Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Chef 12/26/12--"Jalapeno Business" summary

Previously on "Top Chef": The Quickfire involved making dishes with mystery ingredients. They made some poor intern cover everything in the pantry with foil. Kristen made a cake, which is impressive because it means she made a pan out of foil too, so she won immunity. The Elimination challenge was to make a dish with berries for a berry festival. Everyone got paired off, and then you battled head-to-head with someone who had the same berry as you. John and Stefan engaged in some trash talking. Josie channeled Guy Fieri and irritated the judges, and then later got into it with Stefan. Kristen won again, while Danyele made terrible chicken terrine and was sent home. (click for more)
Last Chance Kitchen: both Danyele and CJ had to make sandwiches with lunchmeat and cheese. Danyele made some turkey and avocado which sounded like it would be tasty, but then CJ busted out with Vietnamese ham and whatnot so CJ remains victorious.
 Stefan says that Josie talks when she's stressed, and that he's over it. I guess he means that he's chalking up their fight to stress and isn't holding it against her? Except for the part where he's the one who said she was "skating by". I don't know. Kristen's feeling confident. Lizzie finds a note that says for the Quickfire, they'll have to go somewhere and "harvest" their main ingredient. Emeril will be here today. They use the product placement in the car to figure out it's a shellfish farm. Micah shares that he was brought up kosher and didn't eat shellfish.

Everyone has been provided with boots, so I guess they might have figured it out without the GPS system or whatever. It looks like it's not the same as digging for clams, because everyone is just picking oysters up off the bed, instead of having to dig a hole. Josie manages to get stuck, and Micah helps her out. But he makes sure we know what a nice guy he is about it. Stefan helps her too, I would like to point out. Micah interviews that Josie is fun sometimes but sometimes you wish she'd shut up. Everyone tries the oysters, which I would totally do. John and Bart have stories, although Bart's seems to be about how his family didn't want him to be a chef. Sheldon's never done this before because oysters don't grow in Hawaii. I've never done it either, so don't feel bad. Josh points out they might just be shucking oysters for the Quickfire.

Emeril and Padma greet everyone and tell them the challenge: "oysters on the half shell for Emeril". John has gone back to wearing his glasses like a dork. Half of them will make a hot dish, and half will make a cold dish. They'll have to grab aprons to pick, so I guess it's first come, first serve. Winner gets $5000. Brooke says she has a car but no cash, hee hee, shut up Brooke. I don't know why that bugged me but it did. Emeril warns them not to overcook the oysters.

25 minutes to cook. Sheldon wasn't fast enough to get to do a hot dish. Brooke complains that the shells are chipping too easily. Micah says something weird about how meeting Emeril for him is like when Moses met God. OK. He's frying his oysters, and when he goes to put them in the fryer there is something in the fryer next to his basket but I can't tell what it is. I'm not sure who is frying a big flat thing. Bart is making champagne sauce. John's making garlic butter and Parmesan garlic foam. Stefan is smoking his oysters in a plastic bag. Josie's sauce is broken.

Kristen: hot oysters with caramelized honey tomato broth, celery leaves, and chili. Stefan: cold smoked oysters with potato vinaigrette and flash frozen salt. WTF is flash frozen salt? Josh: cold oysters with pickled cucumbers, white soy, cilantro, and red chili. Lizzie: cold oysters with crushed currant juice and crushed pink peppercorn. It's pretty. Brooke: cold oysters with salsa verde, cilantro, horseradish, and red chili. John: hot oysters poached in garlic butter with Swiss chard and garlic-Parmesan foam. I'm sorry, foam never looks appetizing. Josie: hot wood-roasted oysters with chorizo and cilantro cream. Micah: hot crispy fried oysters with arugula salad, hot sauce, and lemon. Bart: hot oysters with champagne, butter, and cream. Sheldon: chilled oysters with Old Bay broth and ginger scallion pesto.

Bart had too much butter and cream and the oyster was lost. Also Emeril knew Josie's sauce was broken, although he blames it on the oyster liquor and not the broken sauce. John's preparation was boring. Lizzie took a chance and it was delicious. Micah also took a risk but it popped. Brooke's salsa verde was excellent but didn't take away from the oyster. The winner is Micah. He claims to be glad to cook for Emeril, although he doesn't deny he likes the money.

