When you write recaps for a living, the days no longer really have names anymore. And because I have lost pretty much 56% of the brain cells used for recall, it’s a surprise every day when I find out what I am recapping. Sometimes my response is “Ugh, again already?” and other times I’m excited for a new episode. Tonight is one of the latter. I love Top Chef. I love Charleston. And so far, I love this season’s cast of chefs. I can’t wait for tonight’s episode. I just wish it was on a bit earlier. After all, I do have that whole Christmas movie marathon going on here.
This is the first time I have heard them say the top four finalists will complete in a finale in Mexico. I’m gonna guess Katsuji makes the final four.
The chefs arrive to find that the guest chef is Chris Cosentino, one of John Tesar’s nemeses who had a hand in his eviction from season ten. Cosentino also won Top Chef Masters.
The Quickfire: It’s a classic Mise En Place Challenge. They draw knives to form their groups. They have to peel and mince five ounces of garlic, finely dice two quarts of onions, properly turn three artichokes, peel and devein 30 shrimp and shuck and clean fifteen clams. Basically, all the things I hate about cooking. When I when the lottery, I will have a sous chef to do all of that for me. And someone to clean the kitchen as I am the messiest chef in the world and I use every dish and pot I possibly can.
These guys have some serious knife skills. Sheldon and Katsuji are both super great and helped every person on their respective teams. This quickfire went down to the wire. The green team won and was rewarded with a three-minute head start on their cooking. The green team does a stuffed clam dish. Thre were issues about when to pull it out. Amanda may have done that too early. The blue team fried their dish since they only had 12 minutes to cook. The blue team won, and Sheldon was the MVP. I think that gave him immunity.
For the elimination challenge the same two teams serve a seven course meal to super fans who were previously vetted regarding their mayonnaise preferences. No Hellman’s lovers allowed. The meal should feature ….wait for it …. “the humble radish.” WTF? I’m a radish fan, but I don’t know how to make it the focus of a dish, let alone a seven course meal. There must be a dessert. I would love to have access to all these kinds of radishes they have. Other than the occasional white radish, I normally just see the generic kind. Slyvia, the Italian chef offers to do the dessert for the green team. #Gutsy
The Amanda is going home edit is strong this episode. She’s up against Shirley at the dinner. Emily is nervous going up against Sam as well. Katsuji may be underestimating Jim who is his opponent. Shirley is handmaking a pasta dish with only forty five minutes to go for fifty people. The Italian chick’s cake has won the whole thing, based on her fellow teammates very high praise, before it ever leaves the kitchen. Her direct opponent is Brooke whose panna cotta did not set. Don’t fret honey, you would have lost with your best dish on this one. She tries to thicken it up with corn starch. Shirley is changing her pasta dish for time constraint reasons to just use irregular pasta shapes.
First up is Emily and Sam, each pairing will have five votes, the four judges each vote and the fans vote as one. It was super close with the fans, Emily won their vote by two points. Blue take the first course.
Second course is Katsuji v Tim. Wow. Both of their dishes are too amazing to even describe in the amount of time I have. Tim’s is a play on oysters on the half shell, but with a radish, Kasuji did a crab salad enchilada deal looks like the wrap for the enchilada was made from radish as well as a garnish. I was thinking Katsuji would have the advantage with the fans and I was right. They voted overwhelmingly for his dish. Tom liked Tim’s the best. Katsuji wins in a 3-2 vote. There was some unsportsmanlike conduct from Katsuji this entire episode.
The third courses pits Jaime against BJ the purloined pork loin dude. BJ’s plates are a mess, Jaime, the burnt vegetable guy’s dish is fussy looking. BJ has me at trout, but the fans go for Jaime. In a 3-2 vote Jaime wines for the blue team.
The fourth course is Slyva versus Casey. The fans chose Casey. All the judges and me went with Slyva’s dish for the blue team.
The green team needs to win every single course left to win. I think the Italian lady is on the green team, if so they are about to have a come from behind victory.
Course five is Shirley (blue) and her pasta against Amanda (green) who has the strong loser edit going on. Actually, Amanda’s looks better to me. The fans overwhelming voted for Amanda. Amanda wins 3-2.
Course six is John Tesar against Sheldon. Two powerhouses. Tesar did a blue radish and tofu ramen dish that Padma will love. Sheldon made a an adobo radish on radish porridge …blah blah blah Ttoo much stuff. The fans voted for John. The chefs love the broth Tesar made, and his noodles. Padma puts the green team ahead by a 3-2 vote.
Course seven has already been obvious. It’s the Italian lady on the green team for the win. Brooke did seem to put something decent together at the last minute. But wait, did Brooke just say a pop rocks garnish? Brooke takes the fan vote in a landslide. Padma seriously can’t stop eating Sivia’s cake.
IN A STUNNING UPSET. Blue team wins. I did not see that coming.
At the judges table, Sylva and Brooke on the blue team take top honors. Padma and Richard Blais who appeared at the judges table both say it was the best meal ever on Top Chef, from BOTH teams. Somehow, Brooke’s panna cotta takes the win to just twist the knife in poor Silvia a bit deeper.
On the blue, losing team…where my boy Tim is. I am concerned. Please send home the pork loin dude!
The bottom four on the blue team are Sam (who will not be going anywhere) BJ who is my choice to go, Sylvia the cake baker!!!!, and Casey. Please send BJ home, but if the dam Colicchio Vagicide is still going on then send Casey.
It looks like the girls, and their vaginas, are safe this week and they are debating between BJ and Sam. They may not really send anyone home they liked this meal so much. But they are. THEY SENT HOME SAM! I can’t believe it. Padma must be well and truly done with him! This is a SHOCKING elimination.
They all mention last chance kitchen a billion times, so he will probably come back that way. Meanwhile, we have many episodes in between where we don’t have to hear about diabetes. I mean, please. I’m all for helping the sick, but can we not have one single reality show that disease is not a part of? Am I being a bitch? Maybe. But I’d just like to have less depressing stuff to talk about on my TV shows with all the heartbreaking global news these past few days. Sam is devastated to be the first veteran to go home.
Next week: We have a Christmas episode that seems chaotic.