CJ is morning tall but shrinking. He thinks I have it out for him as this episode progresses, but I don’t. I like the guy. I just don’t like bad burgers. But, alas, I am jumping ahead.
Gotta say I would have sucked at this food-on-stick idea. I love the curve ball, but this was a knuckler. I get ornery when I have to do something I don’t think is interesting and food on a stick has nothing to keep me focused. Tesar and Josh’s breakfast taco is skewered up and gets good comments. Josie and Eliza have made cake on stick. Micah and Kristen are here to win with a waffle. Waffles are hot right now, so who knows. Looks busy. They look good as a team. Team “I am Beautiful but Look at My Skillz Not My Beauty.”
CJ and Tyler are crepe-ing bricks, but that salmon torpedo may be good enough to win. You can taste the confidence and self-loathing in every bite. CJ reminds the judges that they really want this win, as opposed to the other challenges when he thought it was OK just to show up and look tall. Tyler on the other hand just doesn’t want to lose. Interesting.
Look, The Bart Knight and Sir Spam-A-Lot are putting up a good fight here. Their food is looking good, thanks to Bart beating back Brooke for proper equipment at Sur La Table (Freedom Fries language for “on the table”).
Verdict: The Bart Knight and Sir Spam-A-Lot win and get immunity. CJ thinks this sucks and shrinks to 6’10”. Sheldon says “boom” and will be contractually obliged to never say “boom” again.
A bunch of artisan stuff appears from the market. Same teams and they each get a product that you would get in a locavore gift basket. I do love cheese curds and bitters, but some of the other products leave me a little confused as to how to incorporate them into dishes. Evidently I was not alone.
Cooking progresses, and the teams are pained to get along with each other. John and Josh have such obvious hatred of each other, but are going to make this marriage work for the kids. Josie and Eliza are saying that they are putting their egos aside, but Josie is having trouble with that. Stefan and Brooke have rose petal jelly which makes everything it touches saccharin sweet, but Brooke is so darned nice that their team chemistry is tight.
What would you make with salmon candy, rose petal, jelly and cardamom bitters? Sounds like a failed episode of Chopped. Well the results turn out to be less than stellar, and Tom makes the decision to confront the chefs and tell them that ain’t nobody winning the moolah in this showdown. The chefs are saddened and go back to the Olive 8 to sulk and bark at each other. Josh antagonizes Tyler because no one else will. Tyler looks confused as to why he is being attacked. Tyler is a frantic man.
Really enjoyable blogs! You should be likeT.S Eliot & have footnotes with your writing so the references won't be lost on anyone.
I love your blogs, but you're always so negative in judging. You all seem to be in a contest to see who can be the most negative. I'm not just talking about tonight either. I loved your dig at Padma. I bet she's insufferable to be around for any extent of time.
I guess you didn't get sand in your clam dish because Gail said that Bart's dish was the best, not Josie's.
I really love your commentary, I always read it before watching the episode, because I have kids and I have to record the show because who wants to listen to, "Oh, no not Top Chef again". Then I read again after watching the episode to really appreciate everything you see and write about. I also understand that the challenges have to be harder and you can't do the same things that have always been done in other seasons, except of course, restaurant wars. I didn't think the QF was that bad, breakfast on a stick, I really thought that Bart's and Sheldon's dish looked great and they are both so cute and affable that you can't help but route for them. I still really like Stefan, and I think the way Brooke described him was spot on, something like gruff with a great heart, you seen it in his season when he cried with Carla. I thought that Stefan's and Brooke's dish looked great also. Onto the EC, well some of those ingredients were odd, but you mentioned the show Chopped and those contestants get some odder ingredients with less time and manage to come up with some pretty tasty dishes, or so it seems.
OMG, really, CJ, is too much, that is so immature mentioning another teams dish when your on the bottom, really almost insulting to the judges, insinuating that you guys had somehow chosen the wrong team. I am really not sorry to see him and his attitude go, just sorry he took Tyler with him. I am also really sorry that he won the Last Chance Kitchen spot from Kuniko, Also, Josie, needs to get over her bad self, these huge egos have no place in a cooking show, just cook and really show your talent and people will see that you are a great cook without you having to tell them.
Really in the end you can't please everyone, I truly love this show and love you and your commentary, please continue.
This blog just made my morning. Hilarious, but not as hilarious as Bart's running, dodging CJ, and then falling down. He is so dorky and endearing. It seemed the major flaw for every team was they all were too concerned with getting along and getting by they ignored their instincts. It's one thing to be an affable and easy-going team player, but quite another to lean over and take it for the sake of 'teamwork'. Case in point, Tyler knew he and CJ needed to go a bit more out of the box than they did, but he lacked the confidence to push for it. Josh knew the grits sucked and the meat shouldn't be cooked that way. Well Josh, stop acting like John's sous chef and stand up for your dish. For the record, I would have love to have seen a mini last chance kitchen between the three bottom teams to see who went home.
