The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Top Chef NOLA Episodes 9 & 10

Episode 8

Episodes 12 & 13


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


Elimination Challenge

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


Random Thoughts

– 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.




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 NOLA Episodes 9 & 10

  1. thewineraconteur
    December 14, 2013

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Soiteny.

  2. giselzitrone
    December 15, 2013

    Wünsche einen schönen besinnlichen Advent liebe Grüße Gislinde

  3. PinotNinja
    December 17, 2013

    I vote that you make the mussels (probably the easiest) and then follow it up with a biscuit-based dessert. You have to forgive me — it’s just the start of strawberry season down here, so I’m dying for a biscuit, strawberry, whipped cream number.

    I think my money is on Shirley to take the season. I had originally been backing Nina, but it really feels like she’s slipping and I’m not loving the negative attitude that is starting to (understandably) seep out of her.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      December 17, 2013

      Oops, already made something. But it’ll get you halfway there. Will post it later today.

      Shirley and Nina are probably front-runners. But I’m rooting for Carlos. Of the three he has the sexiest accent.

  4. Pingback: Top Chef NOLA Episode 11: Giving it the College Try | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  5. Pingback: Top Chef NOLA Episode 8: Piggin’ Out | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on December 12, 2013 by in Television and tagged , , , , .
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