Thursday, January 28, 2016

Top Chef 1/28/16--"Where's the Beef?" summary

Previously on “Top Chef”: the Quickfire was overly complicated for some reason, asking contestants to take turns picking out one ingredient and then those were the only ten ingredients allowed to be used. I don't know. Jeremy won immunity (and I didn't write it down? Or talk about it? I don't know what I was doing last week). For the Elimination Challenge everyone must make a dish representing who they were and how they were ten years ago. Because “Top Chef” is ten years old. Marjorie made green curry because she was a “green” chef back then, and she won. Jason continued to be ridiculous because he talked about how he's better than all these “norms” and then said ten years ago he was a raging asshole and he's totally not like that now. Kwame, on the other hand, was having a rough time back then and he really did not like to remember that time. Phillip said to Tom's face that he should be cooking for the judges and what they want, and then later claimed to have tasted every piece of fish he served. But Jason was sent home finally. (click for more)

On Last Chance Kitchen, Jason and Angelina have to make something exciting with boring ingredients. But never fear! They have [product placement] teriyaki sauce! You guys, if you're trying to be a high-class cooking show you can't have brand name sauces. Come on. Anyway, Jason won because the universe hates me like that.

Kwame is relieved to be safe. He tells us he was selling drugs ten years ago (a detail I don't think he said last week?) and he got his shit together. Phillip, on the other hand, thinks Judges' Table is like a therapy session. He is going to be himself. So either Phillip is himself and wins in a landslide, or he crashes and burns in a fiery explosion. Marjorie feels Phillip could use a mentor to bounce ideas off of.

Karen says she and Marjorie are going to take turns winning everything. She just sounds obnoxious about it, I don't know. In other news, Chad blow dries his beard. I don't even blow dry my hair.

Today's Quickfire is “all about the food porn”. Padma says “the”. She shows some Instagram photos from “Chef Jacques La Merde”. This is a fake name, in case you couldn't guess. They have “Chef” on Skype or whatever, with voice disguising. He's keeping his identity a secret. When Padma asks how he is doing, he says, “I'm feeling pretty soigne today.” I dislike him immediately. The producers ask everyone in confessional what “soigne” means and no one knows. Phillip doesn't even use that word. Upon closer inspection the plates are made of junk food. Kwame asks if that's Jeremy. Hee. “Chef” says “bro” about six million times and then they reveal a bunch of junk food to use in the challenge. Then they'll put them on Instagram somehow and whoever gets the most likes wins immunity. So you don't have to actually cook anything. Phillip interviews that you eat with your eyes first. Cut directly to Isaac saying “People who say they eat with their eyes first should be stabbed with a pork chop bone.” Ha! I love you, Isaac.

30 minutes to...plate, I guess. Amar celebrates Easy Cheez. Carl eats a bunch of his supplies. Karen plans to make a “big pink swoosh”. Carl has a weird idea about man vs. nature vs. Spam and the torn up Spam can. Isaac hates frou-frou plates. His four-year-old could do better. But could a monkey do it? Sorry I had to. Chad tells the inspiring story about how he's totally a real artist, and he hated being a cook, but his mom told him to paint on the plates and now he loves cooking. Jeremy starts his interview talking about plating and then says “Doritos are really in season in spring.” it goes downhill from there. It's funny though. Phillip sneers at people who are cooking and yells at Amar who is apparently shaking the table and knocking over the Bugles. Calm down, dude.

Padma says they're going to meet “Chef” and it ends up being Christine Flynn. Carl gets sexist about of course it's a woman who is plating, or something. Like it blows his mind. So we don't know what is in anything, but there are photos of each person's stuff. Chad has all his ingredients shoved over to the side, with a green puree swoosh and then some cylinders. Look it's going to be hard to describe everything. Amar has to put down whatever he's eating to come over. He's painted half the plate to look like wood grain. Carl has a torn up Spam can with the food spilling out. It's fun actually. Jeremy has lots of dust. Marjorie's is a regular plate. Like it's pretty but not as unusual. Isaac has a bunch of splatters and stuff. It's not great but he knows it. Kwame's dish is nice and actually is edible. Karen does have a bunch of pink stuff. Phillip...Phillip wastes a lot of time futzing with his plate because of course he does. Padma literally counts down to force him to take the picture. They'll award the winner tomorrow.

