'Top Chef' Recap: Home Sweet Home

Previously, on Top Chef: Sara and Justin fought to the death to see who could be the worst contestant in the history of Restaurant Wars. Sara won handily. Goodbye Sara. You were too The Worst for this world.

The Worst. Obviously. Just look at her.

The Worst. Obviously. Just look at her.

Uh oh, now Travis is going home, when we finally like him. (We were so proud of how he killed it at front-of-house, and wanted nothing more in the world than for Tom Colicchio or Danny Whoever That Guy Was or someone to whisk him away from all this and put him in charge of making people’s dining experience easy and joyous, and yay for finding people’s hidden talents!) We know Travis will be going home now because the opening is all about how happy he is to be one of the guys, and how at home gays aren’t allowed in the kitchen, because in some places that is not illegal. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in a place where that is not not illegal? Oh wait, my cousin Kim reads these religiously, and she lives in Oklahoma, and I am willing to bet $5 without looking it up that it is definitely not illegal to fire people in Oklahoma for Gay. Kim, have you thought about not living in Oklahoma?

Ooooh Hubert Keller is here for the quickfire! Hubert Keller is basically like a French Ian McKellen, or Ian McKellen’s friend, the other guy, you know who I mean they are both gay and old and everyone loves them and they go to Coney Island together and stuff. Oh wait Patrick Stewart is not gay.


Well whatever it does not matter, I am just saying Hubert Keller is pretty much a wizard. A French wizard who makes meese-and-swan-shaped desserts when he is on Top Chef Masters and the judges are Girl Scouts and then all the other Top Chef masters punch themselves in the face for not forming their desserts into meeses and swans, and color their face all red with lipstick and rock back and forth and moan to themselves STUPID STUPID STUPID.

hubert keller dessert

Today’s episode is a commercial for Dunkin Donuts coffee, that is better than cream cheese and whatever fucking car they’re in. (I guess I have blocked it out. Sorry whichever car company is paying all that money to have the cheftestants talk about how cool their car is every week.)

Now they are doing talking head interviews, and Stephanie would buy all the things with her 10k if she won the quickfire, okay, cool talking head.

Nick: coffee cardamom sauce on fish? Tell me more.

Carrie: coffee crepe with coffee custard.

Stephanie: coffee crepe with bacon jam? Okay.

Carlos: macadamia coffee sponge cake with peaches and mascarpone. Aw, the night he met his wife, he told her “you are going to be my wife,” and now it is 20 years later and they have two kids and the way he smiles is fabulous and we are all very happy for Carlos. Maybe it will be a Travis Carlos double elimination?

Brian: coffee risotto with andouille sausage and sugar snap peas. Brian is messing with the curse of risotto.


brady tiki curse 2

But despite the Tiki risotto curse, Brian says you “gotta put your balls out there. Let em swing.” We believe we heard something about how big of balls one must have for a thing last week, and that was when Justin was touting how brave and ball-full he was to volunteer to shit the bed as executive chef of Restaurant Wars. Maybe this is not really the season for “balls,” unless you wear your balls on your chest?

Carrie is fucking up her crepes by not having time to make crepes whoops. Time to “simplify.”

Travis: alaskan sociey salmon, coffee ponszue and coffee fringi mushrooms, hazelnut oil.

Carrie has decided to simplify to coffee custard with candied coffee beans and cocoa beans.

Nick: sockeye salmon with hazelnut coffee caramel and some stuff.

Shirley: coffee crusted tenderloin with garlic puree.

Sephanie: sweet potato and goat cheese coffee crepe and bacon coffee ham jam. Hubert and Padma think it’s interesting, but they say it like it’s actually interesting instead of interesting meaning horrifying, which might be a first for them.

The bottom dishes are Brian’s risotto, Nicholas’s “paste” with its unpleasant texture. But is it TOO MUCH like snot?

The top dishes are Carrie and Shirley and Stephanie. Stephanie looks surprised, because she is constantly followed around by an invisible sad trombone. Shirley wins. She gonna buy an air conditioner for her home, because they live IN LAS VEGAS WITHOUT ONE. Dude, that is not ok. Anyway, good job Shirls.

Anthony Mackie, actor, is back. He was in Eight Mile I guess? Oh, he was in a lot of things. Very many things, which he was in.

'Top Chef' Recap: Home Sweet Home

Challenge: what do you crave when you go home? They have $175 to spend at Whole Foods, so basically they can buy two bags of kale, and two hours today plus an hour at Dooky Chase, with Leah Chase the beautiful woman from whenever. She is the lady who said “The pope quit but I have to keep going,” because of how she is AWESOME.

Justin’s gonna do Cajun, he loves to eat squirrel because he is so down-home but will do smothered chicken. Keep fucking it, dick.

Nina is doing curry chicken.

