I have to be honest with you about the chefs and sleep: they don’t get much of it. This has never been the industry for enjoying ten hours a night, but at this point in the competition you are making friends, grating on enemies, working really long days, and tipping a martini glass upside down when you should be slumbering.
So sleeplessly the chefs rumble in to be greeted by Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine and a mover and shaker in the world of restaurants. This is going to be a worldly dumpling challenge, which should be very interesting. How hard can a disc of flour and water with some filling be? Well, we are about to find out.
Dana claims to have eaten her weight in dumplings, which is actually not much more than a couple of happy meals. She ain’t tipping the scales to hefty.
So on to the challenge. They get outfitted with Kindle Fires to do this research, but Carla? She’s more of a classic book girl. They pick their countries and Micah doesn’t think Kazahkstan is real, but if it is, he is putting it into his “Middle Eastern file.” Sure, it’s a mostly Islamic state, but it ain’t in the Middle East. Even with this geographic illiteracy I am still hoping for an “Arab Spring” dumpling which oozes freedom from its crisp shell. Carla’s hand is “kind of useless” which will further hurdle her chances of success, as she has to make the fufu dumpling, kind of like a massive plantain-flour gnocchi.
Josie explains the dumpling as “love in an envelope.” I am temporarily enjoying her TV company. Brooke has no flour. Carla is freakin’ out. Stefan was born with a silver dumpling nestled in his Germanic palm. Pictures are shown when he had hair, before the accident we never talk about. He is exuding confidence.
Less confident is Kuniko. You can be an awesome chef who will not excel in the reality environment. It’s happened before. For right now, she’s having her ups and downs. Comme ci comme ca.
The timer gets to her this time and she has no dumpling when it comes Padma’s feeding time. The other chefs do put up product with varying results. Stefan kills it with a German dumpling. Lizzie rocks a Hungarian dessert dumpling. Carla has just decided to wing it. CJ has a nice pierogi and I friggin’ love pierogies.
Up until last season I loved Top Chef. I cannot stand Stefan and couldn't wait for him to be off last season, now he's back. If he is not thrown off in the next week I'll be saying goodbye to the show. I can't imagine the producers would put up with someone prejudiced against people for their race, but apparently being rude and insulting to women is acceptable. I do not watch any show that appears to support discrimation, and I will stop watching this if Stefan continues. NOT FUNNY or ENTERTAINING!
One thing I have to say about Carla's comment of "being strong". Quite the contrary, being strong is being the calm in the storm, respected, whose leadership and opinion is valued. NOT a frantic chicken with its head cut off, yelling and screaming at everyone in its path. Puh-lease. And someone oh someone tell her to put up her freaking hair. Does she think it looks cute? Its disgusting. If it doesn't fall in someone's food would be a miracle.
Kroppkaka should be served with melted butter, maybe some cream and lingonberry jam. The lingonerry jam is a must. I'm not overly found of kroppkaka in the first place, but having it with béchamel sauce sounds horrible. Literally translated kroppkaka means bodycake...
The history of TC demonstrates that you should never allow the one with immunity to have the greater responsibility if the challenge involves a team. For instance, if the challenge is Restaurant Wars, and such an individual is on your team, you make him or her front of house, definitely not head chef. I had a strong feeling that team grey would fall as soon as Josie was allowed to cook the bird. Had this team done a better job, Kuniko's neck may never have been exposed.
Hugh, I love your witty and insightful comments!
I am always confused by those posters who comment on food they haven't tasted!
Stephan has shown himself (in a past season and at his restaurant) to be a talented chef, but he seems to be continuing in his goal tof elevate offensive comments to an art form.
Doesn't Josie own an instant-read thermometer?
Carla may have mad skills, but who wouldn't get sensory overload from her constant chaotic verbal spewing in the kitchen?
Looking forward to the rest of the season.
Hugh, why is Stefan even on the freakin' show (. . .or Josie or the lurch for that matter) for another season? I can't wrap my head around it. My darling Kuniko, who clearly was a STRONG contender for the title this season, would most assuredly be coming back for another episode had the dynamic not been butchered by this injection of stale, now ex-losers. Of course I can't say for certain that my favorite contestant since Nyesha Arrington would not have been eliminated regardless, but I can state with certainty that the dynamic changed. Therefore we know the draw of the quickfire would have been different, and the elimination challenge dishes, or the contestants preparation of them(or both) would have been different.
Life's not fair, neither is Top Chef.
grassrox I agree with you wholeheartedly. I love top chef because I get to watch chefs I have never seen before showcase their talents. These three chefs have had their chance and they didn't make it to the end. Their storylines and dramas are distracting and irrelevant. Bad decision, producers. This season will not be as enjoyable as seasons past. Maybe you could stage an entire season with these contestants and call it "Top Chef Has Beens"
Wonderful blog (again) Mr. Acheson. I really enjoy your pithy and funny insights ... keep it up!
Bad ending to an otherwise good episode. This season has me worried in the sense that the judges will keep the pretenders around for too long just because of the drama, ala season 4. Carla won the challenge? Yeah right, the reason gray team lost was because of the turkey, the reason red team won was because of the turkey. If the turkeys were switched Carla's carrot soup wasn't going to save the day. CJ led the team to victory and made the winning main course, he is the winner.
Kuniko helped everyone, especially John, and she goes home, while John rips her. Sad. This is why immunity needs to be completely cut, Chef Tom flat out said Josie deserved to go home, yet she is still on the show. Ominous start to season 10.
Vic2012 Judges have never kept anyone around for any reason other than the food. Everyone who has ever been invited to guest judge on the show and spoken of it afterward agrees that the judging is absolutely scrupulous about being about the food made that day and that's all.
jeff.mabbutt.5 Vic2012 in past seasons they have kept chefs around b/c of potential rather than the food or challenges. Think of Ken in the first episode of the entire show, Frank's elimination in season 2 (he was the "sacrificial lamb"), Howie in the first episode of season 3 (he didn't complete the challenge) and even Michael Voltagio uring the infamous pancetta wrapped halibut episode where he probably should have gone home but was reprieved b/c everybody knew that he was the best chef that season and he was screwed by the electricity going out.
Vic2012 I totally agree. CJ's turkey and stuffing was awesome. I want elimination to go away. Josie lost for her team...