Given the rather pedestrian challenges given the chefs recently, I thought it would be cool to list all the challenges that made the show great just to remind us of what is possible.
The Snow White challenge. Cook a dish that reflects the story of EVIL in the Snow White story line. Outside of the fact that Charlize Theron was the guest judge, I thought this really gave the chefs a way to express themselves and do some outrageous things visually and thematically. it allowed them to go off the reservation for once and most of them rose to the challenge.
The tribute to the person who inspired you to cook. With Patti Labelle. I thought the emotional content of the challenge really inspired the chefs to cook and show where their passion comes from.
All the challenges involving kitchen prep work. It is really impressive to see some pros do their thing. Spike was never my favorite, but man can that guy butcher!! It was amazing to watch and admire.
I like the challenges where they threw in a change in plans so that they had to be creative and be flexible, not too many changeups, just one or two and that is it.. This year it was the conveyor belt challenge. in LCK where they had the switch their work station, ingredients and dish. There was the team challenge where they had to make a dish as a team, where one person prepped and got the dish started and then the next chef came in and had to make do with what the previous person had left them.
restaurant Wars is always fun, it feeds the imagination and the chefs really had to scramble to put something coherent together in a short tiem. I wish they would just leave the front of the house and the decorating stuff to the pros with input from the chefs but leave them to do their stuff.
The mystery ingredient challenge is always kind of interesting, which brings me to why I dislike Chopped. the concept is great, but it is a one trick pony kind of a show where they take just one challenge from many and work it to death. Now Iron Chef is the same way, but the kitsch and fun involved in Iron Chef makes it much more appealing than Chopped. They are just wa too serious.