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Top Chef 2 - Seven Sins...What would you have done?

I was thinking last night about what I would have made for this Top Chef episode representing the seven sins. So, I figured, I'd see what people here would do.

Keeping with the same courses for the same sins, what would you have made? Pick one, or pick them all, whichever you choose.

Wrath (Sam) - appetizer
Sloth (Betty) - appetizer (I was going to make this difficult and say soup course, but changed my mind)
Greed (Cliff) - entree
Envy (Michael) - entree
Pride (Elia) - entree
Gluttony (Ilan) - dessert
Lust (Marcel) - dessert

For example, for Lust - dessert, I would have chosen a small bite of dark chocolate mousse with a fudge sauce accented with chipotle pepper. Just a teaspoon would leave the guests wanting more and the heat in the sauce would represent burning passion.

What are your ideas?

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  1. Brilliant lust idea--leaving them wanting more, which is such a great analog for lust food-wise.

    1. We are already discussing this in the other thread -- starting with wingman's comment (ctrl:F "oysters" if you are interested in finding where this bit begins)


      1. They didn't have to be in that order and since I just watched the show - Tivo - I haven't spent a lot of time on this but aside from what many of us saw as an obvious oysters appetizer for lust (see the other thread on this episode), I was thinking that for Gluttony go with a main course of a major hunk of roasted red meat - standing rib roast with everyone getting a large bone slice (a la Henry VIII) served with hearty roasted root vegetables and perhaps even surrounded by smaller stuffed game birds. I know they have a limited budget though. I just can't get past the visuals of that or perhaps huge roasted stuffed Turkey legs.

        3 Replies
        1. re: laylag

          I know they didn't have to be in that order. But, I thought it would be interesting to figure out a dish according to what course the Top Chefs picked.

          1. re: laylag

            I think one way they could have achieved that without blowing the budget would have been to present it all on one ornate platter.

            1. re: amkirkland

              Exactly. To me, gluttony is excess in a Henry VIII-ish manner.

          2. Wrath (Sam) - Tom yum
            Sloth (Betty) - escargot
            Greed (Cliff) - maybe a sushi plate of a huge scoop of salmon roe over 2 pieces of rice
            Envy (Michael) - sole w/pesto
            Pride (Elia) - peacock
            Gluttony (Ilan) - ???
            Lust (Marcel) - molten chocolate cake w/rum

            (edit: Envy (Michael) - make that rooster w/pesto)

            4 Replies
            1. re: OCAnn

              While I was watching the show my first instinct was for Betty to do Escargot, and for pride I also thought of peacock! haha...Can you eat a peacock?

              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                Well...I think you can eat almost anything; it's just not common (since other cultures eat foods other than what I'm used to). I think I'd prepare it like pheasant.

                1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                  I loved the idea of the seven deadly sins. Sloth is related to dirty, so I would probably do a decadent dirty rice dish, or some kind of whimsical dirt pie, or something that looked like dirt. Or something in squid ink. I loved the fact that Elia chose the roasted chicken. They all played it pretty safe. Marcel stop with the foam and what was lustful about his dessert? How about a dessert where you wanted to lick the plate?

                  1. re: sharonm

                    I believe sloth = lazy/slow/indolence, not dirty.

              2. Wrath (Sam) - Something fiery and spicy - maybe steal the idea of david burke and make an angry lobster

                Sloth (Betty) - appetizer - Sloth is laziness. maybe a raw soup or even something as simple as shucked oysters. I wouldn't think slow roasted here

                Greed (Cliff) - entree - Decadence - Kobe beef and butter poached lobster.

                Envy (Michael) - entree - This is the one I'm having trouble with. The first thing that came to mind would be to do two fishes, one simply prepared like poached so all its natural glory can shine and one all gussied up to make it taste good. the thought being that the fish that doesn't need a lot of work to make it taste good would be the envy of the other piece. Or maybe some sort of dualing shrimp ceviches with maybe u-8's on one plate and 21-30's on another.. play around with size envy.

                Pride (Elia) - entree - Maybe make a crown rack of lamb and get some enormous serving platter to carve it tableside. I had something similar at a restaurant where they served me an entire frenched rack of lamb and brought it out on a huge copper tray, almost as big as the table.. certainly looked prideful.

                Gluttony (Ilan) - dessert - the most decadent hot fudge sundae. what else is a symbol of gluttony besides a huge mound of ice cream with hot fudge, brownie, etc... maybe even serve it in a huge goblet for the table..

                Lust (Marcel) - dessert - at a loss for a lustful desert too...
                maybe some candy, like a lollipop or a play on chocolate covered strawberries with champagne maybe plate it with one dish for two people and strongly recommend having them serve each other..

