Top Chef Recap: Wok This Way To My Suicide Mission…

mmmm Isaac. Ummm I mean mmmm, gumbo!

Fleur de Lys mmmm Isaac. Ummm I mean mmmm, gumbo!


We start with Amar coming off his first win and the group, particularly Majorie, mourning the loss of the only other female left in the competition.  Majorie, like all of the other women in seasons past, vows not to let things turn into a sausage party. Unfortunately, that appears to be Tom Colicchio’s favorite type of party.  But there is always one female that he keeps until at least final four. Congrats, Marjorie. You’re that girl this season.

My excitement with seeing a Chinatown on TV makes me realize I’m more of a city girl than I ever thought. I really would like to live somewhere that I could walk to stuff, and also a place that’s a bit more international. I may have move out of Mexico for that to happen though.  I’ve enjoyed living in Mexico, but I’d like to live somewhere that isn’t rednecks and Mexicans and Nene Leakes for a bit.  I might be ready to live with some Yankees, Cubans  and Jewish folks for a change of pace.  You know, in Florida.  I need some variety.

Quickfire Challenge

But I digress.  We are in Chinatown with Martin Yan. I am already tired of hearing, “If Yan can, you can.”  Thank God this is only a quickfire.  Where we make “Chinese food” aka Chop Suey.  This is just like when the yankee with the unibrow came to Atlanta to make southern food. Only with added racial insult.  There is no more immunity. But the winner will get “an advantage” in the elimination challenge.

Jeremy is wanting to use a lot of “umami” flavors. Because that is the new black in tastebuds. Apparently, it is the new undiscovered flavor sensation for our palates, glutamate.  Something we shun when it’s monosodium glutamate (MSG). But apparently love in its natural form. I assume what he means is that he will be using a lot of dashi.  It’s a Japanese thing, not a Chinese thing. Isn’t that what just sent Karen home? I mean at least it was Tom’s excuse. Let’s see if this matter if you have testicles.

Some of the chefs are intimidated by Martin Yan. Kwame has no idea who he is and is just going to make some chop suey. As it turns out, Jeremy didn’t use dashi, and I’m not sure he really knows what umami flavors are as his dish was spicy hot with chilies. Majorie does a lobster chop suey. She gets high marks from Yan for mastering the Chinese use of “control.”  Carl tries a suck up move mentioning Yan’s “forty slices out of a clove of garlic” but it didn’t help his overcooked lobster. Amar serves GIGANTIC portions but receives great feedback. Isaac does a modified General Tso’s chicken. Yan says the chicken is a little starchy.  What does that mean? Overly breaded? How can chicken be starchy? Yan compliments Kwame’s “oil blanching technique” as “very Chinese” but then says he fucked up the technique entirely.  Marjorie won her first quickfire.

Top Chef Kwame Phillip

Elimination Challenge

The Challenge: Come up with a fast casual restaurant idea that can work in any city. Make a menu for it. Choose one dish to serve to 150 people to who will pick the best dish.

Six previous contestants come back to work with each remaining player. I would say to help each player but Phillip and Wesley are back. So Majorie’s advantage is to assign who works with who (and clearly saddle two of her biggest competitors with those two).  Majorie picks Angelina over Karen. Which makes sense really because Angelina is the best sous chef.  She gives Jason to Jeremy.  Wait, isn’t Jason the guy who basically quit the show because he wanted to go home? Why is he back? She gives Carl the gift of Chad. Lucky Carl! Nobody wants Phillip. She’s also nice to Amar who gets Karen.  Isaac gets stuck with Wesley, but I am amazed she didn’t give him Phillip as much as she hates Isaac. That leaves Phillip for Kwame.  Kwame seems to have given up three weeks ago so this was a waste of a good ball and chain. I would have given Phillip to Amar who is on the way up. She puts them together because she knows they hate each other.

