Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Chef 1/4/18--"This Is Not Glamping" summary

Previously on "Top Chef": the Quickfire involved kiddie tools. Also revamping the kids' menu, which was arguably the point of the whole thing. Adrienne won for making a cauliflower crust pizza. Then everyone had to make a dish based on their "heritage", which was loosely interpreted. Some people did ancestry and some did where they're from, like the South. Chris, who already has based his restaurant on his heritage, won with lemonade fried chicken. Tyler lost, because he tried to marry what little he knew of his heritage with where he's from and it didn't work. (click for more):

On Last Chance Kitchen, Tom announced that someone was returning to the competition right now. Well, not exactly right now, first we had a challenge with heads, so they could get rid of Tyler, and then one with offal, and then a cliffhanger so we don't know who returned. 

Bruce and Joseph, who were the other two on the bottom, are relieved to have survived. Bruce is getting psyched out a little bit. He knows he's been a dumbass. 

In the morning people get ready and talk about doing better. Brother Luck was glad to cook for himself, but he says the show is still pushing him to do better. Joseph makes a "bears don't bottom" joke which is hilarious.

Now we're back to where we were at the end of Last Chance Kitchen, where everyone walked in to see Lee Anne, Kwame, and Claudette in their final challenge. So does this mean Last Chance Kitchen is over after this week? Anyway, I already recapped this part so this is a nice break. The best part is where Fatima freaks out when she hears Lee Anne is pregnant, because now she's terrified her pregnancy hormones will defeat everyone or something. 

Yeah if you want details, check my last recap. Anyway, Kwame is out. Aww. Then Tom says that his gut instinct is that this is a tie and they're both in. Damn. No one is very thrilled, except Lee Anne and Claudette. I wonder why they allowed that. Yay Lee Anne, though. The peanut gallery gets kicked out. 

Straight to the Elimination Challenge. As Padma talks, Tom can barely contain his smirking. Camping! Tanya whispers that she hates camping. Heh. Of course you will have to cook over a fire with limited ingredients. Native items and plenty of game. You'll only have whatever you bring, and they'll have to agree on how to divide up ingredients. Also you'll be outside so be prepared. Oh, and it's looking like snow. There is a big fight for food and Brother Luck eats it. Eggs on the floor and all. Carrie has done plenty of camping. She is making a cake. Sure. Bruce wants to make pasta, so people are being ambitious. The kitchen is a disaster but I guess everyone got what they needed. 

Tu and Chris talk about smoking meats but they wonder if everyone is smoking meat, so maybe Tu is not going to do it. The park is gorgeous but there is still snow everywhere. They get $100 to shop at some store, like an REI with all camping equipment and stuff. Fatima hates everything about this challenge. Carrie can't find a Dutch oven so because she's committed to cakes she'll have to bake them in tin cups. Money is shared which is nice. No one has cleared off the campsite, although they did break a path. But that picnic table has probably at least six inches of snow on it. 

Fatima reads the tent instructions: "This tent is very easy to set up." Everyone laughs. This is mostly a fail compilation. They test the camp stoves and the fire and realize they're not going to be able to do a lot. They're doing prep right now, but are they going to serve tomorrow? It's cold enough, but maybe too cold and everything will freeze? Headlamps are found and someone is grilling. Maybe they are allowed to do things overnight? Lee Anne is having trouble breathing because of the elevation. 

Tom Time! And Naomi Pomeroy, you'll remember her. No one is having fun and no one will pretend otherwise, which I love. Tu has rabbit three ways which is risky. Tom breaks out the s'mores and takes off. It's all packed up for tomorrow, but they don't seem to be doing anything about bears. You can't just leave your coolers lying about on the ground. Brother Luck says that Lee Anne set up a scholarship that let him go to camp, which is cool. Chris freestyles a blues song about the show. At midnight they all try to go to sleep, which I'm sure was pleasant. Lee Anne curses at Claudette that she should have just beaten her. Then Lee Anne could be inside right now.

