Team Top Chef

Oh, and Micah, you too!

on Dec 18, 2012

Welcome back, my little tayberries! Let's start this week by looking back on the latest episode of Last Chance Kitchen where reigning champs CJ and Tyler compete against newly-eliminated chef, Eliza. This time, though, CJ and Tyler break up, and CJ couldn't be more happy about it. I was amused by CJ saying he could now do what he wanted to do because he wasn't on a team. Well, CJ, that pork burger was your idea. ("Touche, Monica!") The three chefs have to cook using the two ingredients that kicked them in the arse, respectively, pickles and carrots, in 30 minutes. I actually kinda hate carrots, so the thought of these dishes didn't appeal to me at first, but the three chefs were inventive with their offerings. Eliza redeemed her carrot disaster, but not enough to pull her through. Tyler makes a desconstructed ceviche, which also isn't enough for the win. In the end, CJ won with his Pan-Roasted Trout, Carrot Puree, and Charred Pickles. Roasted Pickles! Who woulda thunk it? 

Back to the Top Chef Kitchen! This week's Quickfire is presented by Padma and Season 4 winner, Stephanie Izard! Hi, Stephanie! The last time I went to Chicago was prior to Stephanie's win, so I'm very excited to finally eat at Girl and the Goat when I return this April. Stephanie is here to issue a very cruel challenge -- the chefs have to create a dish using pantry items wrapped in Reynolds Wrap. If they grab a product and unwrap it, they have to use it. I want to give a huge shout-out to our production team for wrapping everything in foil! I don't even want to know how long that took. The most obvious way to cook with only aluminum foil is to make a papillote, which traditionally uses parchment paper, but doesn't have to. Bart says this challenge is like "fun and game." Yes, Bart. Yes, it is. Obviously the chefs have some idea of what's where in the kitchen, and they can obviously see the shapes of their items and somewhat feel the texture, see if the product has any "give." Oh, remember when Stefan almost fell on the floor while asking, "Where's the Reynolds Wrap?" Good one.

Kristen goes for the gold (or is it silver in this case?) and decides to make a cake. John makes a soup! Micah is making lamb with panzanella -- an idea that just came to him. "It's almost a gift and I can't describe it," he says with no sarcasm whatsoever. Easy, Micah. Back with Bart, he's shaping bowls on his head (very sanitary I'm sure), but we later discover he has fashioned a strainer. Did I read this man all wrong? Do I want to be stranded on a desert island with Bart?! Maybe. Stephanie and Padma go around foiling everyone's plans. Hehe. Stefan lucks out with salmon and potatoes and ends up in the top group. As does beautiful Bart. Danyele, StefanSheldon and his smokiness, and Josie also impress Stephanie. Kristen's cake is the winner though. Yay, Kristen! Micah's dish was deemed too raw, and you could tell it was by simply looking at it. He scoffed at the idea. EASY, MICAH! Brooke's dish wasn't seasoned enough, and Josh's was "uninspired." Way harsh, Steph.