Nick is doing gnudi.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 7.11.32 AMOh maybe Nick is going home instead of Travis, since we see pix of his cute daughter.

Stephanie is making bread, mussels, pickled peppers and tomato broth. She is not from a family of cooks; they had chicken nuggets or mac and cheese every day. (Obviously the superior Kraft kind of mac and cheese, which is AWESOME, not that bullshit homemade.)

Uh oh, Carlos is pressure-cookering his pork, which would usually take six hours, and he doesn’t even know which symbols are which on the pressure cooker, this will not end good-like maybe? :(

Brian’s grilling his dad’s steak with his mom’s marinade. He is also making Korean potato salad, which is delicious.

Travis: plum jam with biscuits and gravy.

Shirley: Beijing noodles with pork sauce and stuff.

Then Emeril is at their house, cooking for them. He is so great. Everyone love Emeril please.

Aw shit, Brian’s dad has had three strokes and doesn’t really talk any more and now I am sad and Brian is crying.

Travis put too much butter in his biscuits, so they’re not cooking right and he is sad :( even though he tested it yesterday and they were beautiful and now he is just gonna soak em all in the gravy and everyone is gonna be sad and bye Travis.

Carrie: grandma’s creamed asparagus on toast with 13 poached eggs, I will eat all the poached eggs.


Carlos’s cochinita pibil with black beans is gorgeous.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 7.09.16 AM

Aw, they all love the flavor of the gravy and jam, but if “you’re gonna serve biscuits at this table, it better be spot on man.” Emeril says it in a really nice Emerily way, but sadface.

They can’t eat enough of Carlos’.

Brian’s? “A little sweet …” nothing particularly complimentary. But good first three dishes.

Nick is crying in the kitchen, and Nick is crying in the talking head, and he’s not gonna be able to plate.

Oh I guess he plated. Jesus Christ now he’s crying in the dining room. Emeril’s head snaps up at the first broken syllable on “my daughter’s favorite dish,” ricotta gnudi with pancetta, peas, lemon parmesan.

Shirley made Beijing noodles with fermented bean pork sauce with pickled something, and now Shirley is breaking down too.

Stephanie does not break down. Nothing can ever get Stephanie down. She has seen it all man. She’s been in the shit.

They love Nick’s, which he made because it’s the favorite of his daughter, whom he misses and he will cry. Anthony Mackie: I wish I was his daughter. Hahaha, actor guy, good job. They like Shirley’s. They love Stephanie’s mussels with pickled peppers.

Justin didn’t fuck up his rice, what a huge accomplishment. Louisiana rice with chicken thigh gravy, pickled mirliton and jalapeno. That sounds awful and that’s without even knowing what the fuck mirliton is.

Carrie’s asparagus and eggs is “fantastic.” I can go to town on this.

Hubert and Emeril love Nina’s.

Justin was a little reserved in his flavor or something who cares it is Justin, boo.

All the judges are having so much fun, they wanna hang out and have cocktails after, who’s shaking? Anthony, you’re making the cocktails right? Anthony: yup and hell yeah and oui y’all.

Well, it really doesn’t seem like anyone fucked up? The judges are mellow and happy. It’s going to come down to one of those “I would have rather had rice with it.” Maybe Brian? They didn’t love that, oh right I forgot Travis fucked up his biscuits.

Damn, they’re going through and complimenting EVERYONE before the monitor in the stew room shuts off.

Nicholas, Stephanie, and Carlos are first out. Winners right? Right. Some day they are going to say you lose, but today is not the day.

Anthony slams Tom that he can’t catch fish, and Tom just has to smile and take it. I love Anthony!

Aw, Nick wins, for crying probably. Anthony: “Nick, let me tell you this, you are the most stressed person I know. You almost gave me an aneurysm looking at you!”

Travis, Brian and Justin are bottoms. (Heh.) STAY TRAV STAY. You have built up all the goodwill in the world with me for being an AMAZING restaurant manager, even though I hated you so much before. It wasn’t you: it was just that you were annoying and horrible!

Brian blames his poor showing on the lack of a grill and having to pan sear the meat. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the dish except that it didn’t have any flavor.

Anthony has a nice thing to say about the flavor of the jam with the biscuits, and how “when the day comes that you open your restaurant, that should be on the menu.” That is a really lovely thing to say, Anthony! I LIKE YOU. Travis is smiling with pleasure. Anthony moves on, in charge. “Justin, tell me about your dish.” Anthony acts like I would, like, Padma and Tom and Emeril don’t even exist, I’m in charge here!


Oh boom Anthony moves in for the kill, “why would you make that dish for someone from Southern Louisiana, when it’s not your strongest dish.” He is a prosecutor now, and he is prosecuting Justin, the worst guy in the world, he and I should probably marry.

Goddammit, bye Travis.


“It’s all right, live and die by the biscuit.”

TV Show: Top Chef

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