I think we had the best Top Chef episode we will ever have last week. It’s amazing how such a bad restaurant wars episode could have such a satisfying ending.
We are in Oakland this week and the guest judge is MC Hammer. Because nobody knows food like… well I don’t know why he’s judging. But hey, it’s good to see him. The quickfires on this season are ridiculous. The Instagram one was the worst, but this is a close second. They need to make up a “rap name” for themselves and then make a dish that expresses their name in food. Or something. I had my TV on Lifetime for some reason today but have been mostly catching up on DVRed stuff. Every time I stopped a taping there was some show for children who want to be rappers on. One girl’s name was “Supa Peach” it seemed like every time I stopped the tape, the dude was doing his version of the pyramid, and “Supa Peach” was on the bottom. I’d go with “Supa Peach” and make a protein with some kind of jalepeno sauce and pair it with grilled peaches What would your rapper name and dish be?
Karen AKA Pink Dragon made a hot and sour soup. Carl AKA Dr. Funky Fresh made beef tartar. I amazed he didn’t call it a crudo. Amar AKA Santana Lovah made a sea bass. He cooked the fish and everything. Majorie AKA Miss Punch A Lot made a fried chicken sandwich. Everyone apparently thinks they are spicy and are making spicy dishes. Hammer keeps mentioning the heat in a way that makes me think he’s not into it. I bet if he had a grilled peach he would be happy. Isaac AKA Toups Legit (Apparently Toups is his last name) made shrimp and grits. I will generally choose shrimp and grits over anything else on a menu at least the first few times I eat there. Jeremy aka Spicy J-Rock 305 made a dungess crab broth with crab, squash and halibut cheek. HALIBUT CHEEK? Like the fish? Fish cheek? This does not compute. Kwame AKA Bay-Lish also made a Dungeness crab broth with grilled lobster. Padma encourages Kwame to rap for Hammer since he did some rapping in his past. He tries to rap off the cuff and was very nervous. At the end Padma hugs him and gives him a smooch on the cheek. He seemed pretty excited by that.
On the bottom, Hammer put Marjorie, Amar (!) and Kwame. He basically said of Kwame that Jeremy’s dish was better.
On the top we have Carl, Isaac and Karen. The winner is ISAAC! He’s Toups Legit! He has immunity!
Jonathan Waxman is there for the elimination! The challenge is to cook from a long ago period in time and use the ingredients, flavors and culinary trends of the time period. This sounds dumb. They draw knives to get the order they select their time period from. Isaac goes first, and chooses Viking Age. Carl choses Ancient Greece. Amar chooses Paris Belle Epoque. Marjorie takes Ancient India. Kwame picks Bejing Yuan (?) Dynasty. Jeremy chooses the California Gold Rush. That leaves Karen with Empire of Japan.
They all head to the library where they have 2 hours to research. Amar and Isaac have pretty easy tasks. Marjorie is struggling because her region of India didn’t eat rice. Everyone goes out for drinks. They take over a band’s setup and well, let’s say they jammed.
The judges roam through the kitchen and want to sample Kwame’s duck. It’s raw. How embarrassing! Majorie burns up two cast iron skillets.
The guests are mostly Michellan Star chefs. Carl serves marinated mackerel and calamari. Once again, I don’t think he cooked it. But the judges loved it. Majorie serves Indian lamb kabobs with lentils and split peas. She also made an Indian bread, paratha, which is what she kept burning. Padma says the paratha should be soft and she added to much heat to the pan. Sucks to be stuck making Indian food for Padma.
Isaac served venison and some sort of porridge from the time period on wood planks. The ladies liked it. Tom had a problem with Isaacs nuts. Or something. They loved Kwame’s duck that still looked undercooked to me.
Jeremy did an upscale version of a chowder. It’s sort of a decomposed chowder. They did not like Jeremey’s dish. The chowder was more like a sauce and there should have been more crab. Karen did a noodle dish with Wagu beef. Her broth was “too Chinese” for her Japanese assignment. Sometimes I think they just make shit up.
Amar went out last by himself. He made squab with vegetables, truffles, and fois gras. They love it. Especially the sauce. He won.
Kwame, Amar and Carl had the top three dishes. Amar won. It’s his first win.
Jeremy, Karen and Marjorie were in the bottom. Karen goes home for having too much going on in her dish, particularly her broth. Sayonara, Pink Dragon!
I’m not really sure what is going on next week. Is it another restaurant war? Japanese? And do I see Wesley and Phillip back? How much does production hate us?