It’s time for Top Chef and it’s going to be late because I have been editing another post for the past two hours or so and am not even halfway done. I completely lost track of time and Top Chef is almost over. I also haven’t had a chance to eat and so I am cranky and trying to pause to at least drink water. So, brace yourselves accordingly. We are down to six chefs and the competition is getting fierce!
We start with Eric Adjepong out in the beautiful garden of their Kentucky home talking to his very pregnant wife. He’s talking about wanting to get home and rub her belly. It looks to me like she is going to have that baby while you are gone. It would not be the first time. Previously, on season fifteen, Chef Bruce Kalman’s adopted baby showed up while he was taping Top Chef. Eric just said she has two more months.
Chef Art Smith, one of my all time favorite chefs, has come to the show to give these chefs a lesson in how to make fried chicken. I don’t even try to fry chicken I feel like I have no idea how to tell when it is done. Art’s first job was at a Kentucky Fried Chicken!
The challenge is for the chefs to create their own blend of herbs and spices for their fried chicken. But they all have to do a blind taste tests with the herbs and spices and can only cook with spices they correctly identify. There is no immunity but the winner will get $5,000. Next, the chefs were blindfolded and tested. Adrienne only got six spices. Sara got all 12 simply by smelling them. Eric got seven correct. Justin got six. Eddie got six. Kelsey got eleven.
Last week, Sara’s fried chicken was judged to be better than Adrienne’s The fryers are too hot. Adrienne, Kelsey and Justin’s chicken is raw. Justin finishes his in the oven. Adrienne throws hers back in the fryer, Kelsey cuts off smaller cooked pieces. I’m surprised Kelsey didn’t use a cast iron skillet. I did not see if Sara or anyone else did. Because, typing.
The Quickfire Judging
Chef Art Smith just taught me that chicken needs to be room temperature before frying. I knew that about red meat but not about chicken. Padma Lakshmi loves Sara’s chicken. Eddie fried it in a cast iron skillet. His looks delicious. Adrienne’s chicken was unusual. Kelsey did fennel and peach slaw with her chicken.
Justin, Kelsey and Eric were in the bottom. Sara’s chicken won again. It’s her first win. Eddie and Adrienne were also in the top.
The Elimination Challenge
Next, the chefs celebrate Mohammed Ali in their food. This challenge is individual but it is a six course progressive meal. Each meal is named for the location of one of his fights. This is a stupid challenge for stupids. All they need to do is cook something and make up some bullshit story about how the creamy potato side dish is a reference to him creaming his opponents or something. If they can work in a dead parent story, those seem to go over well. Leila Ali is the guest judge.
As they choose their locations, it’s clear that some are better than others. They were in foreign countries and cities like New Orleans with specific cuisines. Sara is pissed because everyone picked and left her with Kentucky. Girl, YOU ARE FROM KENTUCKY! Stop being difficult this should be a layup for you. You can do something else in the next challenge! Kelsey says she wants either Justin’s or Eddie’s course. I can’t believe Kelsey got them agree to draw numbers. I would not have done it if I were the guys. Sara draws number one and is stuck with Kentucky. I am ready for Sara to be eliminated. She has such a bad attitude.
Whole Foods Shopping
Next the chefs go to Whole Foods for their groceries. The problems this week start when they don’t have duck for Eddies dish and he has to change proteins. For some reason he consults with Adrienne about switching to chicken. Eddie has money left over so he buys some of Adrienne’s ingredients.
Course one is Sara’Bradley’s “Thunder and Lightning.” It has tomatoes and cucumbers and garden veggies that Kentucky folks will run out and pick from their gardens when a bad storm is coming. She bought salmon. She is going soak the salmon in beat juice to get really symbolic about Ali giving his opponent a bloody eye.
Judges feedback: The loved it. It’s light and “vinegar forward.” Laila Ali mentions bread pudding when talking to the judges about her father’s favorite foods.This bodes well for Kelsey.
Course two is Justin Sutherland’s dish and he is making scallops. Ali knocked out his opponent on his first punch, so his scallops need to pack some punch. Justin made a saffron and seafood soup. The seafood includes scallops, clams, and mussels. Justin says since his fight was in Maine he went for seafood.
Judges feedback: Tom pointed out that the city the fight was in was nowhere near the ocean. Oh shut up Tom. Maine is a coastal state. I am sure they eat a lot of seafood in all of the cities. Padma Lakshmi said it was luscious and eats really light.
Course three is Eddie Konrad’s. He is doing something with chicken Since his dish changed at Whole Foods he seems to be a bit thrown off. Eddie has brown butter roasted chicken. Did he puree collard greens? WTF?
Judges feedback: The judges don’t like that the dish has nothing to do with the fight. Tom seems fine with pureed collard greens. Leila politely says the chicken was well cooked instead of WHERE ARE MY COLLARD GREENS? He needs to go home for this.
Course four is being cooked by Eric Adjepong is doing a West African dish called fufu. On the day of the challenge, Eric cried tears of joy in his bedroom He is honored be cooking from his roots. He is also thrilled to be cooking in honor of one of his heroes.
Judges feedback: The female guest judge who told Adrienne her dish wasn’t Philippino says, “In African, fufu is basically the rice of the country.” Or something ignorant. Yes it is a staple food, but it requires a lot more work than making rice. Tom Colicchio loves Eric so he defends his tenacity for doing what he wanted to do.
Course five is Adrienne Wright’s. Her fight was held in the Philippines she is doing style short ribs. When Tom Colicchio and the female judge tell her she is not making a Philippino dish. This is really bad news. She opts to just change her narrative to make it about the heat in the fight. Adrienne serves her short rib and focuses on the heat.
Judges feedback: I hate this female guest judge. I didn’t catch her name. She asked if Adrienne changed her dish after she told her is was not Phillippino. Then she said the dish was “so much better than she thought it would be.” I know I am in a grumpy mood, but she just seems so bitchy. Adrienne used bottle hot sauce. This is worse than boxed waffle mix. She will go home for this and it will be sweet, sweet revenge for Sara.
Course six is a dessert made by Kelsey Barnard Clark. She is making a bourbon and corn bread pudding because her fight took place in New Orleans.Also the last course needs to be a dessert. She is also doing a brittle. Kelsey calls her dish unanimous bread pudding. She’s tried to use the word unanimous several times in a sentence and on no occasion did I feel like she knew what the word meant. Kelsey said it was a unanimous fight. She meant it was a unanimous decision.
Judges feedback: It certainly didn’t win. The judges’ opinions were mixed. It didn’t seem like Laila’s favorite bread pudding.
The Judges Table
Sara Bradley and Eric Adjepong were the top two dishes. Eric won! He cried. It was his most meaningful win.
Justin Sutherland, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Eddie Konrad and Adrienne Wright are all in the bottom. How the hell is Justin in the bottom instead of Eddie? Oh wait there are four in the bottom. Kelsey cries over her feedback. She is mostly crying about missing her kid.
Adrienne went home for bottled hot sauce. They are actually deciding between Eddie and Justin. If they send Justin home I will lose my mind. Thank God. Eddie goes home with his stupid pureed collard greens.