No time wasting though! Elimination Challenge now! Neil Fraser is here to tell them about Beefsteak. This is a thing that men used to do, get all dressed up and maybe the police commissioner would sit next to the gangsters and everyone would eat meat and get drunk, I guess. Now the same thing happens but they give the proceeds to charity. It still involves meat though. Also Neil knows Phillip so hopefully he doesn't like him. The contestants will get in teams of three and do the cooking. Phillip, Amar, Jeremy; Isaac, Marjorie, Chad; Kwame, Karen, Carl. You have to make a seafood dish, a meat dish, and two sides. The rules are: no utensils, no plates, no napkins. So plan ahead.

Chad quickly offers to do fish, but when Isaac says he's doing chicken Marjorie tries to get him to make beef since it's “Beefsteak”. Chad backs Isaac up so they drop it and decide to make some bread since you can use it as a plate and to sop up juices. Kwame wants to make peel-and-eat shrimp with some crab butter. Carl suggests Spanish flavors and they all seem to agree. Phillip wants to make whole rack of lamb that you can pick up by the bones. Jeremy is also worried they're not doing beef. He said “a meat dish.” If the judges wanted you to make beef dishes they should have said so. Phillip argues that yesterday the judges told him to do whatever the fuck he wanted so he's going to do whatever the fuck he wants. Yeah, but you're in a group so maybe listen to them? Whatever, Jeremy seems content to let him screw up and then throw him under the bus.

Shopping is shopping. Amar buys a 25 pound side of halibut. Chad has to buy ahi tuna, because there isn't enough black cod. He's worried about it. Carl laughs at people not doing beef. GUYS. They didn't say you had to make beef. Stop complaining.

They're cooking for 200 hundred people so there is a lot of food around. Phillip makes prune jam. Jeremy makes Brussels sprouts and carrots. There have been a lot of carrots this season. Amar tells us when they have a team challenge, his team always wins but he never does. Isaac points out that cow was not mentioned so he's making chicken sausage with bacon. Chad unwraps his tuna and decides to bury it in ash? Fire manly grazing etc. Amar says when he was younger he was like Phillip and he was “that guy”. He tries to tell Phillip something about the carrots but Phillip is not listening. All of a sudden they're done.

Next day Phillip calls his wife and brags about how his parents totally could have hooked him up with a sweet life but they told him at twelve he needed a job. Whatever, Phillip.

Three hours to prep before dinner. Marjorie worries her bread might not proof properly because bread is new to her. Isaac has a million coils of sausage. People arrive for the party in nice clothes and aprons. Hugh is here. Yay Hugh! Also Chris Cosentino. And Colin Hanks. My DVR says Max Silvestri (host of Bravo's “Cutthroat Kitchen” knockoff) is also here but they haven't introduced anyone yet. Back in the kitchen Marjorie gives Phillip shit for possibly not having enough meat to get the job done and needing two bones per person. Hee.

Phillip: New Zealand rack of lamb with prune jam. Amar: grilled halibut with mustard vinaigrette, cucumber and pickled red onion. Jeremy: roasted carrots with spiced yogurt, and fried Brussels sprouts with bacon, sweet and sour sauce, and cilantro. The prune jam is pretty good. The halibut is cut up into little filets and Padma thinks it's kind of lame. Everything seasoned well. Next to Padma is Ron Funches who is hilarious and I hope gets some camera time. Padma didn't finish her lamb chop so she put it back on a serving platter. Hugh yells at her and then throws the chop across the room. The team comes out and Hugh tells them it was dainty. The fish was anyway. Actually everyone wanted blood or something, but since Phillip had bones it was satisfying to grab a bone and gnaw on it. Jeremy says “You finally did something normal!” Hee.

When the sausage comes out the boys are very pleased to see a giant coil of sausage. Isaac: chicken and bacon sausage with grilled cabbage. Chad: ash seared tuna with citrus, pickled beets, radish, and black sesame. Marjorie: milk bread, and assorted pickled vegetables. They are really excited about the sausage, but the taste doesn't live up to it. The tuna is little pieces with garnishes and Chris says he would have done a whole loin and made diners tear it up. There are microgreens. The bread and pickles go over well. Someone yells that Beefsteak is about sexism. Where is the sexism?! Isaac says “I wanted to put my sausage in your mouth.” “That was a success.” Hee. Hugh is like “You had a dry sausage though”.

