On tonight’s Top Chef recap the final three will be responsible for catching their proteins themselves. They will be catching and cooking clams and crabs.
The Final Quickfire
Sadly, it’s time for the last quickfire of the season. I don’t want this season to end. Dawn is beating herself up for her plating issues. The next morning at 5 am Padma wakes them up to tell them it’s time to go dig for clams. They seem less than thrilled. Dawn has never really cooked with clams so she is concerned. I may have to whip up some clam chowder after this! I always have cans of minced clams in the pantry! They are finding tons of clams! Shota finds huge clams that are…well…phallic looking.
Once again their cooking stations are outside. I’m sorry, Shota’s clams are grossing me out. Dawn struggles to shuck the clams. And she seems to have no firm plan about how to cook them. Shota just wants to beat Gabe in the quickfire. Gabe has never won a quickfire. Oh no! Shota has cut himself pretty badly while opening his clam. He cooks with one hand while the medic bandages him up. Everyone is really struggling with the time constraint. Gabe dish is Latin inspired. It looks pretty. Dawn made a clam bisque. She basically pureed the clams. Probably not the best way to showcase them. Shota went Japanese style and I expect him to beat the other two literally one-handed. NOPE! Gabe actually wins his first quickfire.
The Elimination Challenge
The final elimination honors the memory of James Beard, who was born and raised on the Oregon coast. Both Dawn and Shota have been nominated for a James Beard award but did not win in their categories. Still very impressive. Gabe gets an extra hundred dollars in his food budget for winning the quickfire. The top two contenders for fan favorite and Dawn and Shota. I think I’ll vote for Shota. But, the both deserve to win. All three jump in boats to catch some crab! It is amazing how many clams and crabs they caught! They just drop a basket and pull it up and it’s literally brimming with crab. Yum!
The three then get to eat some crab that they just caught at a place that cooks them up for you. Shota talks about being ashamed of being Japanese at lunch time as a kid. I went to elementary school with a Japanese kid and his lunchbox was always rice and seaweed. He was very quiet. I had a crush on him for a bit. I had several crushes in elementary school. lol. Shota is hoping his time on the show will make kids proud of their heritage and food. Gregory tells Dawn that if she is having trouble getting her plating done, maybe she is trying to put too much on her plate.
Let’s Get Crabby!
The final three have to make two dishes featuring their crabs, one hot, and one cold. I’d make crab dip for my could dish and serve it with crudité. My hot dish would be sort of a low country boil. They only have 30 minutes to shop and the local food market. I knew it could not be this easy. Tom comes in with a twist. The famous farm to table chef, Alice Waters Zooms in to encourage the chefs. Dawn is very emotional, she’s a huge fan. Wow! No twist! I thought for sure he was going to say something like, one crab dish has to be a desert or something. They are all stressing about the two hour cook time for two dishes when they have to breakdown the crabs.
The chefs present their cold dishes first. Shota made crab sushi two ways. They are all really struggling with their first dishes. Shota decides not to present the second type of sushi to the judges. Wow. That’s kind of bad. The judges get all three cold courses at the same time. Gabe dish is crab and lobster mushroom in a broth. The soup is hot because he didn’t have time to cool it. That is also bad. Dawn made crab with a cold cashew soup and pickled oyster mushrooms. Everybody loves Shota’s sushi, but Kwame says serving the crab only one way after the menu said two is unacceptable at this point in the game. Ut Oh. The also loved Gabe’s not so cold dish. They loved the Dawn’s crab and cashew dish. But some thought there was too much unnecessary garnish. Was Gregory’s advice included as foreshadowing?
The Judges’ Table
After serving their cold dishes that had an hour to work on their hot dishes. Dawn is struggling with time. Gabe ruins one of his tortillas so he will be one tortilla short. Dawn doesn’t get her potatoes plated. Shota seems like the only one who got it all done! Dawn is sure she is going home. Gabe’s dish is a molé and seems to be sort of a make your own taco kind of thing? That will be hard for the judge with no tortilla. Shota’s crab and daikon dish is very “elevated” looking. I think he is safe for final two. They RAVE about Dawn’s dish! The reviews are mixed for Gabe. Some complain about an overpowering taste of artichoke. Others think that gives a depth of flavor. The adore the restraint of Shota’s dish. He’s the frontrunner.
The judges loved Dawn’s dish, so why did she have to tell them she had potatoes but ran out of time? Just say thank you, that’s exactly what I was going for! She’s throwing herself in the line of fire! The liked Gabe’s first dish best. It seems like Dawn’s second dish was their favorite. Oh no! Shota is in trouble! Oh Shota WON! They mislead us! But, YAY! Then, the judges decide to send all three of them through to the finale because they could not decide! Next week is the finale! Not just three chefs in the finale but they are all people of color! They all have to make a four course progressive meal. I can’t wait.