The powers that be have given me something to do post ‘Top Chef’. Usually, I go on a ravenous forage into my pantry for some culinary treat that tempted me on the show. It always ends with a case of the sads as I clutch my Velveeta and damn myself for not having foie gras on hand for such food related emergencies. Now, I get to recap the show instead of weeping over foods I have never heard of but suddenly must have.
Last week the chefs underwent the Thanksgiving feast challenge. Visions of my Uncle drowning an enormous bird in Pabst danced through my head as Emeril shoved Paula Deen amounts of butter in his turkey. This week we are treated to more of the bickering over potatoes that boils over into John being dubbed the “most hated chef.” Red Beard (Josh) turns into a STFU moment, but John manages to go Freud and reroute the argument into a testicular issue. Fast forward to the morning after – Stefan is rubbing Kristen’s feet. This man cooks…with his hands that were caressing slightly smelly feet. I don’t know why, but this makes my stomach turn. The Velveeta might be safe tonight.
We get to the Quick Fire challenge and two slabs of beef hang behind Padma and Naomi. The chefs descend upon the meat to carve away their preferred cut. Carla begins to get on Stefan’s nerves and Lizzie is hating on the pressure cooker. I don’t blame her. My mother used to make this mystery meat concoction in a pressure cooker and it smelt like burning tires and moose carcass. CJ and Josh are gunning for John. They each want to serve him up a smackwich and send him home, but admit he will probably be around for awhile. Lizzie, Eliza and Tyler were on the bottom and Tyler is crushed like a little kid who was sent to the corner and even exclaims, “I can’t do anything right.” CJ, John and Josh are the top picks. His foes predictions were right. John wins immunity.
Mark and Brian Canlis join Padma for the Elimination Challenge. The chefs must revive the original 1950 menu from Canlis restaurant. Stefan is pleased as the thought process leads him to the association of dirty martinis and we get an admission on his fondness all things dirty. The mystery behind the toleration of aforementioned pre-cooking foot rub is solved. Padma announces that two chefs will be going home after this challenge.
Once again, they all descend upon the surviving menu as Stefan manages to wield the mass of chefs throwing out orders as to who should re-create what. John immediately starts his obnoxious prattling as Josh looks like his about one more quip away from hitting his bitch switch and finding the nearest shiv.
As they get into the kitchen John continues his pompous garble about dining at the Rainbow Room as a child with his foodie father. In his head this somehow makes him an expert on the cuisine of 1950. Perhaps I should knock this thought process. I ate at a Wolfgang Puck Express once, so that makes me and Wolfgang BFF’s. We braid each other’s hair and gab about ‘American Idol.’
As guests begin to trail in, John decides to make himself king and starts calling out orders. He immediately screws up by demanding two French onions soups, rambling off other demands, and then asking for a second soup. It creates a brief confusion, but Josh quickly clarifies. Appetizers go over with mixed reviews Tyler’s crab leg cocktail gets high marks where Josh’s soup is too salty and cold. Brooke’s salad goes over well with everyone but Naomi who thinks the green beans aren’t up to par because they weren’t cooked the same way her grandmother made them. Chrissy’s salad was soggy and lacked mint. Lizzie’s herring is approved and John’s dish passes with good marks.
[Top Chef Seattle Video - Squabbling Over Squab]
Enter the squab issue. I am going to call this woman Evil Carla. The loveable HOOTIE HOO of season 5’s Carla Hall is greatly missed as Evil Carla thinks undercooked squab sitting in a pool of blood “looks fine.” Her dish repeatedly gets sent back with an reject stamp. She does take the time to let the boys in charge of the grill know the bird is too rare, but she has the same philosophy of John. She has opened restaurants and this somehow gives her a superpower for never failing. People are getting violently ill from undercooked meat? It’s ok! I’ve opened a restaurant. Problem solved!
The judges loved Sheldon’s fish sans Tom who picks it apart. Mike’s mixed vegetables fail, Carla’s squab gets ripped by everyone but Padma and Stefan’s liver is praised. Kristen nails her crispy onion topping, CJ’s kabob is under seasoned and his rice is soggy, Bart’s steak also fails due to improper butchering, Kristin gets praise for her mushrooms and Josie’s baked potato is the meh factor as Padma suggested more oil to crisp the skin.
The desserts arrive courtesy of Danyele and Eliza. Danyele was responsible for the vanilla ice cream and Hawaiian supreme while Eliza created sherbet and parfait. They both win praise.
Lizzie, Tyler, Stefan and Kristin make the top dishes for the night. They collectively breathe a sigh of relief and I think Tyler might cry in relief. They each get a head pat and Kristin’s mushrooms and crispy onion wins her $10,000.
Chrissy is in trouble along with Carla and CJ. Josh’s soup isn’t forgotten either. I can hear the BEEP BEEP of the bus that Josh is going to throw John under. He isn’t there to defend himself, but it doesn’t stop Valentine from equating him to a monkey when asked how expediting went. It was left alone after that explanation and I really miss Gale telling the contestant’s to sack up. They each have their heads on the chopping block and they have a fist full of excuses. Chrissy blames ignorance of the original dish, Josh blames expediting and CJ is clearly vexed for being tossed into the bottom.
Chrissy and Carla are sent packing. There is crying and waves good bye as a preview for next week shows Gale returning to lay down the no excuse thunder and a clip of Tom looking he is ready to rub someone’s nose in the piddle stain on the carpet.
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NOTE: Top Chef’s ‘Last Chance Kitchen‘ returns tonight! Catch the web-only show on BravoTv.com