Elimination Challenge: cook for some roller derby girls. Awesome. Five of them skate in. Josie is psyched and reveals she used to play pro football. Are you surprised? Neither am I. Lizzie whispers she hopes they don't have to cook on roller skates. Sadly, I think that might have been a valid fear. Padma makes everyone pair up in teams of two. Bart ends up with Josie, and says no one else wanted to get stuck with her but he's a team player. Brooke ends up with John again, and says she's used to him. The teams must make dishes inspired by the name of whatever roller derby girl they get teamed up with. Teriyaki Terror, Jalapeno Business, Eddie Shredder, Kutta Rump, Tempura Tantrum. The poor girls have to say stupid things about their names, and it's awkward and painful. Jalapeno Business is an awesome name, though. No fussy food but no concession stand food either. Micah and Lizzie pick first, and they pick Jalapeno Business. Sheldon picks for him and Josh, and takes Tempura Tantrum. Stefan and Kristen get Eddie Shredder. John and Brooke get Kutta Rump, which means Josie and Bart end up with Teriyaki Terror. 2.5 hours to cook for 100 people. Also everyone is invited to tonight's game.

They get like, box seats to the game, which appears to be on a basketball court, not on an oval track with the banked curves like in movies. Josie is loud, obviously. Brooke labels roller derby as "violent Ice Capades". Heh. Josie hollers at Teriyaki and someone says "You know she's on the bench, right?" Nice. Josh is irritated, and Sheldon looks irritated too. Unless they edited that shot in from some other time. Stefan shushes her, and Josie interviews that she's come to the derby with her parents. She is really that obnoxious loud person at the sporting event, though. You know what I mean. John, because he is COMPLETELY ridiculous, has put on eye black.

Back at the apartment, Josie sacks out on the couch while I think everyone sits at the table and complains. At first I thought they were in another room, but later you'll see they're within ear shot. Josh says when she left the box she knocked a beer over, and was generally obnoxious. Micah says it doesn't matter what she said because "nothing that came out of that mouth tonight was a word". Josie gets up off the couch and accuses everyone of having their panties in a bunch because she told them they were boring, and are they sensitive about that? Micah responds that there's no reason to call anyone names (...what name? "Boring"?) and no one called her a name. Josie says boring is not a name (true) but that if she wanted to call him an asshole, then that would be a name. Also douchebag. "And I'm just saying, this tree right here? You don't want to bark up, Micah, OK? Alright? This right here (said while gesturing to herself)? Knows who she is. You? Are hiding in a closet." OK, "this tree right here" was hilarious and awesome. Then we went off the rails. I'm not sure Micah being annoyed by you means he's closeted. Especially since he said nothing about your personal life. And you'd think a person who got their ass kicked for being gay wouldn't throw shit like that around, but there you go. Josh is all "...the fuck just happened?" Micah doesn't seem to be offended, as he apologizes for not telling everyone up front that he was a gay man hiding in a closet. Bart tries to calm her down, and she says "Namaste, bitches. Namaste." What? I think I would be sick of Josie too, at this point.

This party is in like, a disco roller rink. Awesome. Lizzie and Micah are making crab-stuffed jalapenos, which sound delicious. Bart says they're civilized in Belgium. He's also afraid to be over-spicy. Stefan tries to make fun of John for being old, and implying that he used to roller skate in the 50's, but John totally doesn't get it and says that his first date was at a roller rink. Heh. John says he likes working with Brooke because she reminds him of his daughter. Who was taken from him by his wife in an ugly divorce. You can tell he's still torn up about it. OK, that is worth one glasses crack that I will let slide. He thanks for Brooke for working with him. Sheldon has a tempura battered dessert. Stefan's dish is complicated. He says something about ice skating, only he did it when Kristen was three years old so she ribs him about it. Josie is worried about her dish.

People rent skates and skate up to the booths. Everyone encourages people to eat their dishes. Josie is Josie. Hugh is here, nice. And Emeril, and Tom and Padma. I think Hugh tells Padma her roller derby name is "Padma Smacks Me". Heh. Brooke and John (and Kutta Rump, apparently): Thai beef with lobster jasmine rice and Thai slaw. They seem to really like it. Josie and Bart (Teriyaki Terror): steak teriyaki with forbidden rice, beet blood, and green papaya salad. It looks like a skewer and a shot glass full of juice, but I think the rice is in the glass. The girl says it's "unique", and Hugh asks if that is unique good or unique crappy. Too earthy. Beef isn't seared right, rice is overcooked. Bad. Hugh tries to give Emeril a derby name but Emeril points out his name is clearly "Bam Bam Legassi". Obviously. Micah and Lizzie (Jalapeno Business): crab-stuffed jalapeno with avocado cream, onion and pepper relish. It is crispy, and tastes good. Stefan has put out his plates and put drizzle on all of them first, so it looks violent. Stefan and Kristen (Eddie Shredder): corn puree, chicken liver, and sunny side up egg. He says it's "chicken inside out". The corn is delicious, and the liver is cooked well. Tom wishes they had shredded some chicken. Josh and Sheldon (Tempura Tantrum): tempura yuzu curd with shiso, fresno chili, sweet potato, and vanilla. It's on a stick. The tempura isn't fried enough, although they do like all the gels and flavors and whatever.

