We begin with that glorious moment where Wesley went home. Sorry homeboy, not a fan. I totally zoned out. I get really into this show and forget I am supposed to be recapping. It’s the tenth anniversary of Top Chef so I think most things are going to be around the number ten. We have ten chefs left. They each got to choose an ingredient from the pantry and everyone must use the same ten items only. Phillip went first, and he chose the protein, which is exactly what I would have done. He picked a New York steak. The next dude, I think it was my boy Isaac, then picked chicken! Not the best move but maybe he has a plan? Jason picked celery when there were no vegetables other than tomatoes. This should be interesting. Other than Phillip, I kind of like everyone left. And Phillip is actually okay with me if he would just stop with the dog shit smoke infusions and the snot on a rock. I still don’t know everyone’s names, because I’m slow.
Isaac doesn’t even use the chicken he picked. The chick that does the great desserts took a jab at Isaac for his “lack of refinement.” She’s not winning me over by trash talking my boy. That said, Isaac was in the bottom and so was last week’s winner, Karen. Jeremey and Amar were in the top. Jeremy wins his first immunity.
The elimination challenge is to create a dish representing where they were 10 years ago. They show Jeremy, who is bald, from his My Space photos ten years ago. He was in a hair band. Kwame was, are you sitting down???, just starting high school! This makes me feel bad about some of my inappropriate thoughts. It wasn’t a good time for him as it was when his relationship with his father deteriorated. Marjorie was a new (“green”) chef so she is doing a green curry. They don’t have lemon grass. Aren’t they at Whole Foods? Jason was in his first management job in a restaurant and he was a crazy, raging bitch who yelled at everybody. Karen was poor and in love with her girlfriend making lots of pasta. Chad talks about quitting drinking a year or so ago and losing 75 pounds This helps keep me on the wagon for #Healthy2016 I have two brand new jeans in the next TWO sizes down. Because I’ve got goals, dammit.
Oh! They are cooking in front of the judges. Like open kitchen to the dining room, chef’s table That’s serious pressure. Ten years ago Jeremy found out his mom’s biological parents were Italian so lobster ravioli it is. Oh wow, Katrina was ten years ago for Isaac. What a rough memory that is. Duck gumbo, for Isaac! YUM! Carl got a job in a French restaurant. He’s making snails. I’ll pass. Chad joined the navy after 9/11 and he got out of the navy ten years ago. He got a job as a cook. He is making ceviche. Ten years ago Phillip was dating a Peruvian girl who taught him how to make ceviche. So he is making it too. If Chad’s is better, Phillip will probably go home. Especially since Phillip just said to the guest judge and former Top Chef contestant, Michael Voltaggio, that he thought he was going to be able to cook his way, but he found out that he is expected to make the judges happy. SIGH. I try to like you Phillip, but it’s hard. And Tom did NOT like that comment. Tom says we don’t look for anything in particular and Michael adds it’s really about just cooking good food. This is a bad edit for Phillip. So he’s likely leaving us tonight.
Amar is making a lobster dish for his chef that he was working for ten years ago that all the chefs know. He has ALS and Amar is cooking to honor him. Kwame is making a dish to represent where he used to eat with his dead. He’s having trouble shaking thoughts of his lack of relationship with his father. His head is not in the game and he cuts himself. He is making jerk….broccoli? Really Kwame?
Time to for the ten chefs to serve the ten guests all of whom are well known chefs, I think. More pressure. Marjorie is up first with her seared halibut with a green curry. They really seemed to like it. Chad has a shrimp ceviche. It was really well received. Isaac’s duck gumbo was well received except one person ( I think a former Top Chef contestant) said the casing was too tough on his Andouille. Tom really liked it. Jason did a trout that he was worried was under seasoned. It was underseasoned. Tom said it was “a bit of a letdown.” Jason has been struggling to fit in with the group a bit. I hope he doesn’t go home tonight. I love him.
Karen made orecchiette with a pork (?) ragu. I’ve never heard of it either, apparently orecchiette is just one of many kinds of pasta named for its “ear shape” because everyone wants to ear things shaped like human ears. I don’t get the pork thing either. She got a mixed result with a few criticisms. Amar made a butter poached lobster with lots of other stuff. They loved it.
Carl’s snail dish. They really loved it. Phillip’s ceviche with lots of shellfish. They hated it. Phillip whines as usual in his talking head about how the chefs don’t know good food. Kwame says this is the worst thing he has every plated. His emotions about that time are on the plate. Jerk broccoli on cornbread pudding with smokey bleu cheese doesn’t seem like something that would have ever worked. They all hated it. Jeremy’s lobster ravioli came with salmon. They told Jeremy it’s a good thing he has immunity. They seemed highly offended by the presence of salmon next to lobster ravioli. It was so bizarre to me.
I don’t get why so many of them wear their aprons to judging. Stop that! Tom says usually when it is down to ten someone with a good dish goes home. Not tonight. Tonight someone is going home for a bad dish.
Majorie (green curry), Chad (his ceviche beat Phillip!) and Carl (snails) are top three. They LOVED the snails so I expect Carl to win. But I’d like Chad to win. Majorie won! They said it was the best dish of the night.
Kwame (jerk Broccoli for fucksake!) , Phillip (ceviche) and Jason (poached trout) PLEASE let it be Phillip, I love Jason and Kwame. Phillip is doing a good job of talking himself out the door. Jason is in a bad headspace and Tom asks him about it. Jason says he hasn’t felt himself lately. He just left his restaurant because he had lost his joy. Tom seems compassionate. Then Padma sends him home. Awwwww, Kwame cried when they sent Jason home. The end note had a memorial to the chef with ALS who passed at 51 in 2015.
Next week: Instagram is the judge? So how does that work? No tasting? Marjorie continues to be pressed about Isaac. She says this is his challenge. Why is that?