Last week on ‘Top Chef’ Seattle, the chefs recreated a 1950′s meal from the menu at Canlis restaurant. Josh threw Jon under a bus even though he wasn’t in the Bottom Three Shame Session after his Tourette style of expediting caused his soup to fail. Chrissy and Carla were sent packing after their meal of soupy salad and undercooked squab didn’t please the palates of the judges.
The surviving chefs question their competition mortality in the stew room after Chrissy and Carla are sent home. The next morning, it hits Stefan as it is his 40th birthday. During his first round on ‘Top Chef,’ several chefs went home on their special days and this has him worried the curse might be carrying on this season.
The mass of culinary wizards meet Padma and Daisley Gordon in Pike Place market. They get right down to business by instructing the chefs to pair up. Josh and John manage to team up despite their mutual underlining hatred. They are all tasked with making breakfast to go…on a stick. My mind whirls with the idea of some sort of breakfast corn dog for the market employees. They must also shop for their kitchen, set up and cook in 1 hour.
Bart and Sheldon look like they are attempting slapstick comedy as they clash around their pop-up kitchen. Bart even manages to break the panini press he acquired. Brooke and Stefan agree on a stuffed french toast while Josh and Jon opt to create a breakfast taco. CJ insists on salmon on a stick wrapped in a crepe with cream cheese. His partner, Ty, goes Tyler,along with it with gusto. Josie and Eliza butt heads over spice as Kristen and Micah restart their dish after discovering their first creation is too dense. Danyele and Lizzie create a berry and pancetta on a stick combo as their neighboring competitors, Stefan and Brook crank out a croque monsieur. Upon sight, it looks like a fancy but tiny ham sandwich skewered around some figs.
The verdict: Danyele and Lizzie find themselves on the bottom as Josie and Eliza fail with their ricotta pancake. Sheldon and Bart earn praise for the creation despite a broken press. They are so nerdy together it is adorable. Josh and John also enjoy a thumbs up, but Sheldon and Bart win the prize of immunity. They even exchange a missed high five. I want to squeeze their cheeks.
As for the Elimination Challenge, they will remain in the pairings and must create a dish highlighting their chosen ingredient. After drawing knives for their must-use component, each chef isn’t exactly happy with their pick sans Micah who nabbed cheese curds. They have 2 hours to whip up their lunch dish and present it for the panel of judges made of the people providing their theme ingredient. The reward is $10,000.
CJ and Tyler throw ideas around, but Tyler looks at CJ to make the decision. I wish this guy would find his testicular fortitude. He is nice, but has no confidence. Those proverbial nice guys always seem to finish last. On the other side of the pairings, Josh is barely tolerating John. Again, I scratch my head at why these two teamed up in the first place? Maybe they have a secret man crush and John pets Josh’s mustache at night while singing ‘Soft Kitty’ to ease him to sleep in the stressful environment. I suddenly want to see ‘Top Chef: After Dark.’
Moving along, Josie and Eliza verbally hug it out for the sake of competition. Danyele and Lizzie aren’t heading in a good direction. Liz wants to go in a savory direction with their coconut curry milk chocolate ingredient, but Danyele has already made the choice of a dessert. In ‘Top Chef’ history, that rarely ends well. Sheldon and Bart get their salmon candy which is like a jerky and the name of fabulous drag queen who did my nails for prom my senior year. True story.
The first round of cheftestants begin to cook and Josh starts in with his commentary on cooking with John. Of course, he holds his tongue about their uber dense grits because he doesn’t want to “butt heads over every detail” of their dish. Josh returns the favor and doesn’t say anything to Josh about his over cooked pork.
The chefs collectively present their dishes and the panel of judges dig in with no mercy…
*Stefan and Brooke’s duck is too tough and the cabbage is too sweet.
*John and Josh’s grits “suck” and the meat is “screwed up.”
*Micah and Kristen overpowered their cheese curds and Padma is pissed because She. Loves. Cheese.
*Sheldon and Bart also get verbally spanked because their salmon candy isn’t prevalent enough in their creation.
The second wave of chefs get to work in the kitchen and experience the same result.
*CJ and Tyler’s burger epically fails as CJ’s prediction of what Tom would suggest comes out the exact opposite. The burger is dubbed a sloppy mess and Tom rants about a lack of imagination.
*Josie and Eliza’s curry is too salty and Pandma finds sand in her broth while Gail fishes out a little rock.
*Lizzie and Daneyel tart also suffers the consequences. Tom knocks assembly and Gail dubs it her least favorite.
It is a unanimous decision that none of the dishes were up to par. With $10,000 prize on the line, Padma apologizes to the fellow judges for the sad meal. Tom enters and everyone tenses up. He lays down the thunder with a punishment of no cash prize and an entire team will face elimination the next day. He also reminds the chefs that ‘Last Chance Kitchen’ is returning, but they have to step it up.
Stefan immediately sequels, “Birthday curse!” He goes back to their digs and opens a bottle of wine. Josh bites bites Tyler’s head off for being so passive and defeatist attitude. Tyler immediately backs down from his statements and apologizes with his tail between his legs. Ugh.
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The next morning the chefs wake up and I’m right. Josh groggily asks his roommate, John, what time it is. Beard stroking. Stefan is already in the living room wining about the birthday curse. The dress and go to their dreaded stew room where Stefan and Brooke, Josh and John, and CJ and Tyler are dubbed the bottom of the shiz pile.
The excuses begin to fly. Stefan attempted to save his too sweet cabbage, but it wasn’t enough. Josh doesn’t want to throw John under the bus, but doesn’t even take a breath in that claim before doing so. The judges ask about the cut of the meat and Josh points his finger at John and practically says, “HE DID IT!” He also adds that he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to cause friction in their team. Padma throws an eye roll at this and I bust out in laughter with a slow clap.
CJ explains that he could hear Tom in a Yoda like essence telling him to showcase the pickle via soggy burger. Tom laughs and basically explains that his thought process was six different kinds of dumb. As they exit, CJ doubles back to ask about the dessert that was deemed “safe.” He describes it as “abhorrence, diabolic, a travesty.” The judges inform him that with all those descriptions, his burger was still worse.
Each judge deems a different dish the worst and leaves the fate of who gets axed up to Gail. The shamed chefs return to hear that CJ and Tyler are out. CJ is an angry giant and Tyler is thankful for all that he learned…blah…blah…weepy…blah. This guy is as moving as boiled broccoli.