These days, cooking shows feature things I've never eaten because they didn't become of US cuisine until after I started keeping kosher or eliminating sugar. So far as I know, none of the prominent kosher restaurants have started serving foams, for example. I could be wrong, of course.
But some ideas are universal, and I can still taste a lot of foods in my head, so I have a chance of thinking, "Oh, that sounds yummy - could I make it kosher?" or "Oh, that sounds gross, even beyond the treifness."
The first competition was based on colors, and the one that I liked the best was white - poached egg over dover sole over mushrooms. It sounds delicate and elegant, and once the egg was broken, even pretty. And the one that won - orange (salmon with a mandarin orange salsa, and deep fried carrot chips) also worked for me. And the lowest one - was a cacaphony of green that didn't go together either visually or, in my head, taste. Too much going on, you know?
The second was on the Seven Deadly Sins. And this one would give me difficulties - it's hard to translate abstract concepts into food. But.
One chef (Elia, who made the white dish), got pride. And she decided that, upon looking around the supermarket, that organic chickens looked proud. So she made perfectly roasted chickens with vegetables. Absolutely simple, and while it didn't win, it came in a close second. And very few things are as delicious to me as freshly roast chicken hot out of the oven. She even carved at tableside, which means that none of the juices would be left behind. Since it came after some relatively elaborate courses, it would shine even more. Does chicken, even perfect chicken, mean pride to me? No, but she still was rightfully proud of the dish.
The one that one, Envy, was cooked by Michael, who, like House, is better on Vicodin. (That should be an icon. It really should. If I could do an animated icon, alternating pictures of Micheal and House, I would.) He'd also won the first one.
And it was that trout is envious of salmon, which...okay. Whatever. But. Pairing the two in one dish (not making two separate one) and saucing them very simply in a lemon-thyme buerre blanc (basically, a butter sauce) was purely elegant. And not only was that a dish I could taste, it was a dish I could presumably make.
Then it gets to be a game. What would you cook for greed? Cliff chose a thai-curry boullabaise with lots of shellfish. Yeah, that works - I'd eat it made with kosher fish - but...
kobe beef and foie gras. Expensive, luxury foods - that's greed.
Sloth, which was the losing dish (a lumpy trio of roasted veg soups, served in champagne flutes - wrong in so many ways) was harder. I kept thinking soft - mashed potatoes, say. A rich, pureéd potato and leek soup (you know, a classic vichysoise) served cold on a hot day. Comforting and nice.
The others - wrath was spicy seviche with chili popcorn, which worked. Lust was a cherry and chocolate dessert, which worked as a dish, but not as lust, and gluttony was a second dessert with too many things including soggy funnel cakes. If he'd used raspberries with a chocolate mousse - that's lust. :) And too many things is gluttony, but, you know. A giant slice of cake and a huge scoop of ice cream - that's classic gluttony.