Previously on Top Chef: Beverly wins Restaurant Wars and Ty is eliminated. Oh noes!
We rejoin the chefs who are still in the stew room with Sarah still, well stewing about Beverly’s win. In a very poorly edited scene, we see Tom come in and announce that the gang is heading back to San Antonio, mixed in with Sarah gasping. That, mixed in with Padma‘s strange voice-over at the opening makes me think the show is being edited on iMovie on someone’s Macbook. Get it together!
The chefs go home in cars separated by gender and Lindsay is still complaining that her job during Restaurant Wars was hard and that “others” (i.e. Beverly) dropped the ball except they kind of didn’t. Winning the challenge is the opposite of dropping the ball.
Eventually, we land back at the kitchen. Hottie and Top Chef semi-regular Eric Ripert is back! The chefs spy a conveyor belt in the back of the kitchen and Ed, master of stating the obvious, says this is going to suck. Chef Ripert adorably reads his lines and Padma lets us in on the quickfire challenge: they must make a “sophisticated dish” using three items from the conveyor belt. But, the longer they wait to get their three items, the less time they will have to cook. See? It’s a riddle. The winner gets immunity.
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Immediately, Ed grabs macadamia nuts and a few seconds later sauerkraut, apparently confusing “sophisticated” for effing gross. Those wacky production folks keep taking the lobster on and off the belt, which is driving Chris insane. Beverly starts to make food from the pantry before grabbing her conveyor belt items, which she says will give her more time to cook. This is what we call foreshadowing.
Everyone runs around, the music gets crazy, and eventually Chris gets his lobster. When time is up, Beverly did not leave enough time to get her curried rice krispies onto her plate, which makes her very sad. Ripert and Padma make their way on every dish, giving the usual zero feedback. When they get to Beverly they ask to try the unplated curried rice. What a surprise, Chef Ripert loves it with the salmon!
In the end, Ripert picks Sarah, Lindsay and Beverly as his favorites, but can not grant Beverly the win, so he goes with Lindsay’s Bouillabaisse in Fennel-Pernod Broth. She wisely notes it is a backhanded compliment. Ed says she should have just cheated and thrown the rice up in the air to see if it landed on the plate. That’s actually not a bad strategy for life in general.
In any case, it’s time to move on when the elimination challenge is announced and actress Charlize Theron walks in, this episode’s guest judge. Everyone temporarily loses their mind and reason — like everyone does around a genuinely famous person. The challenge: everyone must cook one course in a wicked meal, epic product placement for Charlize’s new film: Snow White And The Huntsman. Unlike former starlets who’ve graced Top Chef‘s kitchen, Charlize has no finicky dietary restrictions (the winner for that has got to be Zooey Deschanel, a gluten-free, soy-free vegan when she was on Top Chef Masters. They served her deep-fried air.)
The chefs go shopping at Whole Foods, where Beverly is shown acting like a 5 year old let loose in a Toys R Us. Grayson calls her a “bulldog” and says she’s always sneaking up behind you. Later on, at the house, while giving each other a pep talk, Ed mentions everyone has to play fair and that Beverly is always pushing people out of the way. Are they talking about the same Beverly who just took great pains not to cheat in a challenge?
Next, we head to the kitchen where the chefs have two hours to prepare their courses. Paul has something like 35 pots on the stove and is very stressed out. Grayson is preparing a black chicken, which I never even knew existed. Beverly decides to make halibut along with “forbidden” rice (illegal in 30 states) in order to show Lindsay that damn it, she’s good enough, she’s smart enough and she CAN cook halibut.
Back in fantasy land, the judges all walk in and banter with Charlize. Everything the beautiful movie star has to say is so funny! What proceeds is a drama-free love fest of a meal. Everyone loves everything. They love Sarah’s blood-red risotto, they loved Grayson’s black chicken slaughter meal, they loved Beverly’s halibut, they loved Chris’s liquid nitrogen dessert. They even loved Paul’s bloody handprint on his dish. Chef Ripert was the only one who wondered if Paul was wearing gloves. It was all positive, which is a nightmare for us recappers. Think of the bloggers!
Someone, however, has to go but not before they lavish some more compliments on the chefs at judges table and Ed tells Charlize he is “here to please.” Thanks for saying what we were all thinking, bro! The winner of the challenge is Paul’s “murder song”. They cheap out the prizes again, and for his efforts, he wins two tickets to the premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman. At least no one pretends to be excited about it. They may as well have said the prize was a DVD copy of Monster.
On the bottom this week were Grayson, Sarah and Beverly for relatively minor mistakes, but someone’s gotta go home because this show doesn’t have enough money to extend production another week. Beverly says she made a more elegant dish, because she didn’t want to be “wicked and grotesque.” It provides an excellent cue for Grayson to get a slam in at her, when she explains that she took the challenge literally and stepped it up a notch.
During deliberations, the judges predictably appreciated Grayson and Sarah’s more interesting takes on the theme versus Beverly’s approach to play it safe. And for that, Beverly is sent packing. Sarah and Grayson hug her as they walk out to the stew room, but you can tell they are gleeful inside. Her exit montage is brief and it’s on to the next one.
Next week: chefs against chefs! Chairs get knocked over. And Tom is going to make some fans very happy when he wears a short-sleeved shirt at judge’s table.
TELL US: WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE JUDGES DECISION TO SEND BEVERLY HOME? DID YOU LIKE CHARLIZE’S APPEARANCE ON THE SHOW? DO YOU THINK THE PRIZES ARE GETTING CHEAP?