No Quickfire will happen today, as they are going straight into a fun-filled Vietnamese journey cum Elimination Challenge. Eddie and Emeril are going to take the chefs on a crash course in Vietnamese cuisine, in a party limo. They take advantage of the smells of cologne, stale beer, and cigarettes (the hallmarks of limo life) to talk through their ideas. Isn’t it funny that you think limos are like the coolest thing ever until you ride in one and realize it’s actually the place where inebriated teens in prom clothes throw up the most?
They arrive at Dong Phuong for some baked goods and Banh Mi. Eddie Huang (Chinese ancestry) from NYC via the Florida suburbs, seems to be an expert in Vietnamese cooking.
Travis is making Travis look like a bit of a buffoon. His romaine comments seem a little bit strange. I mean I love me some romaine, but I am not sure how Vietnamese that is. This is right before he confesses to his love of Velveeta cheese with Vietnamese spices. He’s a fusion master.
They go shrimping. Daisy Dukes eats shrimp. They hang out with the fishers, fishing for insight into what they do with the shrimp they catch. Shirley seems the best at gaining knowledge on the whole topic, and that knowledge will help her immensely in the challenge.
Janine is pretty comfortable with this, given her experience in Thai food. She longs for the Indochina days. She also says TOMATO, not TOMATO. So beguiling.
Carlos is nervous, but then again he’s always nervous. He calms himself by requesting to make soup. I too find making soup calming, but I think Carlos may need a Xanax and some chicken noodle soup to really relax.
Noodle time at Kim Anh’s. Sara is a little worried that Captain Vietnam (Travis) is flaunting his Pho (pronounced “faux” JUST THIS TIME) knowledge a little bit too much, and Captain Vietnam is worried that Eddie is flaunting himself a bit too much. Is what Eddie is wearing called an “urban romper”? If not, it is now.
Green Team is not really getting along. Sara is not trusting Travis, and Travis doesn’t understand why she doesn’t love him. It’s because Travis only loves beautiful Asian men, by his own admission.
In the kitchen, menu clarity comes in many forms.
Michael is playing cleanup hitter for the Orange Team. He seems to not have a dish in this race. I am sure he will be a lot of help though. They can get him to throw people’s plates around the kitchen.
Who Moved My Lemongrass? This is a new business genre best seller in Vietnam. Justin has way too much of the stuff but is the smart, kind competitor: if you ask him he will help you. If you don’t ask you get nothing, cause you ain’t on Justin’s team. Eddie is playing culinary aggressor and is latching onto the lemongrass debacle. Travis calls Eddie a douchebag, completely blowing all chances that Eddie will invite him onto his MTV show, Fo’ Realz: Hiding the Lemongrass, right after that Teen Mom show.
“Brilliance is winning but also not telling your opponent when they are losing.” This is attributed to Napoleon but it seems a little long and drawn out for a famous quote. I will be Googling that. But now right now. It’s going on the “To Google List.”
Nicholas: Black Pepper Squid with Cabbage and Peanuts
Blah de blah. Which is French for boring.
Brian: Gulf Shrimp and Pork Belly Spring Roll
They love this. They being the judges. Texturally strong with good sauce.
Carlos: Fish Head Soup with Pineapple, Tomato, and Tamarind
The soup is sweet. It, like Carlos, needs some bitterness and acid to survive this war.
Louis: Beef Broth Pho with Raw Eye Round and Oxtail
They are not big fans. The broth is tepid. Pho Pas.
The judges warp this up with Eddie complaining about aromatics, which is his version of a fart joke, and Tom wondering whether they can go out for real Vietnamese later on. Sufficed to say that they are wishing that the food was a little, well, better.