Tonight is the night that this season’t Top Chef will be announced! (psst actually, it’s not) I suppose I am rooting for Sheldon. But first, a hotel commercial. Sigh.
The quickfire challenge is to feature the very hot Habanero pepper in a dish. They shop at a local market where Brooke picks up a cucumber and asks what it is. Shirley wants to do masa dumplings with tomato, onion and Habanero. I always forget to eat before I do this recap. I am starving to death. Sheldon doesn’t speak much Spanish and is having problems finding cheese. He buys a tamale thinking it was cheese. How is this possible? Oh noe! Shirley is using the Habanero seeds. That is going to blow the judges heads off!
Brook did a roasted pork loin with a Habanero and orange sauce. Sheldon did a pan roasted squash that he filled with some nice Mexican lady’s tamale. No bueno, Sheldon. Both Padma and the Mexican judge ask where the tamale came from. The Mexican judge had to tell Sheldon about “his dish.” To make matters worse, Shirley used the same squash Sheldon did in her masa dumpling dish. Shirley’s dish was by far the best in my opinion. The judges disagree and Brooke continues her winning streak. Somehow Shirley’s dish didn’t have enough heat for them.
The Elimination Challenge
The editing tonight is REALLY fast paced. The elimination challenge is to cook a dish using only local ingredients that have been around since Mayan times. The must all cook over an open fire and no electricity is allow. Really, now? They do get to use their knives.
The three finalists got a really cool tour of a recreated Mayan kitchen and got to taste lots of the things they will have available in their pantry. It was pretty cool. The relax and jokingly trash talk each other a bit for the rest of the day. They all seem happy and confident.
When they walk into the ancient park, Brooke points out that it looks a bit like something you would see in an Indiana Jones movie. Thanks, Brooke. I was not sure how to describe other than it’s really cool and that doesn’t convey much. It’s a cave with super cool ancient statues. They have an hour and a half to cook their dishes. There is no, onions, garlic or limes.
Shirley is going to grill grouper. I love grouper. Did I mention I am starving? After losing badly with the squash in the quickfire, he opts to use it again in the elimination round. He’s also using snapper and crab. He’s also got a sweet potato mash. Brooke is going to try snapper. She seems a bit rattled about cooking on a grill. The ladies both wrap their fish in leaves to keep them from sticking to the grill. Brooke learned this through trial and error and Shirley did it to start with. Sheldon noticed the cooking technique but decided to just throw his fish on the grill. Sheldon seems to be falling apart. Will he be eliminated in third place again? As expected, Sheldon’s fish stuck to the grill. I thought you were watching Brooke? She showed you what would happen putting fish straight on the grill!
The judges say that Brooke’s snapper was perfectly cooked. Reviews on the salsas were mixed. Padma wanted more heat. Tom liked them. Tom is who you are cooking for at this point. Well done, Brooke.
Sheldon’s snapper is a hot mess presentation wise. The judges said that the flavor of the fish was good. One of the Mexican judges said his salsa was way too hot! Another said he took chances.
Shirley’s grouper and her red sauce wins very high praise from the judges. She seems like the winner. Sheldon appears to be going home. Brooke says Sheldon is like a brother to her and she really hopes they are both in the finale.
The judges crown Shirley the winner of the elimination challenge. Shirley is beyond thrilled.
It comes out that Brooke tested her fish on the grill without the leaves first and Sheldon did not. The judges liked her fish the best but thought there were too many elements to her dish. They think that Sheldon’s dish was more exciting but the fish was a mess. Tom and Elliot want Brooke to stay while Padma and the local judge are pulling for Sheldon. We all know who prevails in these situations.
As usual Padma delivers the news that Sheldon is going home. In both of his attempts on the show, he goes home in third place. Heartbreaking.
And to answer my question, who will be Top Chef? We have one last episode. Who do you think will win, Shirley or Brooke?