Last week on Top Chef, Micah Fields won the sexy knife quickfire challenge and Kristen Kish won the memorable moments elimination challenge. In a cook-off with Lizzie Binder, John Tesar (and his eye glasses) fell victim to the curse of the risotto and was eliminated. Ouch! Being eliminated over Lizzie, who knowingly cooked and served questionable scallops, had to be embarrassing.
While Josh Valentine (and his twisty mustache) is glad John is gone, Stefan Richter (and his wrinkle-free face) misses his "morning friend." Josie Malave declares she didn't come back as a stupid chef. True. She came back as an annoying chef.
The challenge: create a dish highlighting ginger… sponsored by Canada Dry Ginger Ale… in only fifteen minutes. Ginger Ale. It's what pays the bills.
15 minutes? Wolfgang Puck? The pressure is on! Lizzie makes a split-second decision and grabs watermelon. Brooke loves ginger and pairs it with squid. Stefan disses Sheldon's stir fry dish, calling it too pedestrian and Chinese restaurant, and Sheldon yells "mother f-ker" at his meat.
Last week on Top Chef Seattle, the cheftestants harvested fresh oysters and cooked for the Rat City Roller Girls. While everyone wished they could have voted Josie Malave off the Top Chef island, Bart Vandaele was eliminated for serving beyond bland food. I told those suckers that they'd regret not letting Josie sink in the mud, but they didn't listen to me.
This week's episode opens with Sheldon Simeon sharpening his knives and Stefan Richter slathering on wrinkle cream. Funny. Padma Lakshmi introduces this week's special guest, master blade smith Bob Kramer, who makes custom knives that sell for $500 an inch. That's crazy!
Bob cuts through two ropes to demonstrate just how awesome a $4,000 knife is. Sheldon begs to give him a hug; Lizzie Binder appears as if she hasn't slept in weeks; Stefan doesn't look too impressed. Perhaps Stefan would have cracked a smile or raised an eyebrow if Bob had busted out $4,000 wrinkle cream.
This week, instead of personally introducing the quickfire challenge, Padma Lakshmi and Emeril Lagasse leave a note. The note directs the chefs to take three Toyotas (ohh! ahh!) to Taylor Shellfish Farm.
When Josie Malave gets stuck in quicksand, Micah Fields and Stefan Richter come to her rescue. I don't know why. She's super annoying, nobody can stand her, and proving to be impossible to eliminate. Overall, the chefs are excited to harvest fresh oysters. They take their time, enjoying every second of the experience and slurping up fresh oysters as they go.
The challenge: the chefs must prepare an oyster dish for Emeril. In the kitchen, there are five red aprons and five blue aprons. Red aprons will prepare hot dishes and the blue aprons will prepare cold dishes. The winner gets $5000.
Padma Lakshmi introduces this week's guest judge to the eleven remaining contestants, season four winner Stephanie Izard. Stephanie is the only woman to ever win Top Chef.
The challenge: The chefs may cook whatever they like but every ingredient in the kitchen is wrapped in Reynolds Wrap (shameless product placement). The chefs blindly choose their ingredients. If they unwrap it, they must use it. Also, foil is the only cooking vessel that they are allowed to use.
Danyele McPherson – cannellini bean stew with bacon asiago cheese, and tomatillo. While Danyele was thrown off by the tomatillo, Stephanie thinks it improved the dish. Micah Fields – grilled lamb with tomato fennel panzanella. The lamb is rare. Stefan – hot smoked salmon with german potato salad served with champagne. John Tesar – beed egg drop soup with braised pineapple. Stephanie likes the pineapple and the beef combination.
Brooke – bacon roasted yams with bacon, onion, and apple salad. The raw onion nearly kills Padma. Josh Valentine – roasted chicken with potatoes, poblano, tomatillo, and carrots. Stephanie appreciates the small hint of heat. Kristen Kish – almond and chocolate sponge cake. Not only did Kristen mix the ingredients in a foil bowl but she also baked the cake in a foil pan. The texture of the cake is great. Kristen continues to impress me.
Newcomer Tyler Wiard and returning chef C.J. Jacobsen were sent home for being the worst of the worst. While Tyler went out as humble as ever, C.J.'s whiny ways didn't do him any favors.
Padma Lakshmi and Marilyn Hagerty, food writer for the Grand Forks Herald, introduce this week's Quickfire Challenge. Marilyn has been writing about middle-American restaurants for 30 years. About her career, Marilyn says, "It's been a hoot." Too cute! One day, I hope to look back on my career and say it's been a hoot.
The challenge: each chef must create a sweet and savory holiday dish reflecting his or her cultural heritage. The cheftestants have only 30 minutes and must share one knife. The twisty mustache gets first dibs on the knife, so the other chefs get creative with graters, meat slicers, spatulas, pizza cutters, and busted scissors.
Last week on Top Chef,John Tesar and Josh Valentine created so much drama, Kristen Kish won $10,000 for her extra special mushrooms, Tyler Wiard brought the Eeyore impressions, and Chrissy Camba and Carla Pellegrino were eliminated for soggy salad and undercooked squab, respectively.
Immediately following last week's elimination, the fourteen remaining cheftestants soak in the "Carla's gone" silence, Josh whines because he sucks, and Stefan Richter worries about the season five birthday curse.
Tyler laments, "Being on top today doesn't mean shit. I better continue to do the best I can, because, tomorrow, I could be gone." So goes the Top Chef Seattle kiss of death… Jeffrey Jew excelled in week one and was eliminated in week two. Kuniko Yagi won the elimination challenge in week two and was eliminated in week three. Carla Pellegrino won the elimination challenge in week three and was eliminated in week four. Last week, Lizzie Binder, Kristen, Tyler, and Stefan served the best dishes. As I mentioned above, Kristen rocked the mushrooms and took the prize for the week.
So, what does all of this mean? I have no idea. Will Kristen break the curse? Does Tyler have a reason to be worried? Will Stefan lose because it's his birthday? Will John and Josh keep away from each other this week? Let's find out!