leave your inhibitions at the door
I’m sure many of you (read: maybe 1 or 2) are wondering about my writing process for these Top Chef recaps. Do I take notes while I watch the show and then write up the review later? Or do I watch a recorded version of the show and write as I go? Or do I simply just plagiarize someone else’s review?
You can obviously tell that I didn’t copy someone else’s work word-for-word. Because if I did, I’d choose someone funnier and with gooder grammar.
I do want to watch the show live but, like many of you, I’m usually still busy with other stuff when the show’s on. So I usually just watch the show from the DVR. I love the DVR’s terrific feature that allows me to skip forward 30 seconds with just a press of a button on the remote. Television is much better without having to sit through commercials.
So why am I telling you about something completely mundane? Because when I skipping through commercials last night, one of those 30-second jumps stopped at this:
Who knows what the hell the product was. All I know was that I was just minding my own business and – BAM! – white banana hammock. WITH treasure trail.
Good thing my family didn’t see me rewinding this over and over to get that picture.
Sudden Death Quickfire
The contestants had to create a unique clam chowder. Since this was a Sudden Death Quickfire, the loser had to battle head-to-head with another chef to stay in the competition. Winner gets immunity.
Favorites: Adam, Gregory, Melissa
Winner: Gregory, again.
Least Favorites: Dougie, Katsuji, Mei, Katie
Worst: Katie, again.
This time Katie didn’t get to pick her foe. All of the eliminated chefs returned and they had to vote amongst themselves who would go against her. Whoever wins the battle gets to stay in the competition. The chefs voted for George as he was the first one eliminated from the competition. He did get a raw deal – he got booted in the prep skills relay race and not because of a poorly-prepared dish – so it was good to see him get the opportunity. That was also a Sudden Death Quickfire and he chose Gregory in the one-on-one competition, not knowing he’s the last guy you want to go against.
They had to cook a rabbit in 45 minutes.
Katie: Tomato-braised rabbit leg with Moroccan tomato sauce
George: Roasted rabbit loin, barley risotto, glazed carrots, & mustard rabbit jus
The Winner: George is back in!
George is an unknown commodity so that definitely presents a new challenge for the other contestants. In terms of reality television, we have no idea what his personality is, either. Let’s see… slicked hair…wife beater…and gold chain.
D-bag says what?
The chefs had to create a dish for 75 Top Chef superfans. In a twist, the judges did all the shopping. The chefs knew which judge would be getting their food, but didn’t know the actual ingredients until they started cooking.
Mei (Tom shopping): rack of lamb with charred eggplant puree, scallion-ginger relish & lamb jus
George (Padma): beef and lamb kabob with green lentils & cucumber-mint yogurt
Melissa (Gail): sautéed shrimp, harissa yogurt, roasted fig, fennel, dill, mint & artichoke salad
Gregory (Padma): coconut & chicken in Madras curry with jackfruit relish
Katsuji (Gail): Harissa-poached shrimp with Tunisian potato salad
Adam (Richard) – flash marinated shrimp, mushroom conserva, peppadew peppers, herbs & aioli
Dougie (Richard): chorizo-marinated mussels with sweet pepper & cauliflower relish
Top Three: George, Dougie, Gregory
Bottom Three: Mei, Adam, Melissa
Gone: Adam. Not only was the shrimp weirdly cooked, the peppadew he was bragging about was bland.
– Adam did do some complaining about the ingredients, but that didn’t stop Dougie from winning. Earlier in the show he made a reference about how George’s glazed carrots were dated and amateur. True, but now you see where pushing the envelope got him.
– I liked him, though. At times he was cocky and preachy, but he also had a good deal of humility and clearly loved what he was doing.
– Ok, I am really perplexed about Katsuji. He doesn’t know clam chowder and a bunch of other foods in past challenges, but Tunisian potato salad is something he’s comfortable with?
– I call bullshit. Has anyone ever seen whole jackfruit at Whole Foods?
– For me the whole judges doing the shopping was a little anti-climactic. The judges had ideas for what they wanted them to make and tried to do some steering. It would’ve been fun if they didn’t know who was shopping for who.
– Or what would’ve been even better is if they picked a bunch of the unwashed rubes superfans and had them do the shopping. But I’m sadistic like that.
– Melissa’s dish was described as safe and not Top Chef-worthy. But I could find George’s lamb kebabs in a dozen places tomorrow. Same with Mei’s lamb chops.