leave your inhibitions at the door
A couple of seasons ago in New Orleans, Nicholas was one of the most hated chefs in the competition. Many didn’t like his attitude and thought his food was inferior to the others, but that could’ve been a product of clever editing by the show. But one of the more surprising critiques involved his actions – or inaction – at one of the challenges. He had immunity for one challenge and proceeded to make a completely inedible dish that brought the team down. He should’ve been eliminated but fan-favorite Stephanie got sent home.
I defended him on this because the show IS A COMPETITION. He had every right to use the immunity and stepping down sounds nice, but c’mon….
A similar situation came up this week.
All of the zodiac signs relate to four elements – earth, water, air, and fire. The chefs had to determine their element and use the tools and ingredients that were displayed with it on the table. The winner got immunity and the bottom three would have to compete in a Sudden Death cook-off.
Top 3 – Katsuji, Sheldon, Jamie
Winner – Jamie
Bottom 3 – Jim, Sylva, Emily
Sudden Death Cook-off – Since none of the chefs were earth signs, the three had to use that element’s ingredients. They all had to make the same dish, and they decided on steak tartare.
Gone – Jim. The others didn’t sound particularly better, but his didn’t have a lot to it.
In teams of three, the chefs had to make food for a pirate-themed party. But first, a ridiculous treasure hunt across the city to get ingredients. Jamie’s team decided, since he had immunity, he would take any unpopular ingredients, which seemed like a good decision. But the assumption was that he would make something at least edible.
Sylva – asparagus soup with 63-degree egg, tarragon, macadamia nut pesto
Sheldon – filet mignon with pineapple nuoc cham, charred pineapple & candied macadamia nuts
Shirley – “Crewman Stew” with mussels, roasted bell pepper, farro & bacon
Casey – Salt-brined scallop with preserved lemon puree & toasted brazil nuts
Brooke – fried cauliflower with preserved lemon aioli, raisin, mustard seed & brazil nut relish
Katsuji – Cauliflower soup with spicy pork sausage, lemon hot sauce, chive powder & cumin
Emily – fennel & lobster chowder with crispy chicken skin, kaffir lime leaves & orange zest
John – Lobster with truffle butter & canned pea gnocchi
Jamie – Chicken satay with pickled fennel & orange salad
Best Team – Yellow
Winner – Shirley
Worst Teams – Red and black.
Lost Team – Red
Gone – Jamie
Jamie got stuck with chicken and peanut butter so made a chicken satay – not exactly Top Chef-worthy even if the execution wasn’t messed up. The person sent home HAD to come from a losing team, it’s not like they took the three worst from the two teams. So in this case, Jamie’s bad dish brought the whole team down and one of the other two would’ve been sent home. In this case it would’ve been Emily, whose chowder was only a very slightly better than his satay. Jamie offered up his immunity as a matter of pride and was sent home.
– That was a bummer about Jim. I really liked seeing him on TV, for his food and his personality.
– Jim was charring some peppers with a blowtorch and Sheldon kept on saying it looked like a blunt. Can someone PLEASE get Sheldon some weed to compete? That would make the best television.
– I’m a Scorpio, a fact I’m sure doesn’t mean much to you. Which is about as much as it means to me.
– I have to say I’m very impressed with the integrity that Jamie displayed. I know I wouldn’t have and I don’t think many would’ve blasted him on it. The lesson – go all out, all the time.
– Dish of the Week – Katsuji killed it with both of his dishes. I can’t decide which sounded better, so I’m choosing both.
– Casey’s scallop dish was described as inedible because the scallops weren’t fresh enough to be served raw. I really wish they didn’t edit it because she fought back pretty hard on the judges.
– Second week in a row Brooke messed up. Pull it together girl.
– Last Chance Kitchen Part 1 – Jim and Silvia battled it out with steak and potatoes and both produced similar dishes. That’s the problem I have with steak dinners – they taste great, but there isn’t a whole lot of variation you can do. Jim eked it out.
– Last Chance Kitchen Part 2 – Jim gets no rest as they went straight into his cook-off with Jamie. They got to use the same treasure chest that Jamie had in the regular show and both made lobster poached in butter with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and other similar ingredients. It sounded like Jim was going to take it, but a small accent relish was oversalted, probably mistakenly so. Jamie is back in it.