Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top Chef 12/19/12--"Foiled Again" summary

Previously on “Top Chef”: there was an internet celebrity and a product placement challenge that also involved gimmicktry. It was dumb. Essentially the chefs had to make a “holiday” dish and Brooke won with apple crostada. Then everyone had to cater a party for some actors. There was a good deal of heavy foreshadowing about Danyele. Brooke won again, because she took her immunity and made lamb stuffed-squid. Even with the foreshadowing, Eliza was sent home for undercooked carrots. (click for more)

On Last Chance Kitchen, CJ and Tyler were not a team, and were tasked with making something with carrots and pickles, along with Brooke. It was not super exciting, but CJ won. He also seemed less arrogant, which is a good sign.

Everyone sits around and misses Eliza. Danyele is going to try to not be nervous. Josh bitches that he keeps getting in the bottom for making pork, when that’s what he does. He says something about underwear but it sounds gross so I’m not going to look at that too closely.

For the Quickfire Stephanie is here. I like Stephanie. And if we need to have a winner, at least it’s not Ilan. Also she’s the only woman to win so far. Padma says they can make whatever they want today. Then she tells them every ingredient in the pantry is covered in aluminum foil. Aww, why not let them find that out when they get in there? They show the pantry, and some poor interns have seriously covered every bottle, can, piece of fruit. Hee! Padma says once you open it, you must use it. They’ve also taped off all the pots and pans and must cook in the foil. At least these two gimmicks are related, unlike the travesty of last week. Winner gets immunity.

30 minutes. Ha, all the meat and stuff in the refrigerator is covered too. John gets a pineapple and is unhappy because he thought he had herbs? What? How do you not know a pineapple even through foil? Kristen wants to make sponge cake, which seems complicated in 30 minutes. Bart uses his head to shape some foil. The grill is covered in foil trays. Micah sears some lamb with a blowtorch.

Danyele: cannellini bean stew with bacon, asiago cheese, and tomatillo. They like the tomatillo. Micah: grilled lamb with tomato fennel panzanella. Lamb is rare. Stefan: hot smoked salmon with German potato salad. And champagne. John: beef egg drop soup with braised pineapple. I’ll give him props for making soup in aluminum foil. Brooke: bacon roasted yams with bacon, onion, and apple salad. Raw onion. Josh: roasted chicken with potatoes, poblano, tomatillo, and carrots. Kristen: almond and chocolate sponge cake. It looks really good. Bart: beer poached cod with butter beer sauce. He’s covered his bowl in foil too. Weird. Sheldon: lemongrass smoked scallops with tomato and shallot salad.

Brooke didn’t season her dish enough, and Micah’s lamb was too rare. Josh didn’t do enough with his ingredients. Then Stephanie names six people, which is pretty much everyone else, I think. Specifically, Danyele’s stew was delicious, Kristen got a good texture out of her cake, and Sheldon had a good flavor. The winner is Kristen. Nice. She’s glad to be rewarded for thinking out of the box.

Elimination challenge. Tomorrow they are at a berry festival? So they must cook with berries. They’ll be battling head-to-head. Josh says he loves battles and then tells us he was a wrestler. Does he understand he’s not going to actually physically battle anyone? Padma rearranges the line so the top six are apart from everyone else. Kristen doesn’t have a partner, but can still win the challenge. If you win your battle, you are safe from elimination. The top Quickfire people can choose their opponents. Heh. Sheldon picks Micah, Danyele and Josh, Stefan and John, Josie and Lizzie, Bart and Brooke. Brooke is last, and has decided to be flattered. The festival guests will pick the winners. 150 guests, and 3 hours to cook. Winner gets $10,000. Everyone takes a covered dish because each team will focus on one berry. They are all the berries you think of except tayberries, which are apparently a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry that is not a loganberry.

Shopping, which is at Central Market and not Whole Foods? Huh. Kristen has the tayberry. Sheldon and Stefan briefly fight over some tuna. Stefan and John have gooseberries, and Stefan has decided that since Sheldon took most of the tuna he is going to buy some fresh frozen tuna. To make sashimi. Oh, Stefan.

Back at the hotel/apartments/whatever, John laughs at Stefan and gives him the loser sign. John says it’s fun to go against Stefan because it’s fun to get inside his head. Stefan promises if John doesn’t lose, Stefan will shank him.

Everyone treks out to the farm or wherever this festival is. Stefan talks about getting away from some drama. I’m sure drama tags along with Stefan. They find one of those outdoor kitchens I always see on “Dinner: Impossible”. Not a lot of space. Danyele yells and I guess shoves someone out of the way. A guy drives up on a tractor with their berries. Lizzie and Josie have raspberries, and Lizzie waxes rhapsodic about how they go so well with pork and cabbage. Josie is talking about California rolls with raspberry coulis instead of avocado. Uh huh. Bart and John fight over a mixer. John whines that people are crying like children. You were pouring things into a giant plastic bin. That is not “using the blender”. He manages to jack up whatever he’s doing so he and Josh get sprayed with soup. Karma, dude. Micah and Sheldon have strawberries, and Sheldon admits to everyone he picked Micah because Micah is a strong competitor. Josh and Danyele have blueberries, and Josh brags that he is great and Danyele is freaking out. Kristen interviews that she was born in Seoul and was adopted at four months old, and with this money she would get if she won, she could go back to Korea. Aww. Brooke and Bart trash talk in a genial manner. Brooke seems to be about to panic.

Tom time! When Tom asks Stefan if he can beat John, Stefan shrugs and states how old John is. OK, heh. Tom goes to John and passes the message that Stefan said he’d win. Nice. John tells Tom he feels confident and also Stefan used frozen tuna. Burn. Stefan claims there was nothing else, the other fish was bad, whatever. Stefan I think is kind of insulted that John threw him under the bus. It’s not like Tom wouldn’t be able to tell the fish was frozen when you’re serving it raw. John claims he was making a point about the fish not being sustainable. Whatever.

