Guess what? It’s another great day at Chez Tamara. And on top of that, it’s Top Chef recap night! We are down to the final five and I would be happy with a win by any of them. I love them all! It’s a win, win, win, win, win situation!
Oh No! I had to let Banjo out he’s having a rough day so I got back about ten minutes in. It should not have mattered but for some reason it was not taping! So I am a bit confused about what is going on? Whut I Miss? It looks like they are working in teams. Not sure how that is possible with five remaining chefs. And one team member cooks something in the dark and the other one has to recreate it in the dark by only feeling and tasting the dish? Or maybe just feeling! My DVR is such a PITA lately. Oh I see they are not in pairs. They are all recreating a the same dish that I image one of the judges made.
A Little Love From Home
Dawn is killing it. She has all the ingredients I think. But, apparently carrots were already cooking for her and she wasted some time peeling carrots? Sorry, the chefs are not the only ones coming into this challenge blind. So am I. Apparently, they ARE working in teams? Meanwhile, Maria has a brain fart and forgets how to butcher a squab. Oh, Dawn’s teammate is Brooke. Dawn was better than Brooke at the challenge. I didn’t like Brooke on her season. Dawn was far and away the winner.
Then, Padma tells all the chefs that they can have the night off. This sounds too good to be true. This never happens. What’s the catch? The chefs all go back to their living quarters only to find Brooke and Melissa already there and five big brown boxes. Ut Oh. Now what? Melissa says these are care packages for each of them sent from home. I’m still skeptical. They start with letters of support from their loved ones, they all start sobbing while reading them. OMG! Dawn’s mom is home recovering from a stroke. Okay, she has to win this. #TeamDawn
The Elimination Challenge
Then, they are told that for the elimination challenge they have to use items from their care packages. Dum, dum, dum, duummmmmm. Jaime is not thrilled with her chicken wings. The judges say they don’t have to use everything in their box. But their dish should represent the box. Most of them seem to see their box as a bit challenging. Maria is making wings. Never cook chicken on Top Chef! Jaime is making a brisket. She’ll be using a pressure cooker for the first time. Shota is making steak and mushrooms with a fruit salad. Gabe mom sent him all the ingredients for a Latin American dish, the first dish she taught him to make. But, he decided it wasn’t elevated enough for this point in the competition. Dawn is making pork belly with red eye gravy. Jaime is struggling during prep.
Maria is up first with chicken wings and a bean sprout salad. It sounds boring but it looks delicious! Maria was worried about the salad dressing and the judges though the vinaigrette was watered down by the sprouts. Ut oh. Jaime is up next and Dawn helps her plate. I love these chefs. Jaime’s dish is brisket over rice with a caramelized jus and pickled veggies. They loved the brisket, hated the rice and thought it lacked a singular point of view. Ut oh. Shota made wagyu shoulder with a mushroom puree and a persimmon salad. The judges LOVED It. Gabe made a braised pork dish that looks like a fancy carnitas to me. It was also a big hit. Dawn has her work cut out for her. C’mon girl! Once again she is running behind. She should not have helped Jaime plate! She made pork belly with with red eye gravy, sweet potato and sauce. More than one judge’s plate didn’t have the gravy. SIGH.
The Judges Table
Tom says that little mistakes will be the reason someone goes home at this point in the competition. Someone Dawn is still in the top three with Shota and Gabe. YAY! I feel like they want her to win. But this week the winner is Gabe. Maria is already crying. Jaime is crying during her feedback too. The judges decide to send Maria home. Jaime stops the judges and says she thinks Maria has more to give! I am getting some allergies here. I love all these chefs. They are so loving to each other.
Jaime is trying to sacrifice herself for Maria. Sorry. I’m having trouble seeing the screen, my eyes are blurry. They are both sobbing and arguing with each other. Jaime said she already had a second chance and begs the judges to give Maria a second chance. Maria refuses the offer. The judges stick by their decision. WOW! The most shocking judges table EVER. Brooke is crying. I’m crying. We are all crying. Next week the top four have to use cheese five ways. THAT I would LOVE to judge. Wow. What an emotional episode.