Top Chef Recap: Potluck? Or Potluckiest???
On last week’s Top Chef recap, before we finally get to last week’s actual episode, just in time for Top Chef tonight: some people (Bene) went home and Nina won all the things. When are people going to turn against her? “My Bene’s gone,” she says to Sara. “At least I still have Travis.” She also says this to Sara. She says it so sweetly, the thing she says about wishing the two guys were still there, when Sara was the only other option for the Top Chef Shitcanning. She is subtweeting Sara to her face. Nina? More like Passive Aggressiva!
This guy might have strep, and I have absolutely no idea who he is. There are STILL people just sneaking by, holding on by their fingernails in that middle tranche, while Sara, who KNOWS SHE IS BETTER THAN THIS but just keeps not showing it, or acting like it, or cooking like it, is in the bottom like every time. OK, he is Nicholas. Hi Nicholas. Sorry about your strep.
“Hopefully he will be better by the elimination challenge, or he will have to forfeit,” Padma says in obvious awkward voiceover. Slurry take? Did she just go all Tracy Jordan?
Kermit Ruffins is a musician/chef and he is the judge and everyone is acting like they know who he is. OK, improvisation. We can get behind this. Oooh, he would fry bullfrogs like chickens when he was a kid. That is awesome. They will be playing musical chairs with stations. “Let’s party!” say Kermit Ruffins! Yes, cool let’s!
The different stations have different ingredients, different cooking implements. You’d think most chefs would purposefully fuck up the first few stations. You know, like Brian did, just “hanging out, cooking some vegetables” and “waiting to get off this station.” (Spoiler alert: Brian is going to win this, because there is no God.)
So this is interesting; you can end up plating someone else’s work, after “hanging out” at your own stations, and you might win! (If you are Brian plating Sara and Nina’s station, spoiler), and if you are Louis, you are fucked. This quickfire challenge was actually good! Good on you producers! Now take Hugh Acheson’s suggestion, please:
I really want to se a coupon challenge and only buying with SNAP funds but maybe next season. In the meantime, call your congresspeople and senators and tell them to stop eviscerating every tangible piece of nutritional assistance this country has left. Don’t get me started.
(By the way, is Acheson just naturally catty, or is he as underwhelmed with this season as the rest of the universe? By all means, do go read his recap. It is frankly better than this.)
Louis and Justin are on the bottom. Carlos and Brian are on top with Patty. Oh man, all the bottom people are on top, for plating other people’s stuff. Brian wins, spoiler, HAHA THAT SUCKS.
OK they are doing teams of “potluck,” leading me to believe that I have gone through 40 years being WRONG when I believed “potluck” means everyone brings something to somebody’s house because #sharingiscaring and also #hugsnotdrugs. Instead, the producers seem to think “potluck” means “have some pots around maybe but also maybe possibly not,” I do not even know, does anyone? No? Okay cool.
On Team Travis, Patty, Brian and Sick Nick, Nick is directing all the action from his sickbed, on their smartphonez. (Do they still use Sidekicks? I haven’t seen a car/Philadelphia cream cheese commercial for them lately.) Travis is getting baramundi. SMELL IT TRAVIS. TOUCH IT TRAVIS. Man, Nick, Travis is a professional chef (probably), he should know to smell the fish before he buys it! Or, maybe he does not, like, “I have been to Vietnam and bought baramundi there five times and every time I did not smell it.” Probably.
Louis worked at French Laundry, and he is going to make some tasty veg, yeah. MAKE THAT TASTY VEG, LOUIS! Char that broccoli all up in there!
They are all dancing really hard to get on camera, they are not that great of dancers. They probably can’t even play pool either.
Shirley and Sara are doing braised beef. Justin is doing shrimp and grits. (Never make grits for people from the South, and also don’t make grits for people of color. Just stop it. That is like making Asian food for some Asian douche when you are not Asian but still being totally sure that you are going to be doing some schooling of the Asian guy about the Asian food.)
