leave your inhibitions at the door
Last season around this time, I was wondering what the hell was going on with the show because they moved from Texas to Vancouver. I guess they do it every year, but it still doesn’t make sense. They spend the entire season exploring the region they’re in and then ditch it. At least this season it made a little more sense than Texas to Vancouver. This time around, they put the contestants on a cruise to Alaska.
The Celebrity Cruise ship they were on was beautiful, elegant, somewhat hip, and filled with seemingly normal looking people. I’ve been on two cruises in my life and they were NOTHING like this. The first was an island-hopping cruise in the Greek Islands, which sounds nicer than it was. It was old in many ways – the boat was built in the 60s, the entertainment was out of the 70s, and the average age was in the 80s. The worst part was that we got to spend a combined total of 4 hours on Mykonos and Santorini; islands where people usually spend 4 weeks at a time. The second was a cheap-assed cruise in Mexico filled with people like this Guy Fieri looking fool -
Those sunglasses never left his head – even indoors at night. And he was James Bond compared to some of the other rubes on the ship.
The contestants had to cook a 1-bite dish for the Welcome Aboard party. They had two hours to prepare 200 portions and they all had to feature iceberg lettuce. Joining Padma was Curtis Stone, the host of Top Chef Masters.
Stefan – Braised iceberg lettuce, pastrami, fingerling potato & blue cheese sauce
Sheldon – Vietnamese lettuce wrap with pork, shrimp, and pickled iceberg hearts
Lizzie – Iceberg salad with crispy bacon, shallots, & anchovy vinagrette. meh.
Josh – Iceberg roll with apple cider vinaigrette, bacon jam, and blue cheese
Brooke – Iceberg wrap with bacon, scallop, caramelized onion, and crispy quinoa
The contestants had to cook an updated version of Surf & Turf for the dinner service at Qsine, the eclectic modern restaurant on the ship. Since Sheldon won the Quickfire, he got the first pick of the proteins and no other contestants could use those. The judges were Curtis, Tom, and Hugh.
Brooke: Mussels and frog legs with celery root and fennel puree, papadums, & shallot chutney
Stefan: Braised pork belly with beer sauce, parsnip, and eel ravioli
Josh: scrambled scallops with braised pork belly and bacon
Sheldon: Korean BBQ filet mignon, tempura lobster, sesame cabbage, kimchi and teriyaki sauce
Lizzie: Cabbage stuffed with suckling pig and scallops with mustard sour cream
Top Dishes: Brooke, Josh, Lizzie
Winner: Brooke. Her dish was described as innovative, imaginative, and combined surf & turf well. She gets a 7-night Caribbean vacation for two. Hopefully she won’t be seeing anything like this which, regrettably, was just one of many sightings –
Bottom: Stefan, Sheldon
Gone: Stefan. The pork was way too crunchy, the sauce greasy, and the eel flavor wasn’t there.
- As much as people thought that Top Chef Texas sucked, there were a couple episodes where the food was out of this world – the mentor dinner and the one where they cooked for Charlize Theron. Every dish on both of those was ambitious and gorgeous. No episodes have come close to that this year.
- I say last week’s episode was fixed. The producers were probably afraid Josie would’ve been pushed overboard. Sure she could’ve easily been shivved in an earlier episode, but here there’s no body to mess with.
- Speaking of Top Chef Masters, recent contestant Takashi Yagihashi announced last week that he’s opening a second Slurping Turtle right here in Ann Arbor. There’s a strong chance that it’s going to be right by my house. So excited.
- I was really starting to enjoy Stefan’s personality. Sure he could be abrasive, but he was also pretty damn funny. I was dying when they kept on showing him as this lecherous European who just wants to get laid. He even talked about how he lost his virginity on a cruise. He will be missed.
- The scrambled scallops sounded disgusting.
- I guess Josh has a hat for every occasion.
- Can we officially say these things are now out of style?