If you missed last weeks episode of Top Chef, it was a super crazy week. Everyone’s favorite chef, Jim was eliminated in a sudden death quickfire. Still. Not. Over. It. And then, they finally made us all love the burnt veggies guy, Jaime. He seemed to have found his stride and won immunity for this week. Then in some sort of cockamamie plan his team for the elimination round, Tesar and Emily, decided to give Jaime all the weird ingredients they got stuck with so that even if he had the worst dish, he was safe. But in an unprecedented act of integrity, Jaime gave up his immunity and went home to save his team mates. So I need to pick some new favorites. I actually like everyone this season. I just went here to find out how many newbies we have left. It looks like there are only a couple. I know for sure Emily and Sheldon are still there. I think they are the only two.
Back at the house after the elimination, Katsuji is super mean to Emily who already feels bad enough that Jamie fell on his sword and saved her. Emily seems ready to give up. I hope she doesn’t. She’s the local chef and needs to rally.
Wow, it’s the guys from Eleven Madison Park, Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. For some reason I read a lot of Best Restaurant in the World type lists, probably because I follow a lot of travel stuff and that restaurant is often the top ranking US restaurant on the list. These are some pretty impressive guys, even if they are yankees. 🙂
This season, instead of having the judges eat two dinners in a row at two different locations, both teams will be using the same location and will be serving on two different days. This sounds complicated already. Won’t one team have a lot longer to plan?
They draw knives and Katsuji and Shirley will be choosing their teams. Tesar and Emily, from the losing team last week are last picked, with Emily going to the last slot. Even as adults, people seem to really get their feelers hurt about being last picked for dodgeball. Katsuji wins the choice of which night to serve by coin toss. He chooses the second night.
Shirley nominated herself to be executive chef and Brooke to be front of the house. Brooke has won on Restaurant wars previously. Sylva and Emily will be cooking. Their menu focus is on seafood. This is smart. Shirley is really micromanaging, especially with Emily who has two dishes one pasta and a desert. We got a sob story from Sylva, so he could be in danger.
The judges were at Latitude before I could even figure out what everyone is making.
The two first course options are Brooke’s cured King Salmon with pickled veggies and Emily’s squid ink pasta with calamari. I could swear that the NYC Chef said he was a raw vegan. How do you even cook like that. Were they kidding? They hate Emily’s dish and love Brooke’s. Chef got to eat the raw veggies. Next, Shirley’s snapper with bone broth goes up against Sylva’s halibut dish. They prefer Sylva’s. Finally, Emily has made a buttermilk cake with poppy seed with pistachios and black berries the other option is Shirley’s panna cotta that she is not happy with. They like Emily’s cake and hate Shirley’s panna cotta. Shirley better hope the other team screws up.
The judges were pleased overall, but seem to think the second team should be better even though they didn’t have any more time really, since they only let them prep for three hours per team.
Team Southern Belle
Despite Sheldon having already won in Restaurant Wars in his season, Tesar pretty much insists on being the Executive Chef. Casey is going to do front of the house. Sheldon suggests family style service. That is smart. Tesar says Low Country family style. This is a mistake. Why don’t they ever consider the judges?
Katsuji is doing three dishes. Again, Katsuji is doing three low country dishes in Charleston for two fancypants boys from New York City. NEW YORK CITY! There is no fresh crab or okra in the Whole Foods. Sheldon is doing an acorn squash stew. Casey is doing a strawberry sorbet and running the front of the house. Smart make ahead dish for the GM. We get sob stories from Casey and Katsuji as well. That’s interesting.
I am not sure what the menu for this place decided to focus on. Katsuji suggested “Low Country Mexican” but I was sure that idea was blown off. Yet he seems to be making three Mexican dishes and Tesar is making some sort of pimento crab loaf. Tesar also lied to the judges and said that Katsuji asked him to be the executive chef because he wanted to do three dishes. It looks like Katsuji also has to plate Casey’s sorbet. What the hell is Sheldon doing again? Katsuji and John fight with each other for their entire prep time.
While Brooke was great as the GM at Latitude, Casey is getting lost in the weeds at Southern Belle right from the start. The waiter at the judges table says that “the tastes are all over the place.” All of the waiters are bad. The kitchen has not even fired the judges table because everything is a mess. They got a few small plates, one was a tamale, the other was the crab concoction. Things are not being served family style, they are being served one random small plate here, another one there, kind of like tapas. I have no comprehension of what is going on here. They hated the crab and tamales. At least the judges that got to eat some. Katsuji’s beef tongue was great. Sheldon’s stew not that great. Casey sucked at GM but they liked her sorbet. I think Katsuji is the only one safe on this team. I think my guy Tesar will probably leave for being the executive chef.
In the end, Brooke won immunity for her great work as a GM and her great fish dish.
The judges are really weird with the losing chefs. Somehow they seemed pissed that Katsuji didn’t take the executive chef spot. They don’t seem to understand that Sheldon was actually the best choice. Also instead of mentioning that Tesar ramrodded his way into the top position, Katsuji is just rolling with the judges version that he someone gave up a job that should have been his. Then they talk about Tesar letting Katsuji do three dishes and how it is his job to make sure the workload is evenly distributed. Finally Katsuji explodes and tells the truth. Tesar did nothing. Did he even make a dish at all? Oh yes, the crab dish that was the worst thing served on either night. He expedited (called out the orders) and peeled some tomatoes. The expediter is the one who keep the kitchen running smoothly and it was a hot mess from the first order. Tesar needs to be fired. Tesar continues to lie and say that Katsuji asked John to take the lead. He did not. He is not correcting Tesar. He could be going home.
While the judges talk, Padma immediately takes Casey off the chopping block. Why? She was horrible. John was horrible. Sheldon made bad stew. Casey seems to think that Katsuji made Tesar take the lead. Maybe I was not paying attention? Did I misunderstand that scene?
Katsuji is fired. And I think that was unfair.