Jeremy is doing tacos with weird fillings or something. Amar is doing a rotisserie chicken. Carl is doing something southern medtierrean. Majorie is doing something Italian. And Kwame is doing frozen whole wheat waffes. I’m not kidding. He is going to the store to buy some frozen waffles. Hell, why not just by frozen chicken fingers while you are there? This is suicide. Clearly, he misses his boyfriend business partner back home. A lot. There is no other explanation for this. It also explains why he didn’t care that he got Phillip. He’s done.  Does Whole Foods even sell frozen waffles? I keep forgetting Marjorie worked at Per Se. This impresses me immensely and make me try to like her more. If she would just lay off my boy, Isaac it would be easier. But she learned how to make pasta at Per Se, y’all. Per. Fucking. Se.  Clearly, I’ve spent way too much time reading about rich people places in NYC.   I was thinking I missed what Isaac was doing  until I see him freaking out in Whole Foods wondering what to do. This is not the time for that Isaac!  Finally, he decides on gumbo. I wish I could buy his gumbo right this second and have it droned to my door.  Will I live long enough for the whole drone thing because I will be as big as my shack lets me expand.

Back at the hotel, we get more of Majorie putting down Isaacs food. This time it’s that gumbo is another one of Isaac’s “stewed style” things.  Really? When I think of Isaac I think of meat. Um, never mind. I am hoping all of this is editing and Majorie really puts down everyone and we are just seeing the Isaac stuff because these two are the final two.  That’s not a spoiler, I have no spoilers, I’m just hoping that is the reason. I’d also like to point out that Majorie always makes “bread style things.” Because have a seat Marjorie. Speaking of Marjorie, she is going to cook her spaghetti in a fryer filled with water.  That is either genius or going to burn down the entire building with an electrical fire.

Carl’s restaurant is called Savory Med and his dish is lamb stew over couscous.  I love lamb stew over couscous. A lot. But it’s not exactly fast casual and they are serving in paper baskets. Mishquase.  Majorie’s restaurant is called Pasta Mama and she has olive oil poached tuna over spaghetti. I’m thinking tuna is fatty enough without poaching it in olive oil. But what do I know, her water in the fryer thing seems to be working splendidly.  Jeremy’s restaurant is called Taco Dudes.  His tacos are made with pork belly and served on either a lettuce wrap or a wonton shell.  If you are going to eat fried pork belly, are you really the lettuce wrap type?  Just do a taco shell, dude.  Kwame’s restaurant is called Waffle Me and he is shilling frozen tacos and fried chicken pieces.

The people come in and it is all Amazon women. Do they grow them that big in San Francisco?  I’m just over 5’9″ in my flat feet myself, but I don’t know it if is the camera angle or what but the height on these women was set off by three or four short ones in the mix. Are there no men in San Francisco? This crowd just looks odd.

The Judges start with Savory Med.  They like it. Next up, Gumbo for Y’all. I wish he would have down sausage and shrimp rather than sausage and chicken. Because shrimp is better than chicken and they are in a seafood town. The like this too. Only Tom is like… gumbo dismissive…because snobby   At Waffle Me, the suicide mission looks like a success. Pasta Mama is next.  Marjorie calls the pasta maker an extruder, because I’m sure they called it that at Per Se. Where she learned to make pasta. Did I mention that? The judges like it.  Taco Dudes is next. They are not fans of the dude.  Anwar’s Pio Pio place is next where he serves up Rotisserie chicken with rice and a marinated bean salad. It looks good!  He has three sauces and I want them all. I’m a saucy girl. Padma wants to know why she is not getting a whole piece of chicken. Amar says because he likes to eat the whole chicken, this way you get white and dark meat both. Padma and Blais bitch about the lack of skin you get with rotisserie chicken. Tom defends Amar which bodes well for Amar’s future down the line.

Judges Table

Their two favorites were Majorie and Carl. Carl?  Carl was the winner.

Kwame and Jeremy were on the bottom. Kwame went home. Suicide mission complete. I really like his knife carrying thingy though.

Next week: Hubert Keller, another San Francisco chef will be the judge.  Apparently, they will be doing the final service at his Fleur de Lys restaurant.


Filed under Bravo, Entertainment News, Top Chef

20 responses to “Top Chef Recap: Wok This Way To My Suicide Mission…

  1. Channelingyonce


  2. JoJoFLL

    As soon as Kwame picked up those frozen waffles you knew he was going home.