*As a side note, my TC fantasy league will award special bonus points if a losing chef tells Hugh to wax his unibrow out of anger, though I feel it is the power source of all his humor and wit.
Thanks, Hugh. Once you mentioned Bart runs funny I had an epiphany on why I like him so much: He looks, and acts, like Michael Palin!
Your recaps are the funniest. "He still wants you to pay attention to him; he wants that a lot, but he also feels like you should not be sentimental about it. " I died. I DIED. And that was only the first page.
I wish you were only half as clever as you think you are, then you would be almost tolerable. Your restaurants are overrated and you should fire your publicist over that head shot.
Its apparently easy for Hugh to poke fun at someone when they are setup to lose. Save your easy guffaws and focus on improving the show back to where it used to be just a few years ago. You may not remember, those are the days prior to the producers discovering that sleep depravation and short time frames as a vehicle to create drama.
You were magnificent last night! No, silly, on TV. I was worried about you in the first episode – you seemed off your humor game – but it's nice to see you haven't lost your touch.
I don't think the QF was stupid at all. Which shows you how bad Texas was – as long as no one's taken to the hospital, it feels pretty normal. But food on a stick means making chef-y adjustments (what will hold together), unlike firing rifles or bicycling.
Great episode. I wish the food had been better, but the ingredients were really interesting (come on, the flavors were familiar) and there were a few good ideas, even if none of them were executed well. But mostly, you had me in stitches the whole time.
A lot of those things the chefs had to use in their dishes sounded like stoner food. Candied salmon? Rose petal jelly? Ick. I'm not visiting Washington anytime soon. I hear their state flower is mildew. I felt sorry for the chefs during this episode.
Salmon candy is unbelievably delicious! Sometimes they have it at the Whole Foods fish counter. Sometimes stuff that sounds weird turns out to be amazing.
Your recaps always make me laugh!
"John and Josh have such obvious hatred of each other, but are going to make this marriage work for the kids. "
Love this. I was surprised to see CJ go but then again, I was super surprised at the lackluster dishes being served on yesterday's episode. I do hope they step it up!
This season is like watching a bunch of Kindergarteners learn how to cook and get along!! CJ is an arrogant asshole that needed to be knocked down but he ended up taking Tyler with him!
As soon as CJ suggested doing a burger, I knew he was doomed. Just using the pickles as a garnish was an insult to the artisian. In the end, he outsmarted himself and then showed his true colors when he tried to throw the chocolate dish under the bus at the Judge's Table. Wish CJ was partnered with Stefan or Josie instead of Tyler.
Not that I can out cook any of the contestants but here is my imaginary menu:
1) Fried stuffed dill pickles with cucumber raita
2) Shrimp mushroom cheese grits (did they have to use pork?) - I don't remember what they got as main ingredient
3) Cheese curds and they didn't make some kind of gourmet poutine?
4) Candied salmon - top it off a stew (actually liked that salad idea)
5) Chocolate Curry Coconut with hint of coffee would be great in savory curry dish with potatoes (think my teammate would hate me)
6) Cardamom Bitters - this screams for a dessert but I don't know how it tastes so can't even guess how to cook it
7) Rose Petal Jelly - again something dessert sounding but I might attempt to pair it with lamb chops
Am I the only one who was waiting for Jeff Dunham to show up at Pike Place with José Jalapeño—
on a "steeck"?
Every time I heard someone say "on a stick," I had visions of José.
Thank you so much for putting CJ somewhat in his place, although I don't think it made any impact on him. Someone needs to remind him that he was in the bottom long before he got paired up with his partner, Tyler, and that it was Tyler's idea to do something halfway original and CJ nixed the idea because he is so all-knowing. If I had any say in it, he would have left 2 episodes ago. I had a great laugh over your little slam...Hats off to you Chef!
Oh Hugh! Your blogposts are more interesting than the episodes. Wish Bravo gods would air an episode with your commentary!
Hugh, the one funny moment you had tonight was the one we all saw in the trailer, your comment about the grits. Other than that, a lot of duds. Padma's reaction to your grandmother joke was probably the highlight of the show, which says a lot because its supposed to be a show about food.
Speaking of food, wow, they embarrassed Top Chef tonight. I'm a little sad to see CJ go, I like CJ, but he was fairly overconfident from the word go. So maybe this will knock him down a bit. I still think John and Josh should have gotten the axe, inedible grits and terrible pork that wasn't cut or cooked properly. No part of that dish was done right. Once again I find myself wondering if they were kept around for ratings.