Nick is doing fricasee, breaking down and frying chicken, portioning and saucing fish, making a ragout, and doing something with the tomatoes and the watermelon and the herbs. What does Brian have to say about that?
While Nick is killing himself to prove his worth after being sidelined yesterday, here’s Brian: it might not be the best idea [for Nick to be doing so much] but luckily I’ve got immunity so I’m not too worried about it. Brian is our new Top Douche.
Stephanie says Nick is on performance enhancing drugs. You know who’s not on performing enhancing drugs? Brian.
Nina’s doing gnocchi again, because this is Top Gnocchi.
Stephanie’s doing artichokes. Poor Stephanie, she is a mess of insecurity and maybe depression? She can’t think with all this pressure, can’t tap those creative juices. TOM IS GOING TO BE SO MAD, STEPHANIE! He is going to get all Bitchface and be all “you thought ARTICHOKES were a Top Chef dish?” You are going to feel terrible. “It’s simple, but these artichokes are good, I’d hope they be at potluck.” Oh, Stephanie.
Shirley is bossing Sara on their joint braised beef, and this is a new turn of events for our Sar-Bear. Someone’s top dogging her as is perhaps only acceptable from a shrill Type A Chinese lady. “KEEP IT HOT! KEEP IT HOT!” Shirley is yelling at Sara and all Sara can do is obey.
OK, they are all packed up, the carts rolling forebodingly from the kitchen. What will have been left behind I wonder? Oh, probably nothing important, I am sure.
The beef is not as tender as Shirley would like. I am guessing that is Sara’s fault, because of how everything all season so far has been. Sara, I like you! Or at least I do not hate you! Why are you so bad at this?
Justin’s is beautiful. Tom loves the grilled pickled veg.
Brian is mad because Patty forgot the chile threads for their watermelon salad. What happened to you don’t care because immunity? Guess the bus-throwing just comes natural.
Gray team has a beautiful feast. Togarashi fried chicken with bee pollen and ponzu;
watermelong and goat cheese salad; baramundi with fricassee, zucchini, truffle and yuzu hosho; ribs with deydrated potatoes and peanut gremolata. It’s gorgeous. The chicken is a hit. There is no flavor to the overcooked fish. Ribs have good heat, but an actual slick of dryrub, and the watermelon wasn’t sliced nice enough. Tell me y’all DID NOT serve Tom Colicchio a sloppy plate!
Green team. Crispy artichoke with preserved lemon and anchovy aioli, whut? Gnochetti with sausage; beautiful tiramisu. The gnocchi, a guest says, is like “Fancy hamburger helper. It sounds like an insult but I like hamburger helper.” So that’s nice!
Padma loved the artichokes; Tom loved the gnocchi; guest judge “Sue Z.” said the tiramisu “really brings everything else down,” uh oh, CARRIE.
Meanwhile, the beef was overcooked, Tom loved the veg; everybody is disappoint in the shrimp and grits, like, nuh uh white boy. White boy = :(
Gray team: Padma’s high as fuck, but thought the ribs were tasty slur slur wobble slur. Watermelon salad was bland. Fish was dry. Nick: maybe I took on too much, but i’m on a team with a guy that had immunity. Gray team, you are loses!
Patty did the watermelon salad and explains, “we should have put some more effort into it I guess.” Oh.
Green team is wins because Nina I guess. What happened to Carrie? She started so strong.
And Stephanie wins, and it is the first time she has won anything since high school — when she won most improved. You guys, Stephanie is the saddest of all the sacks. Also this does not look very exciting, but we are guessing Nina was not allowed to win 17 times in a row.
Tom isn’t mad today, he doesn’t even bitchface about sloppy plates.
“Everyone was strong. Just little details.” And Patty was already wet-eyed before they announced that buh bye Patty. Wait, was the watermelon salad her ONLY DISH? Fuck, the watermelon salad was her ONLY DISH.