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!
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At the butt crack of dawn, the cheftestants meet up with Padma Lakshmi and Daisley Gordon, Chef Partner at Seattle's Marché, in Pike Place Market.
The challenge: Prepare breakfast-to-go… on a stick… for the vendors at Pike's Place. They have one hour to shop for cooking supplies, set up their kitchen, and cook.
Padma asks the group to divide themselves into teams of two. Probably because nobody else wants to be near them, Josh and John become a team. They built that douchecanoe together, now they must share it for the rest of time.
Brooke Williamson goes Chefs Gone Wild, with savory and sweet on one stick. Eliza Gavin is stoked about this challenge, because it brings back the good ol' days of selling vegan sushi out of a van. Vegan sushi prepared in the back of a van sounds gross. While shopping, Bart Vandaele plows over C.J. Jacobson to get what he needs. Stefan says his panties are in a bunch, adding, "We have to make food for 50 people on freaking stick … That's too many people."
C.J. decides salmon on a stick is a good idea. Blech. I hate anything fishy; but, salmon for breakfast makes me rethink Eliza's dirty VW peace van (in my mind) fake fish eggs. Josie Malave pulls her "I've been here, done this and I'm better than you" attitude on Eliza. Bart and Sheldon Simeon destroy their Panini press. Shockingly, compared to a few other teams, John and Josh seem to work well together.
John and Josh (red) – chilaquiles: tortilla, salsa, quail egg, avocado-heirloom tomato relish. Padma likes the flavor. Eliza and Josie (green) – ricotta, raspberry, and sausage pancake with Jalapeno maple syrup. Their breakfast is hanging onto its stick for dear life… oops… Padma loses her pancake. Daisley says it's a dessert/breakfast combo. I'm not sure if that is meant to be a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I love to eat birthday cake for breakfast, but I have a feeling the culinary world would frown on that.
Micah and Kristen (black) – bacon and cinnamon waffle, pecan maple syrup, boysenberry and strawberry jam. While it sounds delicious, it looks messy. It's definitely not stick friendly. No comments from the judges. C.J. and Tyler (grey) – salmon and cream cheese crepe. Padma is pleasantly surprised by the combo. C.J. obnoxiously begs for a win.
Bart and Sheldon (orange) – green forest breakfast sandwich: eggs, cheese, pancetta, bacon, and spinach. Daisley enjoys the flavor combination. Danyele and Lizzie (blue) – summer berries with crispy pancetta. Daisley says the berries are delicious. Skewered berries? That's it? Brooke and Stefan (yellow) – croque monsieur: presses hem and cheese sandwich with toasted fig. Looks like a miniature wavy ham sandwich. No comments from the judges.
The Quickfire losers are Lizzie and Danyele, who barely put any effort into their dish, and Josie and Eliza, whose falling pancakes were too hard to eat and too sweet.
Daisley gives props to Bart and Sheldon and Josh and John. He says that Bart and Sheldon's breakfast sandwich was well-executed and easy to eat and Josh and John's mini tacos were a great concept and well-seasoned. Despite the broken Panini press, Bart and Sheldon win the Quickfire challenge. I like them, they're cute. The win immunity.
The challenge: Staying in the same teams, create a dish using (assigned) unusual ingredients. The judges will be Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Daisley. The artisans who hand-crafted the unusual ingredients will also taste the dishes.
The teams scramble to begin, as they only have two hours to prepare their dish. C.J. and Tyler are assigned spicy pickles. Tyler wants to prepare a potato oyster chowder with a pickle fritter, and C.J.'s brilliant idea is to put pickles on top of a burger. Tyler thinks C.J.'s idea is too simple, but he doesn't push the issue. After all, C.J. is a Top Chef
loser veteran. This time around, John and Josh are not on the same page. Josh thinks the grits are too thick; John worries the pork is overcooked. Sheldon says that he and Bart are going "balls to the wall" since they have immunity. Back to pickled-topped burger… C.J. thinks it'll impress judge Tom. Eliza lets Josie walk all over her.
