to the restaurants’ themes while using fresh flavors. Applauded were Kevin Sbraga of Rat’s Restaurant, who created a Pan-Roasted Halibut with Fennel Marmalade, and Ed Cotton of Plein Sud, who served up Slow-Baked Turbot with Eggplant Caviar and Black Olive Jus.
A few slip-ups: Tom Colicchio praised the chefs overall but saw some inconsistencies. One team flaunted Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and the other a focus on seasonal flavors. Both teams drew on local ingredients, such as crab and Virginia strip steak. However, both teams also failed to carry the flavors throughout the entire menu — a big drawback during judging.
Big lessons: Judge Gail Simmons said it best in her reply to some contestants dissatisfied over judging: “We don’t care or judge on the communication of the house. What we judge on is how the food tastes.” Insightful advice for any chef to remember, only rather than experts, it’s the diners who judge their food — and nothing else — in the real world.
How would you approach the Restaurant Wars challenge? Leave a comment.
Image credit, pidjoe, iStock