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!
This week's "throwback" episode of Top Chef Seattlebrings us drama, beef, a pair of pissed off glasses, a foot rub, a tightly wound mustache, mushrooms, and a double elimination.
Immediately following Kuniko Yagi's Turkeypocalypseelimination, John"my forehead needs glasses"Tesar disses Kuniko's raw potatoes. He says, "You can do potatoes in your sleep as a chef." John's negativity puts everyone on the defense.
C.J. Jacobson is like, Dude, why you gotta do this while we're pretending to be sad about Kuniko going home? John is like, She had five hours to taste those potatoes! And, by the way, you're full of s**t right now. Feeling left out in Seattle, Josh "my mustache is twisty" Valentine tells John that he doesn't have any tact, and then this happens:
Glasses: And Oklahoma has a lot of tact?
Mustache: You’re an a**hole.
Glasses: Thank you.
Mustache: Don’t f***ing say another word to me. There’s a reason you’re the most hated chef. It’s cause you’re a prigg. (does he say prigg or prick?)
Glasses: I’m not a prick. (Ah, prigg is Oklahoman for prick..filing that away for future reference. John and Josh fail Communication 101.) I’m truthful.
Last week onTop Chef Seattle, the cheftestants' challenges revolved around regional ingredients. The episode was very fishy. Seattle chef Tom Douglas joined the judges' table inside the Space Needle.
Three past Top Chef competitors, Josie Smith-Malave (season 2), C.J. Jacobsen (season 3), and Stefan Richter (season 5), joined the competition. Sadly, Jeffrey Jew failed to impress the judges and was eliminated.
The challenge: Create an authentic international dumpling. Working individually, each contestant must pick a country (Africa? It's a loose interpretation of "country," I guess), and then make the dough-wrapped ball of food associated with that country. Padma Lakshmi tells the chefs that they will be gifted five minutes with a Kindle Fire, the Top Chef product of the week, to research their dumpling.
Dana Cowin, Editor-in-chief of Food & Wine Magazine, will judge the challenge. Dana explains that she will look to see how each chef handles a wrapper, stuffing, and sauce, adding that she has eaten her weight in dumplings. No pressure, but she knows her dumplings.
Season 10's cheftestants are Bart Vandaele, Brooke Williamson, Carla Pellegrino, Chrissy Camba, Danyele McPherson, Eliza Gavin, Jeffrey Jew, John Tesar, Josh Valentine, Kristen Kish, Kuniko Yagi, Lizzie Binder, Micah Fields, Sheldon Simeon, and Tyler Wiard.
Alright, alright, alright!Padma Lakshmi is in the house, err, kitchen, and she's feisty. John decides to talk to his teammates while Padma is still dishing out instructions for the Quickfire challenge. She puts him in his place. Manners by Bravo lesson number one: don't talk over Padma. Standing beside Padma in a quiet and single-file line, as not to bring on Manners by Bravo lesson number two, are three past Top Chef contestants. Surprise! Josie Smith-Malave (season 2), C.J. Jacobsen (season 3), and Stefan Richter (season 5) will be the judges for the first blitzkrieg (okay, a little dramatic, but I love that word). Chrissy remembers Stefan; he's an evil villain who looks like a thumb.
Top Chef is back. Padma Lakshmi returns as host, and the series promises a "back to basics" season. Top Chef Season 10 will take us to Seattle. But, we're not actually in Seattle yet, because the judges still have some cheftestant fat to cut.
The remaining Top Chef Seattle hopefuls are broken up into four groups and must prove themselves to either Tom Colicchio,Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson, orWolfgang Puck. The cheftestants will pour their hearts and souls (and, for some, sweat) into dinner prep, soups, omelets, and salads, and then the judges decide who moves on to Seattle.
Head judge Tom Colicchio's team includes John Tesar, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Binder, Jorel Pierce, Micah Fields, and Anthony Gray.
John pimps himself as the "most hated chef in Dallas." Then, in case we're too dim to realize, he tells us that "hated" basically means "awesome." John says he has a natural talent, and he's the best. Well, there you have it, Top Chef fans. Should we just call it a season and crown him the winner now? Eh, what fun would that be? Let's meet the other egos contestants.