The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Top Chef Seattle Episode 8: Jalapeño Business

Episode 7     Episode 9

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Or Tuesday – whichever you celebrated.  I just got back from spending a bunch of time in Chicago with my family gaining about 10 pounds.  On Christmas Eve, I roasted my somewhat famous horseradish-crusted beef tenderloin much to my brother’s dismay.  It wasn’t that he doesn’t dig beef, it’s that he didn’t want me to cook it.   Every time I’ve ever seen him cook, he’d cut off pieces of raw meat and eat it like a barbarian.  I’ve seen him eat everything from raw bacon to cheap-o ground beef to pork.   I often wonder what kind of parasites he has growing in his digestive system but maybe he’s grown completely immune.  This time it was high quality beef so it was probably safe.  But because I knew he’d dig it, I took a hunk sliced it super-thin like carpaccio.  But that wasn’t enough to satisfy him – he wanted the whole five pounds served raw.   Thinking quickly I asked him to pour me some Bourbon, which distracted him long enough for me to put the roast in the oven.  It came out near-perfect and everyone enjoyed it.

So now I’m back at home with a pile of bags that need to be unpacked, amongst a thousand other things to do.  Thankfully, I have this week’s Top Chef to keep me “busy.”

Note:  There was some foul up with my DVR so I had to watch online.  So instead of me taking crappy pictures of my TV, I was able to do screengrabs.  But now I’m wondering if I have to do something with credits.  So here goes – it’s a Bravo TV show and I saw it on Amazon Instant Video.  Cool stuff.


The contestants were told to drive a mini-fleet of Toyotas to harvest a bunch of oysters for their challenge.  While doing so, Josie got stuck in the mud and was pleading for help.  Unfortunately, they got her out.  Back in the kitchen, they had to prepare an oyster dish for Emeril.  Five of them did a hot dish, five did a cold one.  The winner gets $5K, but no immunity.

Making hot dishes were:

Kristen – Oysters with caramelized honey tomato broth, celery leaves & chili

Time Bomb – Oysters poached in garlic butter with swiss chard & garlic-parmesan foam

Josie – Wood-roasted oysters with chorizo & cilantro cream

Neville Jr – Crispy fried oysters with arugula salad, hot sauce & lemon

Overgrown van Damme – Oysters with champagne, butter & cream

Making cold dishes were –

Stefan – Smoked oysters with potato vinaigrette & flash frozen salt

Yukon – Oysters with pickled cucumbers, white soy, cilantro, & red chili

Lizzie – Oysters with crushed currant juice, crushed pink peppercorn

Brooke – Oysters with salsa verde, cilantro, horseradish & red chili

Sheldon – Oysters with chilled old bay broth & ginger scallion pesto

Bottom Three – Josie, Overgrown van Damme, Time Bomb

Top Three – Lizzie, Neville Jr, Brooke

Winner – Neville Jr

Elimination Challenge

Working in teams of two, the chefs had to create dishes at a party for the local roller derby league.  Five of the league’s players were there and each one had a (somewhat) food-related nickname.  Each chef team chose a player and had to make a dish inspired by her nickname.  Judges were Hugh, Emeril, & Tom.

“Teriyaki Terror” – Overgrown van Damme & Josie – Steak Teriyaki with forbidden rice, beet blood & green papaya salad

“Jalapeno Business” –  Lizzie & Neville Jr – Crab-stuffed jalapeno with avocado cream, onion & pepper relish

“Eddie Shredder” – Kristen & Stefan – shredded inside out  chicken: corn puree, chicken liver & sunny-side up egg

“Kutta Rump” – Brooke & Time Bomb – Thai beef with lobster jasmine rice & Thai slaw

“Tempura Tantrum” – Yukon & Sheldon – Tempura yuzu curd with shiso, Fresno chili, sweet potato & vanilla

Favorites – Brooke & Time Bomb, Neville Jr & Lizzie

Winner – Brooke & Time Bomb, hailed as delivering on the requirement of being bold and adventurous.  It sounded like it was executed well.  Whether that’s “bold and adventurous” is debatable.

Least Favorites – Sheldon & Yukon as their tempura was mushy and Josie & Overgrown van Damme for underseasoning and general lack of direction.

Gone – Overgrown van Damme.

– I was a little worried that having that long personal intro to this post was going to be out of place.  It was, but at least it was somewhat interesting, unlike many of the dishes in this episode.  I found most of them were either boring or commonplace.  I’m more interested when there’s some wit, innovation, or something I can’t do.  Foodwise, it was a disappointment.

– I know Kristen used to be a model and is very attractive.  But did Bravo really have to point it out to us?

kristen hot

– Seattle is known as Rat City?  My brother went to grad school there and I visited a few times.  Never heard of that nickname.

– Josie was professional football player.   There’s a gag here somewhere.

– I really don’t get roller derby.  Nothing fun or hot about it.  There was an awesome glimpse of Sheldon at the game.

 Sheldon bored

This is EXACTLY how I’d look – minus the nasty facial hair.  It actually could’ve been a “OMG, will Josie ever shut up?” face.

– Josie , who seemed to be schnockered, said Neville Jr was in a closet.  Really?  If he is, my gaydar didn’t detect it.  Not that it matters.

– I always wonder how much they take into account carry-overs from previous episodes.? They emphasized how Bart’s food has occasionally been underseasoned and was again this time.  Sheldon’s done some really interesting things in the past and this was his first major screw-up.  So maybe they were a little lenient?

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

6 comments on “Top Chef Seattle Episode 8: Jalapeño Business

  1. Pingback: Top Chef Seattle Episode 7: Foiled Again « The Food and Wine Hedonist

  2. a2sicilian
    January 7, 2013

    Catching up on my Hedonist reading. Coupla thoughts:

    –I think Kristin is destined for celebrity chefdom. She’s got the talent, looks, and is assertive without being obnoxious (we all know that’s what the world likes in a woman, for better or for worse).

    –I wished I’d remembered your beef tenderloin recipe for Christmas 2012.I made another I found on, with a rosemary panko crust and a warm tomato and olive salad; a few years ago I made another one with a “Caesar” crust.They were both good, but your with the horseradish crust and port reduction is still my fav.

  3. thefoodandwinehedonist
    January 7, 2013

    Agree on Kish. She’s a pretty solid chef who may win this because she does a lot of complex things and doesn’t fuck up. Hope I didn’t jinx her here. Are you thinking TV chef celebrity or just regular big-time chef. I can see the former…

    As for the tenderloin – there’s a link to it in the recipe guide on the left hand menu.

  4. a2sicilian
    January 7, 2013

    TV chef. Thanks for the link; printing out before i forget.

  5. a2sicilian
    January 7, 2013

    Appropos of nothing (okay there’s a Top Chef link), I just tried Rick Bayless’s “skillet sauce” for tacos for family taco night. Good stuff, will buy again. Found at WFM. (Not paid advertising.)

  6. Pingback: Top Chef Seattle Episode 9: Past Suppers « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on December 28, 2012 by in Television and tagged , , , , , , , .
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