It’s less than an hour before the show airs for this Top Chef Recap and there are ZERO clips on the website for this episode. It’s barely listed at all. I wish Bravo would publicize the good shops as much as they do the trash TV. Oh I just went to NBCu Media Village expecting nothing and there were dozens of professional photos for this episode.
The Quick Fire Challenge
YAY! It’s time! This is a great season where there isn’t a bad chef in the bunch. The Top seven are all excellent chefs. Any one of them is a worthy winner. I don’t know how you choose between this bunch. The quickfire is a vegetarian challenge. UGH. I love veggies but a pork chop now and then is also nice. Or a chicken wing. Or fried chicken livers. LOL. The veggie challenge has a twist. You can only use vegetables that are all the same color. I guess I would go with green. Oh crap. They don’t get to decide. They draw knives Evelyn draws black. WTF is a black veggie? Demarr draws green and is unhappy. I think that would be the easiest one!
This is the last immunity of the season, that means it is nearing the end. 🙁 Budda is up first. He drew white so a he made a dish with cauliflower and cheese. They like it. Luke had purple and also went with (purple) cauliflower with purple carrots and a brown butter sauce. They love it. Ashleigh had yellow and used a lot of curry on her vegetables. Not a lot of feedback on her dish. Demarr had green and made a broccoli dish with an avocado puree. They liked it. Jae had red and did something with beets and strawberries. That seems like a weird combination. Nick had orange did a fried rice dish with papayas with some pumpkin and sweet potato and a charred orange cauliflower that was riced. Evelyn, who was stuck with black made a black bean soup. That was smart. They love it.
Nick was on the bottom and so was Ashleigh! In the top was Budda, Demarr And Evelyn. Demarr wins immunity! Padma also gives an honorable mention to Luke and encourages him to keep up his progress.
The Elimination Challenge
Dawn Burrell and Kwame Onwuachi both show up to introduce the elimination challenge. The food tonight will be soul food in celebration of Juneteenth, our new national holiday that has it’s roots in Houston. After the announcement came to Texas, three years after all slaves were freed, former slaves in Texas move to Houston and formed their own city called Freedman’s town. They will be serving 100 guests at Mt. Bethel church for a fundraiser. They each need to make a dish that speaks to THEIR soul. So it technically doesn’t have to be “soul food” by the traditional definition.
The first day they will have 500 to shop and two hours to prep. The next day they will have two hours to cook and plate 100 plates!! But, before they go shopping, they get to tour Mt. Bethel constructed in the 1890s. I loved the tour. I’m trying to think of what I would make. Since my cooking skills are limited I’d probably make my Berkshire porkchop go to dish, but that would be over budget. I make them with sweet potatoes, onions, pineapple and jalapeno. I keep waiting for them to go on sale at D’Artagnan. Maybe I would also make biscuits. I’m not great at that. But, my sister is! Probably could not get that for 100 people for $500. So perhaps shrimp and grits. Probably not Top Chef quality. LOL. Maybe bacon wrapped shrimp and grits. I wish I could make fried chicken like my sister.
It’s Time To Prep!
Everyone is making dishes from home. Budda is making a dish that he had with his father before he recently passed from stage four cancer. That is a brutal death I have unfortunately watch my other sister go through. My heart goes out to Budda. He wants to win Top Chef for his father. Damarr is making collard greens and hoe cakes. I make this a lot but usually used canned turnip greens unless it is New Years. I hate how it always used to be turnip greens and then suddenly everyone EXCEPT ME turned to collards. But, I like collards just fine. But, turnip greens are better, they are more tender.
It is the day of the fundraiser and everything is on the line. They are cooking on the site of Mt. Bethel. I’m not sure what Ashleigh is cooking but she is from the low country so my vote goes to her automatically. How is Damarr burning his hoe cakes? Even I can make them. Two ingredients, cornmeal and hot water. It’s like making pancakes but you need Crisco oil (not olive oil) in the pan with enough so the cakes can absorb. I’m not sure even if he wasn’t burning them how he is going to make a hundred of them in one cast iron skillet in time. Oh Lord. after I said that, he said, “I can only cook six at a time. This is a serious mistake. I don’t want Damarr to go home, but it is looking highly likely. Oh wait! He has immunity! And the task was so simple! Three minutes until the guests arrive. I also don’t understand why his batter is so thick!
Nick made a salmon cake with hoppin john with a remoulade sauce in honor of his grandmother. It looks delicious. My mama used to make that too but the “sauce” was ketchup. I’ve tried to make it but it’s just not the same. We did not have the hoppin john, blackeyed peas with rice because “that’s a Charleston thing.” LOL. the guests and judges and love Nick’s dish. Jae made a Korean cod dish. It’s a hit. I missed what Evelyn’s dish is called but bring it to mouf! It sounds delicious. Damarr’s dishes for the judges looked perfect after all. I’m HUNGRY. Ashleigh made low country crab rice and oyster gravy. Make it stop! I am starving I want to be there! Dawn didn’t like Ashleigh’s dish! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE. If Ashleigh goes home to night I’m going to throw a fit!
Luke made a Danish style meatball that he used to eat when living in Denmark and it remind him of his mom’s meatloaf. The judges liked it but not as much as the others. Oh noe! Budda makes his grandma’s curry. Once again it sounds amazing. The judges have some issues with it. 🙁 Then the judges say there are no bad dishes.
No matter who goes home I am not going to like it. I love all of these chefs and I have no idea how they will make this decision. The judges are being very picky. No criticism of Damarr at all. Evelyn cries when talking about her dish because she learned it from her grandmother who recently died. Kwame wanted more of it. They love Jae’s dish. The judges are torn on who to send home. I hope they choose no one and do a double next week. In the chill room they all agree that this is the hardest challenge to send anyone home. The judges feel bad to send anyone home. It’s also hard to pick a winner. Jae, and Damarr are the top two. Luke’s meatball is in the bottom. AND ASHLEIGH! Padma was not a fan of Ashleigh’s crab rice with oyster sauce. Is she on the crack? At least Tom likes it. Budda is also in the bottom.
In the end, Jae won with her Korean cod dish. She is as shocked as I am! Luke goes home for his meatball. Most likely because he was in the bottom last week as well. Luke is such a great guy and he takes it well. I’m headed over to Last Chance Kitchen. Then Masterchef Junior and then I’m going to TRY to go to bed at a semi reasonable hours. Thanks for all six of you who read this! It’s so much better than screaming, drink tossing older ladies. Next week they have to create a dish for the astronauts on the space station. Well that’s a new one! Marcus Samuelsonsson is a guest judge. I love him!