We are down to the final four. I did not realize the LCK winner would come back tonight. If I had, I would have made more of an effort to watch the last few episodes. I am swamped with recaps right now. That is why I keep talking about whether or not to drop a show. I must say, for all the people who say that Top Chef is their favorite, the interactions here are very sporadic. Some weeks they are great and other weeks it is like a can of crickets was opened in comments. I love this show so I’ll keep on recapping regardless. I can’t wait to see who wins!
The final four drive to Telluride, Colorado and stay in a stunning resort way up in the mountains. I immediately want to book a trip and Banjo comes over to remind me I cannot do that. Maybe we could do a cross-country RV? LOL. The first location is at an old saloon and I immediately worry if this is going to be hard for Christopher like it was the first time.
The quickfire challenge is to use Sarsaparilla in some unique dish. This sounds impossible. They each take turns choosing items from each of four food groups, as if things were not hard enough. They show a bit of the final last chance kitchen It was the three bears! The winner was Joseph! Joseph gets to steal one ingredient from each of the players. He takes Carrie’s protein leaving her with only onions, lemons and honey! As if this challenge was not hard enough! Joseph has a big advantage.
Carrie decides to do something related to French onion soup. Christopher is making chicken fried steak. Mustache Joe is doing a cold sarsaparilla soup with a cured halibut tartare. Where is the cooking in that? Adrienne is doing a chicken with sarsaparilla. To make things even harder, they are cooking outside on an asphalt street in the broiling sun. Joseph did a pork dish with pickled veggies.
The Joes start whispering that Carrie can’t win twice in a row with fucking crostinis. This means they are nervous. Adrienne came in at the bottom for not focusing on the sarsaparilla. Ditto, Joseph. They liked Mustache Joe’s 99th tartare/crudo, Christopher’s chicken fried steak and Carrie’s onion crostini. Carrie won the quickfire and $10K. Mustache Joe complains that she won with toast again.
The elimination challenge is at Alpino Vino the restaurant at the highest altitude in the US. They will all be required to have a baked element on their plate. Today they will get to test some recipes at the new high altitude.
Tom and the guest judges arrive during their test kitchen. Mustache Joe is doing duck with peas and a savory profiterole. Joseph is doing braised pork, pepper jelly and cheese drop biscuits. Christopher is making crispy fried quail, fava beans and cornbread. Carrie wants to make beef Wellington, but she has a backup plan with cornbread if she chickens out. I didn’t really get what Adrienne’s plan was.
They take a ski lift up to an altitude of over 11,000 feet. The next day, Carrie opts against beef Wellington. She has some other complicated thing to make. Mustache Joe admits he is making profiteroles and doesn’t know what profiteroles are.
Even the judges are suffering a bit from the altitude except for the British Chef who once worked at a restaurant at 18,000 feet. I have altitude sickness just watching this. I’m serious. The talk of queasiness makes me queasy.
Joesph’s pork dish with biscuits went over well. Carrie’s dish turned out to be a Wagyu ribeye with veggies and cornbread. This would have gone over much better if she had not suggested she might make beef Wellington. I literally just got up to open a window and increase the speed of the ceiling fan. I’m having some sort of psychosomatic altitude sickness. Or maybe I am just psycho. Most of the judges were disappointed. Mustache Joe actually tells the judges he doesn’t know what a profiterole is. Gail is shocked he’s never made one. I’m wondering if he’s ever even eaten one. it’s just a pastry with filling for fucksake. The like the duck but the attempt at a cherry profiterole fell flat and was dry due to the high altitude. The concept of duck and cherry was well received but the execution was not there. Gail disagrees a bit with the guest judges with the experience and says that the dish absent the profiterole was one of the best dishes of the entire season. Maybe so Gail, but it was served with a dry profiterole.
Adrienne is thrilled with her lobster dish champagne beurre blanc and caviar. She ended up making challah bread but she calls it mountain bread when speaking to the judges until they ask about it. The loved her dish and the bread adaptation. Tom says it is not really that exciting. Christopher’s quail with corn pudding, a butternut squash crisp and maple and bacon cornbread. The British judge who told Christopher to fry the quail longer than usual due to the altitude says that the quail is over cooked. Gail liked it. Tom wonders if it is high-end. My boy is in trouble.
The Judges Table
Tom says this is the best food of the season. Adrienne and the Joes were in the top. They are totally going to send Christopher home. I can’t even listen to this critique. Are you kidding me? Mustache Joe and his dry profiterole wannabe thing won? Adrienne was robbed. ROBBED I TELL YOU!
Crap, I just realized Carrie is on the bottom with Christopher! This is worst case scenario. This was my final two! Please let Phil Keoghan show up and say, “This is a non-elimination round!”
The judges really didn’t have much bad to say about either dish. Gail is fighting for Carrie, Padma is fighting for Christopher, the British guy is pissed he didn’t get a beef Wellington. The judges don’t agree on who should leave. Sadly, Phil did not arrive and Christopher went home. Dammit! As if this day was not depressing enough. Christopher is so gracious in defeat. I want him to come back!
Next week: Is Rocky Mountain Oysters week. Didn’t we already make the whole “I hope no one is allergic to nuts” joke? I guess that was in the trailer.