The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Top Chef California Episode 8: Where’s The Beef?

This week’s episode had the chef’s providing food for a Beefsteak, which was an old-school political fundraiser for men only where participants would dress in tuxedoes and chow down on all kinds of meat with no utensils, plates or napkins.   As it was a gathering of men going all primal, it’s no surprise that they were big sexist affairs.

That got me thinking, that I haven’t been very sexist lately.   In prior years of recapping Top Chef, I used to make observations about the female cheftestants that had nothing to do with their cooking ability or performance on the show.

There was the reference to Sarah (Top Chef Texas) as The Picnic Ham with Eyes and The Mouth of Sauron

Mouth_of_Sauron lotrwikiacom


Or how Lyndsey (Texas)’s hair and skin tone made her look like a penis



It wasn’t all negative, as I recall Janine from Top Chef NOLA being easy on the eyes…

TC NOLA Janine


Nor was it limited to men as I called Micah from Top Chef Seattle “Aaron Neville Jr”

Neville from

Neville from



This year I wanted to focus on the food and the gamesmanship going on in the show.   I felt that talking about their appearances was shallow and I was past all that.   But I was wrong.   Yes, it’s still shallow.   But no, I’m not past all that.

It’s looking like Marjorie’s going to be a force to contend with on the show, so it looks like I’m going to have to be looking at this for a while.   It isn’t that she looks like a sweaty toad that bothers me.   It’s just that she’s so glum all the time.  This was her being happy –



Sexism Trigger Warning…

C’mon babe, SMILE!  You’d be much prettier if you smiled!


Quickfire Challenge

Speaking of appearances…

This challenge was all about food porn. There’s an Instagrammer who goes by the name of Jacques Le Merde who posts pictures of beautiful dishes made up of complete junk food.  The contestants had to do similar – make junk food into something visually stunning.   The winner would be chosen by what got the most likes on Instagram.

Karen’s dish came out the winner.

karen food porn


I thought it should’ve been Amar’s,

Amar food porn


Or Jeremy’s

jeremy food porn


Karen got immunity for the win, although it wasn’t announced until AFTER they cooked in the Elimination Challenge.


Elimination Challenge

The chefs had to prepare food for a Beefsteak, but this time it was coed and the proceeds went to charity.

Red Team

Kwame – shrimp with crab butter

Karen – asparagus with chorizo, potatoes and olives

Carl & Karen – Roasted strip loin with romesco

Blue Team

Isaac – chicken and bacon sausage with grilled cabbage

Chad – ash seared tuna with citrus pickled beets

Marjorie – assorted pickled vegetables and milk bread

Green Team

Phillip – Rack of lamb with prune jam

Amar – Grilled halibut with mustard vinaigrette

Jeremy – fried Brussels with bacon and sweet and sour sauce, roasted carrots with spiced yogurt

Top Dishes: Amar, Jeremy, Phillip

Winner: Phillip

Bottom: Marjorie, Chad, Isaac

Gone: Chad


Random Thoughts

– Chad was eliminated for having something too dainty and frilly for the Beefsteak.   However, none of the others were really “caveman” enough for the challenge.  But we haven’t seen too much out of him, so it was probably his time to go.

– When Phillip won, he talked about how he previously catered to what judges wanted and that now he’s doing what he wants to do.   But a big factor in his winning was that he was the only one to give the judges what they were expecting for the Beefsteak.

– Why was Marjorie on bottom? Not only didn’t they say one negative thing about her food, they were complimentary.

– Once again Isaac has the best line of the night –

Philip: This is not a cooking challenge. This is a plating challenge. Plating is so important, you eat with your eyes first, not with your mouth.

Isaac: People who say you eat with your eyes should be stabbed with a porkchop bone.



– I suppose it was a big deal that they revealed the identity of Chef Jacques Le Merde – it was some Canadian woman.  I’m just bummed they didn’t give the translation of “Merde”.  (It’s “shit”)

– I think this is the first time that they didn’t tell the contestants who had immunity.   They mentioned it a little, but I’m surprised they didn’t play it up more.  Although I’m not sure it matters because those with immunity very rarely go on cruise control.

– The past couple weeks I’ve forgotten to include an update on Last Chance Kitchen.  Here’s what you missed – Angelina made a better burger than Wesley and Grayson. Then she went up against Jason in a challenge to make something out of bland ingredients. She had a good run, but Jason proved to be too tough.

– In this latest episode, Chad and Jason were presented with a table full of whole pieces of beef. They had 25 minutes to cook a dish featuring beef, but only had 5 minutes to use their knives for butchering and other prep work. Jason went with a giant bone-in ribeye and Chad went a beef head.   It was entertaining to see Chad work with cheek, eyeball, and tongue, but Jason’s was perfectly done.



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.

5 comments on “Top Chef California Episode 8: Where’s The Beef?

  1. anotherfoodieblogger
    February 1, 2016

    I found out this comes on when my husband’s favorite show comes on, and we have no DVR. I’ll see about watching it online somehow. 🙂

  2. Tammy
    February 2, 2016

    Marjorie was on the bottom because it was a team challenge and hers was the losing team.

  3. Next Stop: TBD
    February 3, 2016

    Yes, Jack Shit. Excellent. Thanks for the Last Chance Kitchen recap as I can’t be bothered to watch and they’ve now cleverly stopped showing who the newly kicked out person will go up against in the previews.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 3, 2016

      Didn’t even think about the Jack part! LCK is actually worth watching because of the banter. Interesting that a lot of freshly booted chefs were expecting Garret to still be in it. He’s awesome there.

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2016 by in Television and tagged , , , , , , .
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