In the morning it is well below freezing and they have seven hours until service. Everyone fights for space. Carrie has to build an oven to bake. I think it's just a hole in the snow with some wood at the bottom. Maybe it'll work. Meanwhile someone makes a path so they can sled on trays. We used to do that at college! But then they tore down the hill sadly. Bruce uses the ridges on the mandolin to help him make his pasta. That's pretty cool, actually. Now Carrie's cakes are burning. Chris worries that chili isn't fancy enough. 

Tom and the judges return to the park with Naomi and the woman in charge of the park. They make Carrie serve in the first group for no reason. Joseph: braised and roasted squab with farro, mushrooms and asparagus. Fatima: cacao-spiced duck breast, sunchoke and pine nut mash, and blackberry-chili jam. Bruce: egg yolk cavatelli, wild boar sugo, roasted ramps, carrots, and fresh ricotta. Carrie: maple and pine nut upside down cake with strawberry, rhubarb, raspberry, and blueberry jam. The cake really turned out well. The squab is overcooked, but the duck is perfect. Pasta is fabulous. 

Most people are serving family style, except Carrie. Lee Anne is serving on a cross-section of a log. Adrienne: quail stuffed with mustard greens, purple corn grits, grilled peaches, and peach juniper quail jus. Lee Anne: goose confit, goose cracklings, fiddlehead ferns, with black garlic and fruit sauce. Hipster Joe: roasted trout, trout fumet with foraged greens. Fumet is concentrated stock. Claudette: guajillo spiced elk, confit sunchokes, with strawberry rhubarb guajillo sauce. There is no goose left because it was so good. They are scraping the wood with spoons to get every last bit. Hipster Joe's broth is the best part of the dish. The quail is a little overcooked. Claudette did a good cooking job, so the returning chefs seem in good shape. 

Tanya: lamb loin chop, warm farro salad with roasted beets, carrots, wild mushroom sauce, and blackberry compote. Chris: buffalo chili and buffalo flank steak with onion bacon agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce), roasted mushrooms, and charred carrots. Tu: rabbit three ways: soy poached hind leg with carrot duxelles, loin medallions, fried foreleg with Szechuan gastrique. Brother Luck: lemon herb pheasant, rutabaga, caraway, and ramps. Tu should have just made one thing. Tanya's blackberry compote is confusing, and her dish has too much going on. Brother Luck's dish is a mess and it's chewy. Chris grilled his meat last night so it's dried out.

They like Lee Anne's goose, and Bruce's pasta. And they're impressed with Carrie making a cake. There were a lot of good dishes. Gail thinks the more restrictions they put on, the better the contestants cook. Tom's least favorites were the last four. Gail liked Chris's chili, but not the grilled part. 

Bruce, Lee Anne, and Carrie are the top. Fatima laughs and says they all agree those are the top three because Carrie made a freaking oven! Out of snow! They loved Carrie's cake plus it kept everyone's hands warm. Tom says usually the desserts are lousy. Lee Anne's ferns were a nice touch and it was very well cooked. Bruce was really resourceful to shape his pasta so it held the sauce really well. He tells the judges he's been inside his head so he's trying to work with his gut, I guess. Bruce wins. Over Carrie? I see. 

Tanya, Chris, and Tu are the bottom. Chris thought chili was too simple so he tried to grill meat also. They didn't go together and the grilled buffalo was too dry. Tu knows he shouldn't have tried to do three different preparations. He also knows the soy braise was the best. Tanya's dish was confusing, and they couldn't figure out what sauce went with what part. 

Lee Anne tells everyone she learned the hard way to only do one dish at a time. Tom jokes that they shouldn't eliminate anyone, just make them camp out up here. Ha ha. Tanya's plating hurt her because it was confusing. Chris did too much, as did Tu. Tu only served meat, and Chris tried to do something extra that was bad. 

Tom says something about how complex meals can be good but they have to be delicious and then Padma sends Tu home. And I didn't see a Last Chance Kitchen episode on the website. Tom says he needed a garnish. Then there's an obvious voiceover from Tom that says Last Chance Kitchen isn't over. But I guess we have to wait until next week so there's two people again? Tu is disappointed but he also expected it because he knew what was wrong with his dish. He's been inspired by this show.

Next time: Lee Anne is sick, Padma yells at Fatima, Graham shows up for once.

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