Commercial interlude: Padma roller skates and Stefan says he bought Season 9 so he could cut out all the footage of Padma and make a video like a creepy stalker. The whole thing is done in 70's crappy film and weird special effects and then at the end it says "Padma Smacks Me". Ha.

Padma collects John, Brooke, Micah, and Lizzie. These are the top. Brooke and John cooked everything perfectly and the sauce was delicious. Micah and Lizzie's peppers didn't overpower the crab. Hugh says the winning team is Brooke and John, because did what the judges asked for. John is an ass and says he finally won but it would have been better if he'd won alone.

Back in the Stew Room Stefan and Josh bitch about how Micah and Lizzie made a jalapeno popper. Josie, Bart, Sheldon, and Josh are called up. Tom says Sheldon and Josh had some execution problems, while Josie and Bart were all over the place. Josie did the teriyaki, while Bart did the rice, and the beets, and I think cooked the beef. Josie says they made a plate before service and they thought it was fine. Tom says something about seasoning, and Josie talks about how she thought the rice was like risotto? But she thought the beets were highly flavored and they would seep into the rice? I guess she thought the beets would make up for the rice not tasting right. Tom goes on a rant about how if you mix something seasoned and something bland, you get bland every time and he's tired of telling them that. Tom says they've told Bart a bunch of times he underseasons things, and Josie says she let him season something but didn't taste it afterwards. Bart says the beef was spicy, and he asked Josie about the rice because he knows he underseasons. Everything was a mishmash. Hugh says it was like beet espuma served on boring porridge. Josh thinks they were creative. They seem to know the tempura wasn't executed right. Josh tries to say he didn't know how many custards were left, so that's why they served subpar food. Tom is not impressed. Then Josh is all, I'm going to ask a question, and it's not "a CJ thing" (uh oh), and then he brings up Micah and Brooke's dish and how they made a jalapeno popper and isn't that concession food? Wasn't Josh there when CJ got shot down? Tom carefully explains to him the difference between frozen jalapeno poppers and a roasted pepper with crab salad that is perfectly fried. Josh, you look so bad right now. Padma says they had some risky parts to their dish, but they had an execution problem.

Sheldon worries that he might go home because the tempura was his thing. Josie whines that she doesn't want to go home because of someone else's mistake, and then tries to lecture us on why you salt things, but if Bart asked her to check something she should have checked it. Bart gets sent home. I guess for underseasoning things. He shakes everyone's hand and Padma says she'll send him a bag of salt. Ouch. He interviews that no one sends his food back in his restaurant for being underseasoned. I think he then says he doesn't need this, "this" being Josie talking all day. If people didn't like it, that's their problem.

Next time: it appears they've gathered "classic" moments from previous seasons, and everyone has to make whatever dish in the clip? I think. The judges appear to be Wolfgang Puck, Wylie Dufresne, and Chris Cosentino.

Last Chance Kitchen: Bart says it's fun to cook against CJ. Tom talks about perfect execution, and Teriyaki Terror shows up to give him a covered dish. CJ waxes rhapsodic about her ass: "Like two Parma hams, dueling for control." Hee. Don't be distracted. Bart's teriyaki was underseasoned and bad. They must make chicken breast, which is bland, exciting and delicious. Bart is using tea, and everyone reminds him to put a lot of salt. CJ has Greek yogurt and bonito flakes. Bart has cookies? Tyler is singing which is annoying. CJ has his chicken in the wood burning oven, but it's pretty close to the end of time. CJ: marinated chicken with mushroom reduction, Greek yogurt and roasted lettuces. I don't know what it's marinated in. CJ admits to being nervous, and curses when Tom doesn't say anything about his dish. Bart: roasted chicken, carrots, Greek yogurt, tea infused sauce, and speculoos cookie. You can tell Bart is tlal because he clears CJ's shoulder. CJ's tarragon was great. Bart seasoned his dish well. Both of them cooked the chicken perfectly and Tom says they both nailed it. The winner is CJ. Tom says that the flavors in Bart's dish would be great in venison, but it's a little much for chicken. Woo CJ!

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