Kwame thinks they won't be on the bottom so he's not worried about immunity. Karen wants extra points for making beef. But they cut up the loin and everyone rolls their eyes. The shrimp gets cheers. Carl and Karen: roasted strip loin with romesco. Kwame: peel-and-eat shrimp with aromatic butter. Karen: asparagus with chorizo, and potatoes and olives. The beef tastes good, but the shrimp is too salty. No! And overdone! Kwame's pretty upset. Bad foreshadowing. Everyone struggled with this challenge. Chad is relieved, because they seem to all be in the same boat, but then again they are all in trouble. Also Ron Funches didn't get to talk.

Judges' Table. Padma says there were 23,000 likes for the Quickfire, and one dish had 5,000 which is a big lead. Karen is the winner. It was pretty, I guess. Tom then yells at everyone for not providing decadence. Chad tells them they wanted to do it, but they couldn't get the stuff they wanted? Chris was on “Top Chef Masters” so he has no sympathy. Amar, Jeremy, and Phillip are the top. Phillip gave them the only protein with a bone in it, which apparently was what they were looking for. The halibut was cut up and “not appropriate” for the challenge. Jeremy's vegetables were cooked really well. The winner is Phillip, because I told you so at the beginning of the episode. Now he'll be insufferable.

Chad, Isaac, and Marjorie are the bottom. Oh thank God that means Kwame is safe. Isaac had a good idea with sausage, but I guess chicken was not the right choice. The presentation was fine but the sausage itself was bland and I guess dry. Isaac stands behind his sausage. Ha. He says “My customers like it, and I like it, but I can't make you like it.” Somehow he doesn't get glared at for being rude but instead I see Tom and Hugh nodding in satisfaction. Marjorie's dishes were fine. Chad had the stupid microgreens, because he though his dish needed something green. The food itself was fine but Chad thought he shouldn't make his dish too messy. He didn't fit the challenge.

They kick everyone out to the Stew Room for once. Isaac says if he goes home he's fine. Phillip smugs that it's like if the judges showed up to see Metallica and Weezer was playing. Weezer's great and all, but they aren't Metallica. I'm glad you think so, Phillip, because we were about to fight about Weezer being used as an insult. Also, I told you guys he would be insufferable.

We see none of the judges' deliberations, just the part where everyone comes back out and Tom yells at them for not fitting the challenge and celebrating food. Then Padma sends Chad home. He's made great food and Tom reminds him about Last Chance Kitchen. Chad interviews that he's grown as a chef and this is hard.

Next week: “a two part Restaurant Wars event”. Lunch service in addition to dinner service. Each person must take a turn as executive chef AND front of house. Oo! I like it! Also apparently more drama but of course they would say that.

Last Chance Kitchen: Chad's ready to win for his family and all his employees and stuff. He thinks it would be cool to see Garret. Ha. He's not technically afraid of Jason but it'll be a challenge. So since Chad made a dainty dish, now the whole peanut gallery rolls out giant cuts of meat. And a cow head. I notice Jason has now rolled his pants up all the way to his knees but his socks are not pulled up. Shut up, Jason. Tom does not want dainty, and Chad takes his tweezers from his pocket and throws them on the ground. Heh. They have 25 minutes to make a beef dish. The twist is that you only have access to your knives for the first five minutes. So that's all your butchering, plus other mise en place.

Chad goes straight for the head. Tom is like, you're making me eat the eyes. That's not awesome. You asked for it, Tom, with all your caveman non-dainty talk. Jason has bone-in ribeye. The guys get their meat butchered but there doesn't seem to be a lot of vegetables cut up. Chad has tongue, cheek, eyeballs and one onion and one jalapeno. Let's see what's going to come of that. Jason has steaks that are like, three or four inches thick so maybe they won't cook. Chad loses an eyeball. He has no time to braise anything so he's grinding stuff to make chili. He has nothing to lose.

Tom Time. Jason is doing OK, but then Tom tells Chad his cheeks might not be cooked. You know that thing he does where he's like “You sure that's done?” Lots of running around. Chad makes a giant mess of plating with splattering. Tom worries because he has to eat with his hands. Jason: “chuleton” bone in ribeye, grilled onions and braised herbs. The peanut gallery stands up to watch Tom eat with his hands. It did cook up right. Chad: beef cheek with huitlacoche puree, no bean chili of tongue and cow eye. This seems to have turned out too. Tom was super excited about both these dishes. The winner is Jason. Ugh. Fine. Chad put the beef cheeks back on the grill but not soon enough and they were underdone.

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