Tonight’s Top Chef Recap should be exciting because tonight’s Last Chance Kitchen winner will return to the show. So I predict a male chef will be leaving and returning. Then we will return to the vagicide already in progress. I won’t be able to watch. LCK until after I recap, the premiere of MDLNY right after this. Then, I will watch and come back to chat with you in comments.
I need this episode more than ever now. Since I began prepping I watched the news and I wish I would not have. It’s so sad and depressing and on top of that I stupidly watched a six year old girl getting spanked and belittled by a principal on TMZ. I’m in a bad head space and hope this episode pulls me out if it. Also, it is PORK CHOP DAY AT Chez Tamara, and I didn’t really have all the ingredients. I almost burned the house down and the cast iron skillet I was using got way too hot and started to lose it’s seasoning. It’s done now but still in the oven and it doesn’t smell that great.
I feel like I would really like Portland. I need to travel more in the US. Once, I had a weird time in Seattle once that involved a guy. It was… um… interesting. And I am never going back to Seattle because I was much younger then and in way better shape and I still had to stop and sit down a lot because the hills are MURDER! We are getting a montage of Jaime! Maybe that means she comes back? The kitchen has been transformed into some sort of magical forest for tonight’s quickfire. Tom is there to kick it off because his favorite ingredient is mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. I eat most everything but not mushrooms. It just seems gross. Like chickenfeet. 🙂 There is no immunity. GASP!
Unlike me the chefs are happy to get a mushroom challenge. They have to work on stumps because Portland is called Stumptown USA or something. Nothing they are making looks good to me. Because, mushrooms. The stumps are all different heights so some people are suffering from having to bend over so low. Dawn can’t get to the oven or the fryer without having to wait for her other chefs. I am behind so I’m not going to go through everyone’s dishes in detail. I feel like Byron’s dish isn’t impressing Tom. Chris, Nelson and Byron are the bottom three. Gabriel, Dawn and Gabe were the top three. Gabriel won and got $10K.
The Elimination Challenge
The elimination challenge is a paired challenge for a surf and turf challenge that also includes some of the local Native American original foods. The chefs get to choose their partners. If they have fish they pick a game meat chef to partner with and vice versa. Gabriel tries to pair up with Shota but Shota wants to pair with Dawn because she has rabbit and he has Smelt. This doesn’t seem like a good pairing to me. But Shota knows more than I do, so it will probably be great. Nelson sort of gets stuck with Gabriel but he is fine with it. He likes Gabriel even though Gabriel is sort of known as being an asshole. Aren’t all chefs though? It’s a double elimination, so they will probably win or lose as pairs.
The chefs get to go to meet with the tribal leaders to learn about their foods. They also learn how everything is plated. I love Nelson he is so into this challenge and very deferential to the Native American women. Everyone is very respectful. But, Nelson is just very endearing. I like all the chefs this season. Then they get to fish with Native Americans on a pier on the river. They have no fishing poles. Maria is loving this. I feel better already. These are some really lovely chefs.
Cooking For Tribal Leaders
Byron and Maria have very different viewpoints. But, they seem to be compromising. Nelson injured his knee at the orchard and it is giving him serious problems. Even more problems than being paired with Gabriel. Byron and Maria seem to work well together. Same for Gabe and Dawn. I like Avishar and Chris together. In fact, everyone seems to like almost everyone. Shota is making smelt five ways! That seems challenging. Maria disagrees with her partner, Byron. She wants more mole on the plate. Yet ONCE AGAIN she gives in to his suggestion. Oh Maria, stand up for yourself, girl! I may not be able to get you through this episode!
The Native Americans give a lovely prayer before service. I am now back to being in my zen place. Oh wow, Byron and Maria are up first. I’m nervous again. They have elk and salmon. The native Americans love it. But, Gail says it needed more of the mole. Stick to your guns Maria and stop deferring your opinions to others! Your instincts are spot on! I’m starving. So I am pulling my porkchop out of the oven. I guess I should let the chop rest for a few minutes. I can already tell that I put in A LOT of jalapenos! Sorry , next up is Chris and Avishar. The Native Americans can barely wait for the plate to land in front of them before diving in to their sturgeon and venison. I feel another actual plate licking coming on. But the judges are really nitpicking and wanted more sauce.
Finger Licking Good Dishes
Dawn and Gabe had the hardest pairing in my opinion… bison and catfish? I love catfish but in my opinion it doesn’t really pair well with any “turf.” The natives LOVED the pumpkin seed molé. Clearly every dish so far has been great. Even the judges don’t nitpick. Up next is Gabriel and Nelson. They are having some major issues with the cook on trout is at issue. Is steelhead, trout? Their turf ingredient is antelope. ANTELOPE? Tom has an issue with the antelope. Padma has an issue with the trout. They are probably going home. Shota and Sara worked really well together with their rabbit and smelt dish. This looks like the winning dish.
The natives loved ALL OF IT. Tom says it was the best food they had all season. I love how the Native American leader referred to his people as Indians. I’m either one eighth or one 16th Choctaw INDIAN. We’ve been referred to as INDIAN for hundreds of years. It’s not an offensive term to us. The politically correct police are over policing. You still can’t wear Indian headdresses if you are not a highly esteemed member of the tribe. And it is certainly not a Halloween costume. Or something you would wear to a family reunion just because you have Indian heritage.
It looks like they are going to do Judges Table outdoors just like dinner service was. Oregon is a drop dead GORGEOUS state. I am so motivated to travel there once I head into my next chapter that has me without Banjo and fully vaccinated. Gabriel is from Oregon and never gotten to interact with the Indian community. He is very grateful. The judges loved all of the dishes. But the top two were Gabe and Dawn and also Sarah and Shota! YAY! SARAH AND MY IMAGINARY BOYFRIEND WON!
Padma tells the remaining chefs that there were no bad dishes tonight. Whoever goes home is going home on a very good dish. It was difficult to decide. There is no way in hell Avishar and Chris are going home. Gabriel and Nelson could be. Byron and Maria probably are. Because Maria keeps deferring to other people’s opinions. She should have insisted that the mole go on the fucking plate. Last week I was praying for her to stay and she did. But this week. I won’t even care if she goes because she needs so much more confidence!
Wait, Tom seem to be supporting Maria’s dish. It seems to be between the guys team. THEY BEST BY GOD SEND HOME Gabriel and Nelson. My boy Avishar is not going home. AND NELSON AND GABRIEL ARE ELIMINATED! I feel sorry for Nelson. That is why no one picked him. I feel like Gabriel will be back. The bigger the asshole the better the chef. I can’t wait to watch. But I have to go recap MDLNY.