leave your inhibitions at the door
YO! I’m back! I had to skip out on the full recap for Episode 9, because I was sick as all hell. So let me give you a quick rundown:
– It was restaurant wars week, which I think is totally overrated. There’s always too much drama about which of the plates and silverware look best and service issues. Just give me the damn food porn. Or regular porn. I’m easy.
– One of the teams was stacked with the most winning chefs– Justin, Nina, Shirley, Carlos, Sarah. The other had more bottom-feeders – Nicholas, Stephanie, Carrie, Travis, Brian. But talent doesn’t always lead to a win. Strong leadership, teamwork, and people understanding their roles is key.
– I like to think that having a good working team is a lot like the Three Stooges.
– They worked because there was one Moe (the bossy one), one Curly (the charming goofball), and one Larry (the one that’s not noticeable, but does a lot of gruntwork). And they still were good even when Shemp took Curly’s role as the charming goofball. He knew his role and he executed.
– Nicholas (Moe) took charge right away and Travis (Curly) took over the front of the house, using his gay charms to create a welcoming dining experience. The other team was stacked with Moes. Justin was the exec chef and Sarah took care of the front. Those two roles usually are the ones that take the heat for losing and this was no exception – he had no vision and she had no interest. Their restaurant was a complete shitshow.
– It also didn’t help that their two dishes were awful. But Sarah’s was a little more awful, so she got booted. I also think Justin’s past wins gave him enough credit with the judges to eke by.
On to week 10…
Padma was there with Top Chef Masters alum Hubert Keller and a shit-ton of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. They have 30 minutes to prepare a dish using coffee. The winner gets immunity and 10 grand.
Travis – Alaskan sockeye salmon, coffee ponzu & coffee roasted eringi mushrooms
Carrie – Coffee custard with candied coffee beans & cocoa nibs
Brian – Coffee risotto with andouille and sugar snap peas
Carlos – Coffee & macadamia sponge cake with mascarpone coffee sauce
Nicholas – Roasted sockeye salmon with hazernut coffee caramel & hon-shimeji mushrooms
Shirley – Coffee-crusted tenderloin with garlic puree & coffee brown butter sauce
Stephanie – Sweet potato & goat cheese coffee crepe with ham & bacon coffee jam
Bottom – Brian, Nicholas
Top – Shirley, Carrie, Stephanie
Winner – Shirley
Actor (and NOLA boy) Anthony Mackie introduces the challenge – Make a dish inspired by food you eat at home.
Carlos – Cochinita pibil with black beans, orange pico de gallo & corn tortilla
Brian – Korean BBQ New York strip with potato salad
Travis – Biscuits with maple sage sausage gravy & sour plum jam
Nicholas – Ricotta gnudi with pancetta, peas, lemon & parmesan
Shirley – Beijing noodles, fermented bean & pork sauce with pickled radish
Stephanie – Mussels with spicy pickled peppers & tomatoes
Justin – Louisiana rice with chicken thigh gravy, pickled mirliton & jalapeno
Carrie – Creamed asparagus over toast & poached egg
Nina – Curried chicken with fried bakes
Favorites – Nicholas, Stephanie, Carlos
Winner – Nicholas
Bottoms – Travis, Brian, Justin
Gone – Travis
– I’m too lazy to check, but didn’t they do something with cooking home-inspired food already this year? At very least they’ve done a lot of stuff inspired by their home or heritage. I like the version they did in Top Chef Texas’ Mentor Episode. The food was much better and more heartfelt.
– Ok, my Three Stooges Business Management Model (TM) kinda falls apart when you factor in that talentless, over-acting hack – Curly Joe. Then again, they were pretty old by then.
– Carrie’s and Stephanie’s Quickfire dishes were not $10K dishes. Shirley deserved it.
– My head is spinning with ideas on what dish to make that’s inspired by this episode. I’ve made gnudi before and love it. Although it was the losing dish, I could really murder a giant plate of biscuits & gravy right now. But then, I’m thinking about 3-4 “home” foods.
– Screw it, I’ll probably just go with what’s easiest.
– There was a commercial for Yellow Tail Chardonnay where they call it the “go-to holiday wine.” Which means – “We got invited to a party we really don’t like the people so let’s ‘go-to’ Kroger and get the cheapest shit possible.”
– But thank you for having the bikini-clad chicks in the hot tub.