Micah reveals his daughters are named Sage and Saffron, because those are the only culinary names he could think of that did not also sound like stripper names. Josie is rolling to order. Stefan and John are still trash talking each other, even after they start serving. Stephanie is back to judge, along with Gail. Danyele: chicken pine nut terrine with blueberry mostarda. Josh: savory goat cheese mousse with blueberry compote. And a little ham? The terrine is rubbery, but Tom wants more compote with Josh’s dish.

Josie has named her dish “Rock n’Raspberry Roll”. She is very loud as she rolls to order. She seems high. Gail actually turns to Tom and asks “Is she high?” Hee. Sockeye salmon, Dungeness crab and raspberry aioli. Some random girl complains about the wait. Lizzie: raspberry steamed cabbage roll with heritage pork and bacon stuffing. They love Lizzie’s dish. Tom is pissed with Josie’s behavior, and the wait and the fact that she appeared to put her show above the food.

Sheldon: ahi summer roll: ahi poke, strawberries, and sweet chili sauce. Micah: strawberry fried chicken with strawberry and bacon biscuit. And maple sour cream. They both seem to have done a pretty good job.

John: white gazpacho with Spanish chorizo, gooseberries, and sweet grapes. Stefan: “Cali” crudo with radishes, gooseberries, and spiced vinaigrette. They do like Stefan’s dish but wish for more gooseberries. John also doesn’t have enough gooseberry flavor.

Brooke: spicy smoked chocolate pudding with blackberry tapioca, with marshmallow and graham crackers. Bart: blackberry soup with salmon and rhubarb yogurt. Bart didn’t need the salmon, but they love Brooke’s dessert.

Kristen: matcha goat milk custard with macerated tayberries. Interesting. They love it a lot. Stefan and John continue to bitch at each other.

Commercial interlude: Josie is loud. Yeah, we knew that. Josh hates her laugh. But hey, John is wearing his glasses on top of his head like a normal person, so that’s something.

Back in the Stew Room, Stefan is still pissed at John. He goes around the room and asks every single person if they’ve used frozen tuna, and mostly they say they have, so Stefan gets up and tells John to suck his dick. Everyone dies laughing. Padma collects John, Josie, Bart, Micah, and Danyele. Someone wonders aloud if this is the bottom, and Stefan says “Of course it’s the bottom! What are you, fucking blind?” Hee. It is the bottom. Tom tells them they agree with the guests. Micah knows he and Sheldon had very different dishes, and he admits Sheldon’s flavors popped. The biscuit was dense and the strawberries didn’t come through. Josie knows Lizzie got a lot of votes. She claims it wasn’t about the demonstration, but because she was behind, she thought she needed to entertain everyone while they waited for her to roll things. The berries kind of muddled together and the whole thing ended up heavy somehow. Bart’s salmon didn’t go with the soup. Danyele didn’t go far enough with her mostarda. Tom thinks it could have been better. Also the terrine was not good. John put chorizo in his gazpacho, which swamped the berry flavor. He tries to blame the chaotic kitchen but Tom basically laughs at him.

Winner time. So Tom says they all did a good job and then Stephanie announces that Kristen. What, that’s it? OK. Kristen curses and is very excited.

Bart had a great soup and showcased the berries, but then had salmon for no reason. Micah didn’t have enough strawberries. Josie muddled her flavors. Tom says it was like Pepto Bismol. Tom! Did you just make a smart-ass reference to when Josie was out the first time she was on the show? I’m impressed you remember that. Danyele’s idea was fine, but her chicken was terrible and the crostini were tough. John had too many excuses.

Danyele is sent to Last Chance Kitchen. Well, I thought she was going home last week, so OK. She seems to not be super upset. Stefan says something dumb to John, and I guess told Josie to shut up? Instead of moving to go over by John? So she flips him the bird and all of a sudden they’re both pissed and having a giant fight. Lame.

Next week: roller derby girls, and Josie tells Stefan he’s closeted. Nice. I don’t know when I can watch the episode and post it but I’ll see what I can do.

Last Chance Kitchen: once again, Danyele is intimidated by CJ. Today’s challenge is to make a sandwich with lunch meat. Because Danyele’s terrine was like lunch meat. Heh. CJ snobs that he doesn’t like to work with pre-made meat. They both get to go shopping. They make them drive themselves and use some product placement features. Once they get going, CJ stage whispers that they should just keep going. “Punch it Thelma!” Hee. There is mild confessional trash talking, but I am distracted because you can tell as they both stand there that Danyele doesn’t even come up to CJ’s shoulder. When they get back to the kitchen, the peanut gallery is there to watch. Chrissy has a T-shirt that says “BIG CEEJ”. What? That is kind of awesome. Danyele is actually making some sandwich she eats all the time, which is turkey and avocado and bacon. It sounds tasty, but CJ is making daikon butter or something. Someone says encouragement to Danyele and she says “I’ll eat it, if no one else will”. Hee! As everyone laughs, Tom is all “Uh, I HAVE to eat it”. Danyele admonishes him that he gets the pleasure of eating her sandwich, and he is like “Oh, no, totally, that’s what I meant to say”. CJ: Vietnamese-inspired ham and butter sandwich with apple and radicchio. Danyele: oven-roasted turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich with pickled onions. Also pepper jack cheese. CJ had too much bread and not enough stuff. Danyele had too much meat and the bread fell apart. Danyele says Tom is a hater. In the end, CJ wins again. Danyele takes her sandwich with her when she leaves.

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