Top Chef Recap: Hammer Time!

Top Chef Isaac


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!

Top Chef

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.

Judges Table

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?


Filed under Bravo, Entertainment News, Top Chef

12 responses to “Top Chef Recap: Hammer Time!

  1. Rose

    Best part was Kwame’s face when Padma kissed him! Nice to see Amar with a win.

  2. DarkThoughts

    Again Jeremy shows he can not cook using a stove. His dish was way worse than Karen’s. Jeremy can’t make rice or steak and now chowder. I want Majorie to stop baking. No more breads or desserts. That bread almost got her sent home.

  3. This episode was so stupid. And how much do they hate women??? Jeremys dish was disgusting yet they still sent Karen home??? And your right TT – they do just start making shit up when they want to send a certain person packing, and I guess that person was Karen this week!

  4. My rapper name would be GingaSnapa, and my rapper dish would be Red Snapper with ginger sauce. *rolls eyes*

    I think I have been so blinded by Jeremy’s winsome looks that I’ve overlooked that he’s not that great a cook. He seems to do good with fish (how ’bout some Red Snappa, Jeremy?) but that seems to be about it. At this point, he’s starting to embarrass me, so he can go at anytime now.

    • tamaratattles

      Yo Yo You GingaSnapa where was you this week when I bought my first whole red snapper and was looking for recipes? Is ginger sauce even a thing? I blackened mine and ate it with some red beans and rice like God and Isaac intended. It was pretty damn good. Almost worth the fact that I blew my whole protein budget on it and am eating canned chicken the rest of the week.

      That said, we already gave you your rapper name. It’s G-Snap.

  5. BKSweetheart

    This show is difficult for me to watch because I can’t stand Padma. Her demeanor grates on me. She seems so smug and bitchy.

  6. Jane

    Yeah, they are down to stupid quick fires. I just hate it when it’s too gimicky or ad driven. Still glad toups won. I question his versatility, but I bet his food tastes great. I am thinking Carl might win. He’s usually a top placer, seems level headed and keeps his cool under pressure. Kwame seems to have lost his juju since the memory dish.

  7. tamaratattles

    I totally have fantasies about running into Toups and calling him Toups now. LOL. I’m not sure if we are in love with his cooking or his Domly ways…. swoon.

  8. Shae

    Super glad to see Isaac doing well. Jeremy seems to be over-refining all his dishes as of late, they’re lacking substance. Too fussy.

    Glad Marjorie got taken down a notch, she’s an excellent chef but that ego rears it’s head sometimes and I don’t like it. The rest are much more humble, like carl, isaac, kwame, etc.

    I would be happy to see any of those guys win.

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