Will This Top Chef Recap Be As Mind-Numbingly Boring As The Real Thing? We’ll Try!

We fucked off all day yesterday rather than writing a recap of Top Chef Season Eleven Episode Three because oh sweet Jesus did the producers shit the bed on this one. An hour — AN HOUR — of Top Chef leached of all its creativity, all its art, all its wackadoodle nonsense, so we could watch three teams of chefs see who could be the best copycat of famous dishes from Commander’s Palace, the New Orleans legend where both Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme made their bones.

This led to a tasting that went exactly like so:

“This presentation is closer to the original. But this sauce is closer to the original. But this plate is sloppy. But it tastes like the original.”

There was no wonder. No delight. Just a chin-stroking meditation on the various levels of salt.

BAD BALLET, TOP CHEF.

We begin with Louis on the phone to his son in the first five minutes. Bye Louis! Too bad we won’t be seeing that dreamy smile anymore!

Dana Cowin of Food and Wine magazine shows up with Emeril. The quickfire challenge: take these food trends and show us why they’re not all played-out. Our trends are “smoked,” bacon, eggs, and kale. They have 30 minutes, and it’s an elimination challenge also too.

Bret: I know Dana specifically said not to do a kale salad, but I am going to do a kale salad, because I am fucking BRILLIANT.

Some other guy: I know Dana said not to do kale chips, but I am going to fry this kale into chips, because I am MR. FUCKING COOL GUY.

Nina, from St. Lucia: I am going to do scotch eggs, because of how I am not boring and also do not specifically do the things the judges told me not to do!

Weird strategy, Nina! Good luck, we suppose!

Everybody is a mess. The smoke is fucking with everybody. They have not looked this uncombobulated before. The fat guy who made the kale chips after being told not to make the kale chips has overdressed his dish, and they are TOO SALTY. They are all freaking out. They are basically Zoe confessing her Witch Murder Powers in front of the cops.

Shirley wins, but it’s all girls on top. The girls are kind of killing it this season, a mix of Carla, Jen, Stephanie and Kristen, maybe, we will see!

shirley's rice congee with shirred eggShirley’s rice congee with shirred egg

Bret, you fucking idiot, you are on the bottom.

Salty guy Aaron, you had too much salt.

Louis, you are going home because not enough smoke in the trout and also because you called your son. NEVER CALL YOUR BABIES.

Oh wait no, never mind, it is Aaron. Don’t worry Louis, you will go home at the end of the episode.

Now it is time for the elimination challenge, even though they just had an elimination challenge, and they are gonna cook at Commander’s Palace, where I have not eaten because it is not Emeril’s place or Cochon.

paul prudhomme emeril lagasse Also, Paul Prudhomme says like two words in the whole episode, because why would anyone care what Paul Prudhomme has to say?

The challenge, which, as I explained before, is to NOT PUT YOURSELF INTO THE DISHES, is the worst challenge of ever as far as TV viewing goes. It is to copy exactly. I cannot do linedancing, because I cannot do steps, because I am too awesomely creative to do anything but wave my arms real groovy-like when I am Dance Lording. It is the same for some of these chefs. Their brains are not going to work this way. Some people are not going to be able to do this.

Justin is from New Orleans, and he is all like “yeah, I was up for the James Beard South award, and this Commander’s Palace executive chef is the one who won it,” and he looks not that gracious about it, and we are reminded of the other guy from New Orleans, was it Michael? and how he was going to kill the gumbo ya-ya competition with one nut tied behind his back, but then whoops he did not.

Shirley‘s all “I got this yo.” I AM a SHADOW CHEF.

One team must make Paul Prudhomme’s famous dish, a blackened speckled trout.

One team must make “The Emeril era” veal shank, which looks large and terrible.

One team must make the current executive chef’s strawberry biscuit and strawberry cocktail and strawberry beignet.

The trout team is parceling out jobs, teamwork-like. The veal team is doing its own cooking. And now we are confused; did the judges ever explain whether it’s head-to-head competition among teammates, or the teams competing against each other? Did we just miss it because we were SO FUCKING BORED?

Uh oh, we have a new asshole in town. Nina has not noticed that the plates have the different chefs names in script across the top, and has begun plating her okra on Michael’s empty plates. And what does Michael do? HE DUMPS HER COOKED OKRA ONTO THE COUNTER.

“I gotta do what I gotta do,” he says, or something else douchey like that. Dude, it would have taken you a max of five seconds to GET A BOWL TO DUMP THE OKRA IN. You lose at HUMANITY!

Justin wins. Don’t care.

Louis, Carlos, and Bret are on the bottom, for sucking.

Louis did the spice for everyone on his team, and then didn’t taste it. Yes, you read that right. HE DIDN’T TASTE IT AND HE ALSO FORGOT SALT.

Has Louis ever watched Top Chef? Bye Louis, you are definitely going home now, forever.

bretOh, nope, it’s Bret, who didn’t crowd around the grill with his veal shanks, and overcooked Tom’s and also didn’t get a good sear, and also … I am sorry to have to tell you this … had a sloppy plate. That doesn’t really make sense, but Louis has a dreamy smile, so.

Also, sometimes Colicchio can be a real prissy bitch.

Will This Top Chef Recap Be As Mind-Numbingly Boring As The Real Thing? We'll Try!

Bret surprises everyone by explaining that it was “exactly the right decision. Those weren’t Top Chef plates … and I didn’t deserve to stay.” Huh! Most interesting part of Bret so far. Also, Bret is unemployed.

Bye Bret, you were stupid to make kale salad, but we liked you at the end. Good luck at Last Chanzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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  • Jason M

    I still think Louis is going home. Like, they’re gonna call everybody back in for an impromptu episode and be like, “okay, sorry that was mean, Bret, but Lou, it’s really you man.” This one blew, and yet was still better than Top Chef Masters (What’s interesting about a buncha self-satisfied rich guys with nothing to lose?) Does anyone else get the feeling that Emeril is like, kinda sad? He seems saddish.

  • Homestar

    I thought it was just me, but the instructions were very UNCLEAR to the audience. Also, if I wanted Commander’s Palace, I’d eat there (that is to say, I don’t). What I want is to see these creative chefs make something excellent that they came up with. (Also also, Muriel’s Jackson Square is an awesome New Orleans restaurant.)I love making Vietnamese food, so I’m excited for next week’s episode. I saw some pho bowls, which is my all-time favorite food. And I’m getting sick of all the New Orleans themed fare.

  • marindenver

    When are you guys gonna do Pwoject Wunway?

    • rebecca

      I got so bored with it! Should we do it next season?

      • marindenver

        Maybe the All Stars? Hopefully lots of drama!