leave your inhibitions at the door
In last week’s episode, there was an uncomfortable moment where two chefs had to compete one-on-one to stay in the game at the site of a former plantation. Gerald (who is black) acknowledged the locale’s history, but it’s hard to say whether it was that or his impending elimination that made him uncomfortable.
I wondered if that’s going to be an ongoing theme of the show – Charleston’s acceptance of its racist past as part of the residents’ shared histories. Would they just acknowledge it once and not mention it again this season? Or would we see more references to the differences between the races? I doubt that Bravo would shy away from topic, but it could end up being heavy-handed for what’s ostensibly mindless entertainment.
This week, each of the two teams (TC veterans versus newbies) had dinner at local chef’s house. The veterans dined at the home of BJ Dennis, who is part of the Gullah community. Those are descendants of slaves from 400 years ago, well before the US was even the US.
The newbies dined at the home of Carrie Morey –
one of the whitest families to grace television since Ward and June Cleaver.
So it looks like they’re not afraid of acknowledging the races. Bravo, Bravo.
Last week had two Quickfire Challenges, so it was straight to the Elimination Challenge this week. But before they had dinner at the chefs’ homes, they were treated to a shrimp boil courtesy of this week’s guest judge, Nick Offerman.
OK, it’s Frank Lee. But tell me he doesn’t look like the real one –
They had to use their dinners for inspiration for a family-style meal for a collection of local chefs.
Winning Team – Veterans
Winner – Casey’s collard greens with turnips, coconut, peanut, crispy chicken skin, bread crumb, and smoked trout roe
Losing Team – Rookies
Gone – Annie’s tomato tart had an undercooked, mushy crust
Dish of the Night: The one I would love to get into my mouth right now is Sam’s vinegar and tea-brined fried chicken with pickled yellow beets and hot sauce. It wasn’t necessarily spectacular but, c’mon, FRIED CHICKEN
– OK, that intro was a joke. I really don’t care about the whole race storyline thing and doubt that it’s going to be one with Bravo. But you gotta admit, that’s one honky-assed family.
– This loss was pretty predictable. Annie didn’t show much as a chef last week and she mentioned that she doesn’t do well with being in the spotlight. This week she wasn’t assertive enough to claim a course so she got stuck with a dish she didn’t really want to make. Unfortunately, being cutthroat is an important part of succeeding on Top Chef.
– Awesome quote #1
Low Country boil is exactly how I like to eat… Dig in, use your hands. All I need is a beer…Which we didn’t get. – Sheldon
– Sheldon made the Filipino dish Pinakbet, which consists of a variety of vegetables in a bitter/pungent stew. It was one of my least favorite dishes as a kid, but I’m wondering whether my adult taste buds might think differently. Time to call mom.
– Awesome quote #2
Amanda is kind cuckoo, she’s very interesting when you’re paying to what she’s saying. I’m not really paying attention. Katsuji
– Every year there’s usually a chef or two that takes on the villain role and this year it’s newbie Emily. And she’s taking it to new heights especially in her commentaries.
– But, then again, I’m starting to wonder whether they fed her those lines afterwards. It kinda seemed like it was over the top.
– Last week was also the premiere of Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo’s online companion series where ousted chefs compete to get back into the competition. Gerald and Annie did something that challenged their lack of time management skills. Both showed why they were the first ones gone. Annie completely lost on a technicality, but probably would’ve lost based on quality of the dish.