Team Top Chef

Despite an argument with Stefan, Carla triumphs in a Thankgiving challenge.

on Nov 19, 2012

Hello, my little dumplings! And, Happy Thanksgiving! Let's dive right into this week's episode, so you can go back to arguing with your families. This week, the chefs are greeted by Padma and Dana Cowin, the all-powerful EIC of Food & Wine magazine. The chefs are tasked with creating authentic international dumplings. Now, I don't know if any of you know how to make dumplings, or have friends that do, but you really can't beat a homemade dumpling. I was fortunate enough to go to school with a friend who made them a couple times a year, and they were probably the best dumplings I've ever had. My go-to dumpling now is the pierogi, care of Veselka in the East Village. If you've never been there, go! You'll probably recognize it from Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

The chefs are given five minutes with Kindle Fires to look up recipes for the dumplings they've probably never heard of before. Or, you know, they can catch up on a few pages of Moby Dick -- whatever floats their boats. Some of the chefs face challenges.

Micah doesn't know Kazakhstan was a real country. Really?!

Carla is still trying to work around her injury from last week. Also, she doesn't know what fufu is. If she asked me I would've proably responded with "Flava Flaaav," which may seem appropriate in a kitchen settin, but still isn't quite right.

Brooke is without enough flour -- and we learn later, jicama, but she does the best she can.

Kuniko doesn't get her dumplings on her plate. Methinks this won't be the last time we see Kuniko with timing issues. 

Other things were happening in the kitchen that must be mentioned:

Stefan reveals older photos of himself -- he looks better without hair!

John tells someone their dumpling is burning -- we see, once again, that he is helpful towards his teammates in the kitchen.

Stefan and Joshua seem to be getting along. I like it.

The results come in, and not surprisingly Brooke, Carla, and Kuniko are on the bottom. The top? Josie, Stefan, and Micah. Josie wins immunity.

Now, on to the juicy stuff (the dry stuff in the Gray Team's case... zing!) -- the Thanksgiving Challenge! The chefs are broken up into two teams -- Red and Gray -- to cook a Thanksgiving meal to benefit FareStart. The twist? The meals must be inspired by Tom and Emeril, who join them in the kitchen. The music playing while the two culinary heavyweights enter the Top Chef kitchen is just amazing, isn't it? Tom gets the Red Team, while Emeril gets the gray. Emeril explains the New Orleans influence he hopes to capture, while Tom talks about Thanksgivng at his maternal grandparents'. Sidenote: I realized I've never actually heard Emeril say "New Orleans" before. I don't know how that's possible, but if it's true. I will say that I feel somehow vindicated in my early New York ignorance in my "New Orleens" pronounciation. I shall now say it like Emeril -- "New Orleeins." I shall also say "scallop" like him whenever possible because it is now one of my favorite things ever.