It’s time for a new season of Top Chef and I am hoping that this will pull me out of my funk. Even though life is collapsing all around me. If you missed what the big scary noise was during the RHONJ recap, click here. Let’s get to the Top Chef recap, from Portland.
The episode starts off on a sad note as most if not all of the chefs have had to close their restaurants due to Covid. But, it’s also a really good time to film the show and not worry about their businesses. Four of the chefs are James Beard nominees! They all have very different culinary areas of expertise. They all seem really amazing. It looks like there are only seven of them. Sadly, that probably means a short season. 🙁 I do feel better already. So there is that.
Too Many Chefs In The Kitchen
All of these chefs are executive chefs and mostly owners. The first challenge is a group challenge and there are way to many chefs in each kitchen. They all were asked what their must have ingredient is and all of them have to come together to make a cohesive dish. Ouch this is hard. I haven’t seen Tom Colicchio in this episode yet. So that is probably why the guest judge, Gregory pick the team with three women as the winner. As I am typing that, speak of the devil… Tom walks out. Then out come tons of Top Chef winners who will rotate in and out as guest judges.
The elimination challenge is a bird challenge with a blind taste testing. They are ordering food from Whole Foods online rather than shopping in person. All of these people are in a bubble. Richard Blais’ pandemic hair is ridiculous. The chefs are all staying in a funky hotel. I am transfixed by all the chef’s game bird recipes. I should thaw out a cornish hen. I haven’t eaten in days. It’s an anxiety thing. One of the female chefs is using so many spices two of the guys can’t even breathe. And one of the guys is Thai who is used to spicy food. I think both duck people are doing a sweet potato side. That should be interesting.
Time To Taste The Dishes!
Gabriel is up first with squab. Everyone loves it. Byron is also up with squab. They didn’t like it as much as Gabriels. Byron could be in trouble. Maria did a squab enchilada which sounds delicious to me. That was the super spicy dish. Perhaps two spicy, but it is definitely Maria on a plate. I think she will be safe.
Next up is the duck people. Roscoe did a duck Adobo with sweet potato dumplings. Tom says duck is the easiest bird. The duck is not cooked properly. Roscoe is definitely in trouble. They really seem to hate it. Shota made a soy braised duck with bonito flakes (yuck!) and pumpkin white miso puree. They liked it. Gabe made a glazed duck with figs and mushrooms and charred onions. They liked it.
Now it’s time for the quail dishes. Sara did a glazed quail with dates and grilled eggplant. Sounds yummy to me! The judges agree. Sasha did a roasted quail with polenta and a red wine jus. It was a fail. Kiki did Moambe quail with grits and boiled and pickled peanuts. Kiki wins it for me before I even hear what the judges say. They were “meh” about it. Idiots.
It’s Turkey Time! Oh no, one of the girls, Dawn, a former Olympian has plating issues and doesn’t get her peanut sauce on her dish. It was a turkey peanut stew. There are no peanuts though. The judges seem to understand what happened. She’s devastated. Chris sous vided his turkey breast and the judges were mixed about it. Jamie did “lemongrass curry” ??? I don’t think that is a thing. And the judges agree with me.
Oh wait, there is more? Where did all of these people come from? We still have “chucker” to get through. Chucker is apparently what people from Oregon call pheasant. Avishar’s pheasant was a total fail. Brittany did “chucker” with a sweet potato puree. Too much sweet stuff. Chester did a carribean version and everyone LOVES it.
We already have chefs crying. My girl crush, Melissa King is this week’s guest judge. They are picking the four top chefs and a bottom four. Sara’s glazed quail is a top dish and she thought she was on the bottom. Shota’s braised soy braised duck is also on top. His plating was beautiful. But I could not get over the bonito flakes. Gabe is also in the top with his duck, figs and mushrooms. It’s a very pretty dish. The is also a Gabriel who used to work for Tom in the top four with his squab. Sara was the winner AGAIN. She is not very confident, but she won the quickfire and the elimination.
Sasha, Roscoe, Jaime and Vishar are up for elimination. I feel like Roscoe is going home. Sasha has immunity so she is safe. Also, there are worse dishes. Roscoe and Avishar are both in a lot of trouble. So is Jamie with here weird “lemongrass curry.” Again, not a thing. I’m not surprised Roscoe is the first to leave. But there is always Last Chance Kitchen. But the early cuts never win that. Who is watching with me? Do you have a favorite yet?