Jordan Baker offers up a ****ing brilliant new show idea: "The chefs trundle off to central market with 40 minutes and a budget of $600 (I had a typo at the top of that sentence so it originally read 'The chers' rather than 'The chefs.' Think how much more awesome it would be if they had to cook whilst all dressed up like Cher and doing Cher impersonations. The challenges can all be Cher themed -- 'Do You Believe in Life After Lunch?' 'If I Could Turn Back Thyme' and so forth. Yeah. I'd watch that)."
Minxeats on the Quickfire: "Padma pairs up the chefs into three teams: Team Red is Sarah and Lindsay, Team Green is Grayson and Squinty, and Team White is Ed and Paul. Each team must peel and devein a gazillion shrimp, shuck and de-silk umpty-three ears of corn, and make 43.6 pounds of fresh fettuccine - all in forty minutes. But wait - there's more! They will then have to use this mise en place to create a dish in whatever time they have left. All of this is told to us by Padma in a voice-over with such poor sound quality it seems to have been recorded in an airplane bathroom during turbulence."
David Dust on flava: "The judges arrive: Padma, Tom, Emeril, Dana Cowin (Editor, Food & Wine). They are greeted by Ryan from Season Four, who is a 'Flavor Ambassador' for Healthy Choice. This must be an easy job, considering the fact that those frozen bricks are pretty much flavorless."
My Monkey Could Do That on interludes: "Commercial interlude: people curse because they believe Paul has lucky socks. There is a small discussion about which socks are luckier, and Paul reveals that he has several pairs of these socks that everyone thinks are his 'lucky' socks. Heh. See, that is a good commercial interlude: something completely random that is amusing but not important to the show."
A Just Recompense describes the Elimination Challenge: "Padma announces gleefully, “Your partner is now your opponent.” They’ll be catering a block party for a food bank food drive, serving 200 people. Both chefs in each pair have to make a version of the same dish, and the guests will determine their favorites from each pair. They have to decide right then and there what dish, and side dish, they plan to make, which tells me there’s another element to this challenge."
Max the Girl on a shortage of buns: "Actually, the worst part of Edward’s dish is that he made homemade buns for his “open faced” sandwiches, but they are self-serve. He’s expecting each guest to dutifully take one bun. But I think Edward has been in Texas long enough to know that “moderation” and “restraint” are not exactly in the state vocabulary. Everyone is taking two buns and one little whippersnapper actually grabs three. So poor Edward has to be, like, the bun-catcher, grabbing stray buns off people’s plates. It’s awkward."
Eater on Charlize, one more time: "At the top of the episode, the chefs get a personal thank you from last week's guest judge, Charlize Theron. She gushes at them while they stare on with slack-jaws and micro-boners. It is a odd to hear her tell these guys that she is a fan. I believe that she's a fan, but she's a fan of past seasons, with which these guys have nothing to do. 'I want you all to know that you are the best, and when I say "you" I mean Richard Blais.' They just nod and try not to drench their aprons. Charlize says, 'Thanks for having me!' Sure, because these chefs had a lot to do with her appearance and also explicitly allowed it to happen. Sarah was on the phone for months coordinating schedules with Charlize's people."
Entertainment Weekly on DQ: "At the last minute, Paul forgot to add the shrimp to the dish, disqualifying him and Ed from the competition. This mistake elicited as passionate a response I've ever seen from Padma — or maybe she short-circuited for a second: 'What?! Noooooo!' There must be a rule in the Top Chef Judging Handbook that says you must make the contestants feel as bad as possible about leaving an ingredient off a dish. Predictably, Padma hinted that Paul and Ed might have won had the shrimp made the plate. If you made a Corn Flake and ketchup puree but left off the shrimp, Padma would probably say, 'Too bad, because the flavors were all there.'"
Emeril Lagasse for PopWatch on what he wouldn't have done: "I would have never done a chicken salad, [like Grayson and Chris, especially] in that heat [and] in those conditions. It was a reach [for Chris to supplement tofu for mayonnaise]. Keep in mind it’s a 100 degrees. I think some of the people judging and some of the guests were like, 'Really? You really have the nerve to do this?' Intellectually, I totally understand what Chris was trying to do but I don’t think at the end of the day it fulfilled everyone’s expectations. I think he was kind of on the fence [prior to this challenge], and I think that this really put him over the fence. He’s a very talented guy."
Cliffieland on Last Chance Kitchen: "Chris arrives at the Casa Cuisine and doesn't understand Tom's letter about meeting him in 'the kitchen.' So, he stands around the house's kitchen talking to the bric-a-brac like someone who thinks he's funny ... but really, really, really isn't. (Well, he may be funnier than Tom tries to be, but botulism is funnier than Tom, so that's not saying much.)"
Posted on AllTopChef.com