    Per Se just got blistered by the NY Times food critic. Lost a couple of stars. Criticized every single thing about the place and not just the food.

    • tamaratattles

      Prolly cause Marjorie isn’t there! LOL. Thanks for the heads up I’ll go look for the review. This means I don’t have to feel bad about not going there anymore. I do recall now that you mention it someone who goes to those type NYC restaurants telling me it wasn’t that great the last time he went.

  3. Cat

    This post made me hungry.

  4. Margarett

    Thanks for the especially great recap. For me it rated numerous giggles, several head nods, and three laughs loud enough to wake the dog.

  5. You knew as soon as Kwame picked frozen waffles he was gone, you don’t do that on Top Chef. Philip knew it too and just let him hang himself.

  6. tamaratattles


  7. Wanda

    The chance to be on Top Chef doesn’t happen every day, and Kwame threw it away. How could he not know how to make fresh waffles??

  8. I guess Kwame really wanted to go home–why else use frozen waffles?? What the heck did Kwame and Man-bun Phillip do with all that prep time? All they did was make fried chicken on a frozen mini waffle; how ridiculous. Too bad, a chicken and homemade waffle place could have been a good idea.
    Isaac all the way! I enjoy him. Mopey Marjorie seems like a talented chef, but she needs to stop ripping on Isaac. Mopey knows Isaac is stiff competition.
    I hope ‘Top Chef’ isn’t too snooty to let Isaac win the top honor this season.
    Thanks for the great, funny recap!

  9. Gladyskravitz

    I’m really sick of Marjorie ripping on Isaac!! He’s the best. She’s got a horrible attitude and seems to think she’s superior to everyone else. All she does is bake bread so she really needs to shut up about my boy Isaac! I can’t wait until she’s kicked off.

    • Tex2DC

      Marjorie irritated me this episode (more than usual). Her pasta mama concept was completely ripped from a dc restaurant where you actually have to walk past the mamas making pasta in an old school kitchen to get to the dining room. It is a pretty famous spot in the dc area…..presidents have had mtgs there and their favorite dishes named after them. Marjorie acted so humble when they were complementing her on the concept.

      • Jim

        I don’t doubt that there is a locally well-known “pasta mama” style restaurant in DC. But it certainly can’t be too “famous” because no one at the judge’s table seemed to know that it existed.

      • Ah but remember she worked here in DC for Jose Andres, Zantinya or Jaleo, I think. I think it was Zatinya. That’s why she came up with Pasta Mama. I don’t like her, but I love her cooking.

  10. BTW: This is why I don’t like the “Last Chance Kitchen” concept. ‘Cuz a clever contestant could decide they need a break from the stressful quick-fire and elimination challenges, and then purposely do something really dumb (like use frozen mini waffles) to get eliminated. Then they get to still compete in Last Chance Kitchen, and if they win, they earn coming back to the regular competition. I think Kwame decided he needs a break. He hasn’t been doing so well for the last few weeks, and he’s looked a bit shell-shocked. And right before he packed up his knives, Kwame made that great, touching speech to Tom about working at his restaurant, Kraft, and how it taught him about true cuisine. Now he’ll try to win L.C.Kitchen. If Kwame pulls this off, he’s a genius, ‘cuz now Tom (and Padma) have a soft spot in their heart for him.

  11. Poor Kwame, he sabotaged himself.

  12. I loved my Dear Old Aunt Ruth’s Chop Suey. Cans and cans of stuff with greasy hamburger meat. She survived the Depression, lol…my Dad called it “slop.” :)

    This>>>” I wish I could buy his gumbo right this second and have it droned to my door. Will I live long enough for the whole drone thing because I will be as big as my shack lets me expand.”

    Snort! Me too – bring on the drones!

    And fuck Kwame and his Daddy-angst.

    And fuck Savory Med (or whatever)…I would never eat anything at a place called that, altho’ felt better about the win after Padma said it was by far the fave of the diners.

  13. More Tea Please!

    If the Savory Med concept appeals to you (The Mediterranean equivalent of Chipotle) it is alive and well in Atlanta at Bezorria at 903 Peachtree Street. It’s quick, tasty and inexpensive.

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