What a sausagefest. Amirite?
Hello my little duck presses! (P.S. if you google "duck press," an image of David Burke from The New York Times appears. Get this man a duck press endorsement deal stat!)
I'm going to assume you all watched Battle of the Sous Chefs before the episode, so you knew what was in store for the chefs in the Quickfire Challenge. The way Hugh sneakily told the sous chefs to save their scraps, and how perfectly-designed those scrap boxes were... those Magical Elves wouldn't have made them look so nice if they weren't important. And sure enough, they were. They would serve as the Masters' protein for their Quickfire Challenge. This is a challenge I would have loved to see last year's winner Chris Cosnentino compete in. Some of the Masters curse their sous chefs -- ironically it's the sous that did the best butchery that left their Masters in the lurch.
Some of the Quickfire highlights: Neal makes a dish he learned from David Burke. What a compliment -- I got a little choked up honestly. Curtis comments on the fat on Douglas' duck. Doug comments on Curtis' purple sweater. How dare you insult Curtis, Doug?! He-he. Bryan gets fired up over Curtis' lack of understanding of his hunting-themed dish. I don't think I've ever seen Bryan get that annoyed about anything on the show! I like new, sassy Bryan Voltaggio. Sang expresses concern that his larb is too simple, so obviously he won. Sang is on a roll, but Neal predicts his perfectionism will trip him up soon. Sang looks unfazed. Sang scares me a little. In a good way. He would make a perfect soap opera villain.
Which brings us to the Elimination Challenge -- a soap-opera themed challenge! While the chefs (except for my girl Sue) and even our critics aren't big soap fans, I can't say the same. In fact, I'm named after ra soap opera character -- Monica Quartermaine. The Reyhanis are a General Hospital family. But, I started watching Days of Our Lives later in life, so I was pretty pumped to see the cast -- especially Lucas. Where the #LUMI fans at?! The chefs are broken up into groups themed Sex, Greed, and Murder. Sang gets Murder. Obviously. Scary, I tell you! Each group will compete within itself. Lynn learns that her sous, Lora, got her immunity. And so the sexual innuendo begins! The chefs head to Whole Foods. Or as Franklin says, Whole FOODS (emphasis on the word Foods). Neal propositions Lynn and David. Oh man. You never give chefs an opportunity to talk about sex like this. EVER.
Sang: "I really want to portray a dismembered chicken." I'm scared, you guys!!
Ted should be scared too because he screwed Sang out of 30 minutes of prep time. Sang, Bryan, and Franklin were all docked 30 minutes, albeit amusingly, by being murdered, put in jail, and in a coma, respectively. Bryan and Franklin seem to recover from the loss, but Sang doesn't get all his elements on his plate.
Murder Group presents first. The cast and critics dig Jenn's updated duck a l'orange. Odette's dish is next. "The presentation was about as bland as the taste," says Drake Hogestyn, better known as John Black, about Odette's dish, a dish David Burke already told us is one of Odette's signaure dishes. Jesus, John. Don't make me get Sami on your ass for that! Sang is missing elements, but no one seems to notice. Some of this group's dishes reminded me of the ones created for the Snow White and the Huntsmen challenge with Charlize Theron on Top Chef: Seattle. Just me? Always is.
Next up, "we are dealing with sex here, ladies and gentlemen," says Curtis.
Frankin starts with foreplay. Neal provides a menage a trois. David Burke provides pure pleasure -- breakfast in bed, and Lynn wants to snuggle. Marlena -- I mean, Deidre Hall -- slowly smiles as Lynn presents her concept as if to say, "No -- I don't want to snuggle," and it seemed no one did.
"Did you achieve bloodflow?" asks Nicolas Cage, or rather Drake over Franklin's dish.
Neal's dish would have been better with two ingredients.
Oh well -- these cast members can't get no satisfaction!
On to Greed! Bryan serves a seafood dish, inspired by sustainability. He's just so thoughtful. Love the concept, but his dish wasn't well-received. In fact Ruth commented that his shrimp were too salty. Something Bryan made is too salty?! What a switch!
Sue serves a dish she "thought greedy people would like". I thought Sue was dead in the water with that description. (Boy, was I wrong!)
Doug's dish is up and has very varied, strong reactions. Mostly negative comments, but Ruth thinks it's masterful. "You don't want to know what it reminds me of," says one cast member. No, I don't, especially since it was seafood. EWWWWW.
Time for a seal interlude! Let's watch that one again!
For the first time ever, the guest diners selected the top and bottom chefs! So, Sue, Jennifer and Franklin end up on top! And Jenn wins! That's 10K for her charity!
The bottom three are Douglas, Lynn, and Odette. A few issues come up at Crtics' Table regarding blandness vs. too much flavor, and the level of sophistication of the diners' palates. When he heard the cast was off put by egg yolk in Odette's ravioli -- something that's fairly common these days, Doug questioned the diners. But in terms of Doug's dish, Lesley -- a sophisticated diner by all accounts -- found his green cardamom too aggressive. Ultimately, Odette went home. What a bummer, but any of these chef's elimination would have been. Lynn was very lucky she had immunity because I think grey meat may have sent her home otherwise.
Next week, we get to see the chefs pull one over on Curtis as they throw him a surprise engagement party! Curtis is pretty private, so I'm excited to see him with his lady love, Lindsay Price. Here's a preview:
Until next week, be sure to watch the next episode of Battle of the Sous Chefs, and Have a Nosh!