                1 Reply
                1. re: ESNY

                  shucked oysters...hmmm..that borders on lust for me. Oh yes..yes yes!!!

                2. Some of your answers are quite creative, but I have to say I found this to be a horrible concept for a "challenge." Every solution seems to require a lot of verbal explanation (except maybe escargot=sloth, though in the end even that is silly overly facile), and the solutions really only have the slightest connection to the "sin".

                  I like the idea of creative challenges, but this one stank.

                  1. For either gluttony or lust, I would have substituted a cheese plate instead of a dessert. To have those two desserts was dumb. A cheese plate can be both gluttonous and lusty. Or a fondue.

                    1. Greed (Cliff) - KING crab Yukon GOLD mashed potatoes, with beef MEDALIONS

                      1. I think of lust as being very carnal and earthy but at the same time sensuous. An entree composed of meat cooked rare with wild mushrooms and tied together by an amazing sauce might work.

                        1. Okay..I am going to post this before reading any of the other posts.

                          Envy-Foie Gras

                          Sloth-Tuna Casserole

                          Lust-Perfectly cooked sweetbreads (had these a couple of months ago and I felt like I'd just had the best sex ever..and I can't stop thinking about the experience. Obvioulsy my libido needs some work (and I don't eat cherries!) I am going back for more tomorrow.

                          Gluttony-Roasted Turkey legs and corn on the cobb (no utensils people--latex gloves and huge bibs allowed)

                          Pride-Red Velvet Cake (southern pride)

                          Greed-a sampler plate of different presentations of caviars

                          Wrath-A burning bowl of chili

                          1. sloth has its merits. my thoughts went to kicked-up hamburger helper, tomato soup and potato chips.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: steve h.

                              haha....make stoner food with great ingredients! Cup O' Noodles!

                            2. I think that the entire challenge was a lost opportunity for the group- The full effect of the dishes would have been taken up a notch if the theater of serving was more fully considered, not just the food. Or said differently, actual feelings of lust, greed, etc. are more powerful than their metaphoric representation on the plate. And, individual dishes could have been made much more conceptually powerful if the chefs had worked together- eg: Two desserts? Absolutely glutinous. I think that the sequence of the sins could have heightened the dramatic effect. On another Chowhound Board someone suggested that envy could be created by serving half of the dinner guests a small nothing and the other half something sumptuous. This, to me is brilliant. Could a similar narrative structure been developed between two of the sins? eg: sloth/wrath. . . One person has to serve another something difficult/messy/laborious? And Lust- what if Marcel had given half the people cherries and the other half the chocolate for dipping. . . “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” Presumably the people at the table were mostly friends- I think it would have been smart to try and use that. . .

                              1. I had the same thought about envy. Except I don't think you would have to give half the guests something small. Just the fact that there was another dish next to you that you couldn't have would be enough.

                                1. Well just to play along and given the prep time and other limitations as well as sticking with what they were given -
                                  lust for dessert? I guess I would have premade hungarian style chestnut puree on a rum-infused whipped cream, some slices of "mignons" as seen in George Lang's Cuisine of Hungary cookbook (almond "salami") and then served Ba-Si (pulled silk) apples tableside - the apple slices are fried in a batter, then slow-cooked in a thick syrup, brought tableside and dipped in ice water which sets the outside, and turns the sugar into threads as you pull the "fritters" out of the water. The outside is cold and hard, inside is warm and meltingly soft. Just a riot of textures and flavors.
                                  we're talking - maybe two of the apple pieces per person, a 1/4 cup of the chestnut puree on cream and maybe two slices of the "mignons" (csemegek).

                                  1. Wrath (Sam) - lobster fra diavolo amuse
                                    Sloth (Betty) - turtle soup, or maybe a molasses glazed pork rib
                                    Greed (Cliff) - medallions of a turducken style roulade of duck, chicken, turkey, wrapped in caul (to keep the turkey from drying out), or aha! Whole Roast Pig carved tableside! Or maybe not.
                                    Envy (Michael) - duo of skirt steak and beef jerky
                                    Pride (Elia) - Crown rack of lamb
                                    Lust (Marcel) - warm grilled peaches served with individual pots of honey for drizzling
                                    Gluttony (Ilan) - individual bowls, maybe made of candy, or chocolate, filled to overflowing with several complementary flavors of gelattos and sorbets

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. Coincidentally, the Boston Globe ran an article last week about bakeries and cafe, including one called "Canto 6", named after Dante's canto in which the third circle of hell (where gluttons are punished) is described. http://www.boston.com/ae/events/artic...