Thursday nights tend to get away from me when it comes to Top Chef recaps. The hour of drunken screeching makes me need more wine. Yesterday was just a bad day from the moment I woke up til the moment I finally just called it a night. But today is a new day and I am very excited that I waited to do a Top Chef recap when I could fully enjoy it. I believe there is only one more episode left after this and I will miss this season. It’s been a really good one. Now, let’s go to Italy! Speaking of Italy, today they opened their borders to tourists. It seem a bit early to me, but I am thrilled that International travel is starting to be an option again.
Right away I see the set up for an underdog win by Stephanie. Maybe it was just because her package was first.I have almost three hundred thousand Delta miles so I plan to be flying in first on wherever I end up traveling next. But I’ve never seen a really cool first class cabin like the ones on American on Delta. 🙁 Tuscany looks so beautiful, perhaps I will start there. I haven’t been to Italy in 45 years or so. I love seeing Stephanie’s reaction. No matter how many times I return to Paris I always have this feeling of “wow, I am really here.” It seems more like a really good dream.
Gregory is a bit under the weather, he didn’t get enough sleep and he is having issues with his back. He seems to have lost a bit of his mojo. For the quickfire this week, they have to create an apertivo that pairs well with Peroni, the local beer. There are five stations representing five different the five different regions of Italy. So each chef will have different ingredients. Or as Teresa Giudice would say, ingredicences. I would choose either southern Italy or the islands. They will be feeding 30 locals, that’s a lot for a quickfire. The winner get $10,000.
I’m not sure if I have ever really had polenta. I need to fix that. In Italy. Bryan seems scattered. This quickfire is going by fast and everyone struggles to get thirty portions. Geoffrey got what I think is the easiest region, the islands. Out of all the seafood he went with cuttlefish? Really? It’s also a dish that requires utensils. That’s not really an apertivo in my opinion. Bryan did a lamb tartar. I have the same issues I have with Gregory’s dish. Same with Kevin. He did a polenta. Same with Melissa’s mussel dish. I have Stephanie for the win with her venison and Gorgonzola sandwiches. The judges disagree. They don’t like Stephanie’s dish or Bryan’s dish but love the other three. Kevin wins!
The Elimination Challenge
After the quickfire, Tom Colicchio arrives on the scene. The first thing he asks is “Who completely messed up?” That’s so Tom. They go straight to the elimination challenge. This episode seems very fast-paced. It’s hunting season for white truffles. Stephanie is beyond excited. Coincidentally, I am eating shrimp and grits with a heart cloggingly large amount of cheese and black truffle butter. They will make any dish they like using white truffles. The need 100 portions and one of those portions is for an Italian Michelin star chef. So you know, no pressure.
The Italian truffle hunting dogs waste no time in uncovering tons of white truffles. They seem to be everywhere. Wow, when were they there? The exchange rate for dollars to euros was two dollars to one euro. Now, they are pretty close to one for one with he euro slight higher. Next, the chefs head out to a local grocery story. Stephanie has a bit of culture shock. My two favorite things to do in Europe are to sit in churches, it very relaxing to sit in a church that is hundreds of years old, and to go to a local grocery store. The grocery stores are fascinating and bit confusing. Sometimes I buy stuff just to figure out what it is.
The Is No Whole Foods In Italy, All The Grocers Are Whole Foods
Melissa discovers that they don’t have boxed chick stock or broth in Italy. This is something I should have bought on my adventure to the Publix yesterday. I didn’t realize I was down to my last box. I use it all the time. Just today in fact with my shrimp and grits. Oh noe! Stephanie has a phone call to home scene. That is usually the kiss of death. Stephanie woke up on challenge day and decided to totally change her menu. She is going to make pasta. In Italy. For Italians. Melissa’s stories about being the kid with the weird lunches reminded me of the Japanese kid in my class who brought rice patties and seaweed. He had a crush on me. 🙂 Also, Melissa is hot.
Bryan is making a veal dish with potatoes and chestnuts. It’s winter there so this sounds good to me. Kevin is making some sort of meatball dish that seems really complicated and he is not using his Atlanta words so I’m not sure what he is talking about. He accidentally bought pork, wild boar and veal without realizing he was buying three different things. I think that was a stroke of luck actually. It sounds like a delicious combination. Gregory is making a dish with wild boar and polenta. Stephanie is not pleased with her radicchio puree, because it is extremely bitter. But she opts to keep it on the plate. I wish I could carry Gregory’s food for him.
The chefs move out door to a piazza for service. And very quickly the judges and the public are at their stations. Kevin’s dish did not impress the Italian judges. The spices overpowered the truffle. I bet it was a good meatball though. They thought the meatball didn’t even need to be on the plate. Stephanie is kicking herself in the ass for putting the radicchio on the plate. They judges hated it instantly.
Sadly, Gregory’s dish was panned for not letting the truffle be the star of the plate. So, it’s going to come down to Melissa or Bryan for the win. Melissa’s dish was a hit but she didn’t use very much truffle at all. Also, the salami didn’t go with the congee. So this is your challenge to lose, Voltaggio. They love Bryan’s dish he is the clear winner. But any of the other four could go home.
Bryan and Melissa were the top two, but Bryan is the clear winner. Oh wow! Melissa won! I am shooketh. I was sure Bryan had this challenge in the bag! Sadly, I think Steph might be toast. The judges struggle with who should go because all three of the bottom judges made the same mistake by not properly showcasing the truffle. Of the three, Padma like Stephanie’s the best. But, Tom seems to think the radicchio was unforgivable. I don’t want any of them to go home! Kevin could be in trouble here. Again. Honestly, any one of them could go. Sadly, it’s Gregory. He started off so strong and just began to flounder a bit at the end.
OMG! Next week the are going to Parma. So clearly it will be all about the Parmesan cheese! That is another thing I meant to buy yesterday. And I like the grated sawdust kind from the can. I like the real thing too but there are many times I want to add the cheap stuff to a breading mixture. They will be cooking for SIXTEEN Michelin star chefs.