The premiere of this season seemed to have a lot of you hooked. Then it seemed like everyone had lots of Christmas stuff to to do during the second episode. That left even fewer of you around for the third one, last week. So click on the links and get caught up, because it is a really good season. Kentucky is beautiful. The chefs’ accommodations are top-notch. The chefs were cast well! It’s a great season. A guy even went home last week giving us a short reprieve in the customary vagicide courtesy of Tom Colicchio.
The two front-runners going into this episode are David with two quickfire wins and Nini with two elimination wins. David won his first one with Ribeye with Corn Chermoula & Harissa Red Wine Reduction and his second with Leek Carbonara with Pancetta & Morels. Nini won her first elimination with Spoonbread with Shrimp Étouffée Sauce and her second with Blackberry & Lemon Vacherin.
Tonight is RESTAURANT WARS! For the first time ever there will be three restaurants. I can’t wait to see how this works out.
But first we need to give someone immunity in the quickfire round. It’s an amuse bouche competition and there are three choices of vessels for service, a small Chinese spoon, a square ramekin and a small plate. I would definitely choose the spoon right up until she called it Chinese. Does that mean they are expecting a Chinese amuse bouche? Is there even such a thing. Also there are only four of each option to insure that some people don’t get the one they want.
My girl Kelsey is getting a bitchy edit. This does not bode well for her. Meanwhile, David still beams as if he is in hog heaven not matter what happens. He’s living his Top Chef dream. David is making ravioli. Michelle is doing a compressed watermelon bite with halibut. For some reason she had to ask Brian for half of his watermelon. IDGI. Or her dish but she will probably win because that is a great storyline, “Bitch won with my watermelon!” Also Brian had to change his dish because he was doing compressed watermelon and he just assisted Michelle in going head to head with him. Kelsey is doing a hushpuppy dish. Eric, our favorite guy with a beard, is making some sort of curry corn pancetta dish that sounds delicious. Adrienne is doing lamb tartar and I am a bit queasy and sneezy tonight and that just sounds disgusting. Brandon is making a fish soup in 30 minutes. Nope. David is having trouble with his ravioli. Adrienne is struggling with the dish that shall not me mentioned again.
Adrienne, David and Kelsey were in the bottom.
Brandon (!) Eric and Michelle were in the top. Michelle won, because storyline. Bitch stole Brian’s watermelon! Who plans a compressed watermelon bite with no watermelon. That would be the first thing to grab! So transparent, Top Chef!
Ah! The vessels they chose for quickfire determine their teams. Sneaky.
Adrienne, Brian, Eddie and Eric are on the Orange Team. Eric pushes for David to be Executive Chef even though he just was in the bottom on the quickfire. Brian wants Adrienne to be executive chef. I kind of feel like Eric just doesn’t want the pressure and doesn’t care who it is as long as it isn’t him because losing EC usually goes home. Brian offers to be FOH.
Brian is insistent about a dish that Eric doesn’t thing is reasonable since he will be slammed as FOH.
This group tells the interior designers their menu is reflective of fine dining in the North Eastern states during fall. Sophisticated and warm were two words thrown out. Adrienne suggests a city skyline.
When the waitstaff arrive, Brian is still working on his Ballotine just like Eric said he would be and Adrienne has to go out and sort out the waitstaff. She basically hands them the service manual and says “read this.”
The guest chef foreshadows Brian’s poor FOH performance. Eric has one dish and is asking everyone for help. The Dream Team’s dreams are going up in smoke.
First Course: Brian’s Chicken Ballotine and Eddie’s Striped Bass Crudo. (Because it’s not Top Chef without a Crudo)
Second Course: Eddie’s NY Strip with Cabbage and Cauliflower And Eric’ Scallop and Pork dish with couscous and cauliflower.
Third Course: Adrienne’s Madeira Poached Peaches and Adrienne’s Harbison Cheese with Fennel and Blackberry
The night before Eric wants Adrienne to do an appetizer. Dude, we have already shopped for this! Eric has ONE DISH! Brian wrote a very extensive service manual to use in training the servers. That seems a bit much but okay. He was up all night doing it so, he will probably be exhausted.
David, Justin, Kelsey and Nini are the Blue Team. Wow that’s some heavy hitters. Kelsey’s attitude sucks this week. I am losing my support for her. She’s given the “I’m about to lose this challenge for the whole team and go home” edit. For the most part these guys are happy to be together and want a southern menu. Nini volunteers for front of the house and at first I think this is a mistake. Then I remember that Kelsey seems to be PMSing and decide her cool demeanor is probably for the best. She also has pop up shop experience.
When they meet with the designers, I’m not really sure what their theme is but I think it is seafood. They want a design with white walls and brass and dark woods like “Forrest Gump’s mom’s house.” Okeedokee then. They seem to all agree on this so that is a good thing.
The four pop champagne and all get in the jacuzzi together the night before the challenge. Kelsey wonders if they can get some of the lesser chefs to come rub their feet. Girl bye. At some point in the evening Nini mentions she has to do things with her cocoa nibs as soon as they get in and will then spin it closer to service. I think she’s making a dessert with ice cream.
Nini is late greeting the waitstaff so Kelsey steps in to get them started and realizes that none of them are experienced. Nini has not put together the table numbers or the sections or really even spoken to them at all. Justin is pissed about this.
First Course: All four contribute to Chargrilled Oyster, Justin does a Crawfish Bisque
Second Course: David’s Creole Spiced Duck and Cabbage and Justin and David’s Red Snapper Pontchartrain
Third Course: Kelsey’s Blackberry Buttermilk Biscuit with Panna Cotta and Nene is doing “Chocolate”
Brandon, Michelle, Sara and Pablo are the Grey Team. When Padma asks if everyone is happy with their teams, Sara says shew would have taken “one of the Pastry girls.” Then she starts taking the lead immediately on her team and no one is receptive to that. She wants a vegetable forward menu. What is wrong with this Kentucky girl? Michelle says she wants to name the restaurant first and pick and executive chef and a front of the house person. You don’t name the restaurant until you agree on a menu! Sara volunteers to do front of house. Great. Now shut your mouth about the menu plan and let the executive chef. Sara names the restaurant Thistle and the rest just go with it. Michelle asks to do the hot appetizer she points out that she if if she is the EC she has immunity so she can take the pressure off the rest of them.
Pablo is a bit obstinate about his dishes. At the meeting with the interior designers, Sara does all the talking including asking them if they know what a thistle is and pointing out it is green. Hopefully the also know that thistle blooms are purple and the thistles have prickles to keep from being eaten by herbivores so it’s sort of an odd name for this organic “vegetable forward” restaurant. Sara is super bossy. As soon as I hit play, Sara is in a confessional insisting that she is not bossy. The design them wants to go with a Greenhouse theme. Again, this doesn’t go with the name Thistle.
Pablo and Sara both seem to be fighting for the leadership role when Michelle is the EC. Sara is terrible with the waitstaff as FOH and doesn’t seem to know what she is doing.
Tom and the guest chef check in on Michelle who lets them know she volunteered for EC.
First Course: Vegetarian Cold Soup, followed by Michelle’s hot pasta appetizer.
Second Course: I have no clue.
Third Course: I have no clue. Either I missed it, or there is some reason for this?
Because this is a two episode challenge, Tom announces just before service that two people are going home. Only two? I can think of several who need to go.
What order do you think the three restaurants will place?