Hugh Acheson

Hugh marvels at Nick's illness and recovery... from a safe distance.

on Nov 13, 2013

And here we are again. Tears are falling and drying on the industrial tile flooring. Welcome to Top Chef. We have whittled down to about 10 chefs. I am bad at counting, or so comments on my CNN article this week say. 

What’s going on? More like what’s going around. Sickness. Like a plague of badness. Nicholas has the strep and will not be in the Quickfire. Kermit Ruffins is in the house to not get strep from Nicholas. It’s the bebop improv challenge. They will run around like a game of musical chairs, controlled by Kermit’s trumpet. Got it? OK. This is strange. Carrie, the aristocrat, is flummoxed my the plebian microwave. 

They start on the prep that they will leave behind. They dance around in the circle and land in new spots. Travis, the Vietnamese chef, is confused by Nina’s mise en place that pivoted a dish to “French with Asian ingredients”… like the food of Vietnam. Okey dokey.

Slowly but surely they are finding strange starts to food. Forgotten vegetables, overcooked sauces, raw proteins in tiny ovens, their egos in a circulator. Relief comes when they land on the stations where they started but that doesn’t last long. They move on, much to their chagrin. 

Brian is “conceptualizing a sexy plate-up.” This line encompasses everything that makes me want to be a dental hygienist. 

I do now notice that Kermit has stolen Bill Murray’s pants from Moonrise Kingdom. I think this is cool. 

Padma comes in in a slinky evening gown, cause that’s how she rolls. They eat through the food, and it is way too much information for me to relay. Suffice it to say that for trusting someone to prep and make 75% of your food with no clear destination in mind, the food looks pretty tasty. 

Bottoms are Louis with his pork/ frog surprise and Justin with his microwave tofu scramble. Tops are Carlos with his redfish, Brian with his duck and mussels, and Patty with her pork with stuff. Brian wins cause he made that plate one sexy beast. I am going to take a nap now, as the stress of this whole blog thing is getting to me. Brian is not going to chillax “shoes off, socks off,” but he is happy with his earned immunity. 

OK, I am back. My “me” time was great. Potluck challenge with team menu collaboration. They have to “band” together. Patty is learning this term “potluck” for the first time.  Well Patty, and I are here for you:


[pot-luhk, -luhk] Show IPA 


1. food or a meal that happens to be available without special preparation or purchase: to take potluck with a friend. 

2. Also called potluck supper, potluck dinner, potluck lunch. a meal, especially for a large group, to which participants bring various foods to be shared. 

3. whatever is available or comes one's way: With fluctuating interest rates, homebuyers are learning to take potluck with the banks. 


1585–95; pot1  + luck