If you had told me that I would be making gumbo for Leah Chase I would have been beyond nervous, not out of fear of failure, but fear of not giving proper respect to a historic dish. I would be fearful of Leah remarking that my gumbo was too modern, too risky, too indifferent to the history of food in Louisiana. Evidently the chefs do not fret in the same way I do.
Leah is the chef and proprietor of Dooky Chase, a restaurant that speaks to the relevancy of food in Louisiana everyday it operates. It has been around a long time serving the best fried chicken and Gumbo Z’Herbs, with a painful sabbatical after Katrina. Katrina, the storm that changed everything, destroyed Dooky Chase, but through a lot of work and the dedication of a lot of chefs and volunteers the restaurant was rebuilt better than ever. It is the definition of iconic.
No rest for the weary, and we pick up right where last episodes ejection happened. Padma enters into the Stew Room like a smiling dementor to steal the last breaths of air from the gasping young chefs. She announces that a gumbo challenge starts now at the cast house and they had better get their crock pots plugged in and the roux cooking. I get sleepy just thinking about this challenge.
Gumbo to me means many things, and there are many types of gumbo you can make, but the chefs really like loose interpretations, and we see all sorts of stuff going on. Brian likes cat naps while stirring roux. Michael likes to do things twice and will be making a new gumbo, but he is really just competing with himself in all things.
Beets, cabbage, soy are three things I have never seen in a gumbo before. I really hope that these chefs realize in hindsight that they just made gumbo for LEAH CHASE.
Oddly enough, the two NOLA chefs make gumbo that fails to impress, and Michael actually makes it to the bottom. Jason says Leah Chase has no idea what she is talking about. I poke him with pins in my mind. Patty is getting no love either. She just doesn’t seem to be getting traction in the competition.
Shirley makes a nice looking gumbo with pork belly. Aaron makes a thick gumbo that Leah loves. Carrie makes a green gumbo which reminds Leah of one of her famous versions. Though Carrie thought her gumbo was weird and badly received, the judges loved it.
Carrie wins immunity.
On to the Elimination Challenge: cooking for Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Susan Spicer is in the house. She rules. Food trucks will be used.
Still cannot find the recipe for the empanadas, only the gumbo. When are the recipes going to be posted?
Thanks to Hugh for sticking Jason w/ mental pins. I sure hope the arrogant, disrespecting SOB felt the pain!
I am bitter...BITTER, I SAY...that Jason is gone so soon. His attitude, excoriated by Hugh's wit--the jokes just write themselves. We lost a whole season of Casanova digs. And we didn't get to see him do the obligatory just-out-of-bed push-ups. ;-)
I loved this episode (and not just because Ms. Chase looked JUST like my grandma... but I digress...). I was totally thrown off by the fact that so few chefs knew that you start a gumbo with a good roux... I'm a city girl and I knew that!
Even Hosea Rosenberg, in season 5, brushed up on NOLA cuisine before coming to the city for the finale. I wasn't crazy about him or his ultimate win, but at least he had the smarts to learn about making a traditional dark roux, among other things.
So true, motherhubbard. It's like contestants going on the Amazing Race and not knowing how to swim.
Glad Jason is gone, he wasn't adding anything but ego to the show. Can't wait to get down to fewer chefs so we can see what they are really all about! Love that the show is in New Orleans this season!
Again, I'm shocked by the number of chefs who knew they were coming to NOLA and didn't bone up on the iconic cuisine. "I've never cooked gumbo." Really? And you came to N'awlins without thinking to research this? How do you feel about beignets? Jambalaya? Po' boys? Mufaletta? Red beans and rice?
There is no excuse for such ignorance.
It was just a disaster of beets and no grip what gumbo is.......I loved the one carrie did just because all the ingredients sounded and looked so tasty, very surprised that the home boy took least of the tasty Gumbo.....r u kidding me? But all in all quick fires throw everyone's mind into a whirl and the sharp and confident chefs know what they are doing. As the food truck challenge shows again the ones that know what they are doing and not placing all their hopes on the beach boy look.......LOL