Josh and John – pan-seared pork tenderloin with truffle popcorn grits. Hugh says, "Those grits suck." Daisley thinks the dish lacks imagination. Tom calls it a gloppy mess. Micah and Kristen – cheese curds three ways: béchamel, raw, and fried. Padma couldn't identify the cheese… and she loves cheese. Stefan and Brooke – rose petal jelly glazed muscovy duck with braised cabbage. While Daisley and Hugh think the duck is tough, Gail and Tom think it's too sweet.
Sheldon and Bart – candied salmon with sweet and sour salad. All agree that it's lacking candy salmon. Josie and Eliza – curry cardamom bitter broth with manila clams and seared white king salmon. Gail thinks it has a great flavor, albeit too salty. Hugh says the dish isn't doing anything for him.
Lizzie and Danyele – coconut curry chocolate mouse tart. Tom says it's poorly assembled. The tart is Gail's least favorite dish. C.J. and Tyler – pork crumpet burger with spicy dill pickles. I don't think Tom is impressed by C.J. genius. He sneers, "You couldn't think of a better thing to do with pickles than put them on a burger?! How freaking original!"
The judges are angry. Hugh says he expects more. Tom says, "They're all so bad… not a good day for Top Chef." How embarrassing… Padma apologizes to the Seattle locals.
Tom addresses the group, saying, "Overall, we were really disappointed today. The food wasn't up to par. These dishes showed a lack of imagination and technique. We are not going to award a win for this. The $10,000 is off the table, and we're sending an entire team home tomorrow."
The tension is thick. John blames Josh. He says, "It really was the worst plate of food I've put out in 30 years. I know Josh has been on the bottom a couple of times, and I don't want to go home because of Josh." Facing the possibility of being eliminated, C.J. says, "I would feel like a total absolute failure bitch."
Tyler says, "
Oh bother. If [elimination] happens tomorrow for me and C.J., it happens for me and C.J. I guess we just weren’t as creative as [the judges] wanted." Josh flips out, saying to Tyler, "What the f**k are you talking about? I don't think anybody should just say 'okay, it's my time to go.'" Tyler says, "I'm sorry. I apologize, Josh." Josh adds, "What a f-ing idiot." Where's his douchecanoe? It's time for him to take it home. I can't stand his twisty mustache and piss-poor attitude.
Padma calls the red team (Josh and John), yellow team (Stefan and Brooke), and grey team (C.J. and Tyler) to the judges' table.
C.J. defends the integrity of the pickle. Tom says, "It never crossed your mind… not what goes with pickle but what can we make with a pickle?" Tom calls out John and Josh, saying their food was what you'd expect from someone who doesn't like cooking. Hugh says that Stefan and Brooke used so much rose petal jelly, it was like eating a grandmother. Overall, Tom is disappointed that no one fought to make his or her team's dish better. Gail wonders about the lack of artistry – no garnish, no presentation, etc.
On his way out, C.J. calls out Lizzi and Danyele's dessert, saying, "That thing was an abhorrence. It was a debacle; it was diabolical; it was a travesty." Hugh quips, "Uh oh, because your burger was even worse. Sorry, dude."
Hugh hated C.J. and Tyler's the burger the most. Tom didn't like Josh and John's pork dish. Padma's vote for the worst dish goes to Stefan and Brooke's rose petal disaster. Gail hated the burger the most; therefore, C.J. and Tyler are eliminated.
C.J. says, "I'm mortified that I got kicked off this early, on a team challenge, which is particularly frustrating. I don't think I was judged fairly. I will be pretty pissed off for awhile about that." Tyler shares, "I feel I have grown a lot as a chef in a short period of time." I'm going to miss Tyler.
TELL US – YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS EPISODE? WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE TYLER AND C.J. GO HOME?
Photo credit: Bravo