Well, it has come down to the final two, Adrienne and Joe Flamm. I saw some of the marathon that ran today and had forgotten that nearly all the chefs had emotional breakdowns when Flamm was voted out. So all the chefs are probably rooting for him. He seems like a great guy. I also really like Adrienne, so they really can’t go wrong. I did just hear the response from the crowd after Padma said, “You are top chef” on the previews. So I have a feeling Flamm pulls it out.
God. They are at 11,000 feet elevation. I hope they don’t have to bake. Aspen is so beautiful! I can’t believe those mountains are real! I hate that Jonathan Waxman is a judge.
It’s time to select two sous chefs, Adrienne selects first. She picks Christopher. This is smart they have similar flavor profiles. Joe picks Mustache Joe. I feel like he should have taken Bruce. But he is right, they are both pasta guys, but then so is Bruce. Adrienne selects Carrie. That is exactly who I hoped she would pick. Joe picks Fati. She bawled like a baby when he left the first time so these two are very close.
Adrienne knows exactly what her menu is. It sounds a bit too… fancy pants. That’s not who she really is. I mean she certainly elevates southern cuisine, but this who charred octopus with black grits doesn’t sound great to me. Adrienne is doing a weird banana pudding for her dessert course. I could swear she said uni. That’s sea urchin. I’m worried.
Joe Flamm has uttered the word crudo. Why, Joe, why? I don’t see the reason to have a course on Top Chef that is not cooked! He has a cake for dessert. In Aspen. Fati says reminds us that if there is a contest about who loves Joe Flamm the most wins.
They have 30 minutes to spend $500 in Whole Foods. I can never get out of Whole Foods in under an hour. At the checkout line, Adrienne comes up a bit short on money and Joe Flamm buys three items for her. He was $50 under. Damn, he really is the best guy ever. They also had a place for special orders. Flamm got a pig’s head. He named her Nora.
Carrie is terrified about making grits for the first time. Apparently, “black grits” is Adrienne’s invention using squid ink in grits. Oh, Adrienne. You are losing me.
The final two return to their suite to find Tom and Graham Elliot cooking dinner for them. The next morning Eric Ripert gives Adrienne advice. I love him. I didn’t know who Flamm’s mentor chef was.
Fatima is in charge of the cake and she’s never cooked at altitude before. This could be a disaster.
It’s time for dinner! It’s four courses head to head.
For the first course, Adrienne has spoon bread with buttermilk dashi, sea urchin, caviar, ham and wheat tuile, There is no such thing as “buttermilk dashi.” Basically, Flamm served sushi. They loved them both, but Adrienne seemed to win that course.
For the second course, Joe is very happy with his tortellini with pig head. Adrienne served blackened octopus with squid grits as a play on fish and grits. I made shrimp and grits today and I think I’ll stick with mine. It seems like Flamm’s broth and tortellini wins this one. Adrienne’s dish was a bit dry.
On the third course, Adrienne is a bit nervous, She’s presenting short ribs with blackeyed peas. It sounds delicious to me. Joe did a ribeye, eye with roasted asparagus. Both of them used bone marrow in their third course. Joe’s rib eye were over rested. Once again, Adrienne’s dish was dry. This round may be a wash.
For the final course, Joe’s Italian cake seems like it came out fabulous. Ah. Thank goodness, Adrienne’s banana pudding has yuzu which is a Japanese citrus fruit and not uni as I misheard her say it earlier. This is not banana pudding though. It’s some sort of overly deconstructed banana pudding. The judges agree with me about the banana pudding being pretty but not as tasty as banana pudding. They had some issues with the ricotta under Joe’s cake as well. Perhaps another draw?
My guess is that Flamm won.
Adrienne and Flamm are both from Chicago and are super supportive of each other. That’s good to see.
At Judges Table, Padma says that Adrienne’s first course was probably the best thing she has had all season from anyone.
Tom and the rest all loved her blackened octopus. They did want more grits and more fat on the plate. Gail loved Tom’s broth on his tortellini dish. It was a dish she will never forget. She called it magical.
Tom does not understand blackeyed peas. I totally understand why Adrienne mashed half of them I do that all the time. blackeyed peas are supposed to be cooked to death but you also want some in there that are still whole. She’s going to lose this competition because yankees do not understand blackeyed peas. That’s sort of tragic. They loved Joe’s asparagus and the bone marrow sauce. But, his meat was too chewy.
They think both chefs named their desserts the wrong thing. It’s a squeaker. Damn. They are going to announce fan favorite on WWHL. WHY?
Joe Flamm won! Tom was very sweet to Adrienne. I like to see that from him.