Thursday, December 27, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Bart Vandaele

Belgian chef Bart Vandaele called himself a "team player" this episode because he was able to deal with the gregarious chef Josie. Unfortunately, he may also have been a wee bit intimidated by her. He made three of the major components of their roller derby party dish, and they suffered from underseasoning, among other things. While most of the episode was edited to make Josie look like she was going home, it was her partner, Bart, who got cut this week.

Chef Bart - we wish you much success in your career. Make judicious use of the bag of salt Padma promised to send you!

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Congratulations, Chefs John Tesar and Brooke Williamson!

Chefs John and Brooke paired up for the Roller Derby girls after party and turned out to be a great team. She reminded the Most Hated Chef in Dallas of his daughter, and she was too polite to say who he reminded her of. :) Their dish, a Thai-inspired beef with lobster rice and a tart slaw in honor of derby girl Kutta Rump, won unanimous praise from the judges and scored them a joint win.

Third time's the charm for John, but Brooke has been on top before. What's next for the two of them? Stay tuned and see!

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Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 8

After being absent for a couple of weeks, Emeril was back with a vengeance, first as the judge of an oyster-related Quickfire in which the chefs had to source their own bivalves at Taylor's Shellfish Farm. Half the cheftestants had to make cold oyster dishes, the other half hot, but the winner of the challenge was the only chef who chose to fry his oysters, Micah. And those morsels did look tasty, if I do say so myself.

Emeril was also around for the Elimination Challenge, of course. The chefs had to pair up in order to create dishes inspired by roller derby girls with names like Jalapeno, Teriyaki, and Tempura. After first watching a game that got Josie fired up (the other chefs not so much), they took 2.5 hours to prepare their dishes at the roller rink and serve them up to 100 guests at party held after the final match of the season.

Chefs John and Brooke worked well together and prepared a winning dish of Thai beef with lobster rice and slaw, which beat out Lizzie and Micah's elevated crab-stuffed jalapeno poppers. On the bottom were Sheldon and Josh's soggy custard tempura and Josie and Bart's teriyaki beef skewer, which was called a "teriyaki terrible." Because Bart did the lion's work, and under-seasoned his share of the components, he got sent home, and Josie lived to battle another day.

What did you think about this episode? Please leave a comment.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tonight on Top Chef Seattle

In this week’s Quickfire, the cheftestants must harvest oysters, which turns into a disaster for one contestant who falls face first in the mud! Later on, the cheftestants cook for one of the hottest sports teams in Seattle, but Josie annoys the gang after a few too many drinks and pushes everyone to their limits.
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from All Top Chef!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Episode 7

Minxeats on being foiled: "Some chefs were luckier than others. Some were also smarter. TMHCiD, for example, thought he was picking up a pot full of herbs but actually got a pineapple. Because pineapples feel exactly like pots of herbs. (What sort of "herbs" was he looking for?) A shame he didn't pick up two objects that were completely different from what he imagined them to be because I could then make a joke about him being foiled...again. Or maybe it's best that I not get that opportunity. In any case, Bravo beat me to it, because according to their Web site, they've titled this episode, "Foiled Again!" I'm not sure if I should feel clever or dumb because I had the same thought as the network."

A Just Recompense on name-dropping: "Lizzie is highly offended that Josie thinks she’ll be easy to beat: she’s cooked for Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela – twice! Hey, Lizzie, chill: the Obamas love Spike’s burgers, and he’s still an ass."

Grub Street on Josie's dish: "Josie, scrambling to finish her rolls, starts yelling about how much fun everyone’s having at the berry festival. When Josie announces that she’ll be putting on an 'after-show,' Gail asks Tom: 'Is she high?' Meanwhile, Padma licks berry juice off her index finger in a beguiling, 4/20-fueled manner. Gail wished the roll had more of that classic 'bright raspberry flavor.' Tom’s disgusted that Josie is more interested in 'putting on a show' than making good food. And why would she put mayonnaise in a spring roll? God only knows."

HitFix on the ghost of Rick Moonen: "As everyone frantically cooks and trips over one another, Tom stops by to chat with the chefs. This is friendly right up until the moment Dallas John tattles that Stefan has frozen tuna. Of course, this isn't throwing another chef under the bus, oh no! It's not that it's frozen, it's the fact it's not sustainable. He was simply making a political statement! Yes, if we know anything about Dallas John, it's that he's a fish loving environmentalist with high moral standards. Or something."

Allie is Wired on more foiled again: "Their challenge is to cook anything they want. The catch is that the kitchen has been turned into the Tin Man’s warehouse. Everything is covered in foil. They must use whatever ingredient they unwrap and use the foil as a cooking vessel. Stefan rips open his protein and gets salmon despite his hopes for goat balls. The kitchen becomes a scientist meets caveman approach to cooking."

Eater on trouble in the kitchen: "Bart is very spunky today. He calls Brooke a fancy pants girl from LA, even though he's like the Crown Prince of Brussels or whatever. Maybe Brooke should invade him; it's very easy from what I understand. He then yells at John for hogging the blender. 'Do I hear blending? Nooooo.' They tell one another to fuck off, and then the blender tells John, Josh, and Danyele to all three fuck off."

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Friday, December 21, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Danyele McPherson

Top Chef Seattle contestant, Danyele McPherson talks about her experience on the show.

A highlight:

ATC: Did you watch last night's episode? 

 DM: I did. 

 ATC: It seemed that you never got any momentum going. Was it nerves? 

 DM: I never imagined myself on any TV show. My nature is to be a planner, a lister. That is how my life works. But that doesn't work on Top Chef. On the show, we have to sort of cook on the fly - that's what makes it fun to watch. So I was a little out of my element. 

 ATC: If you could go back, is there anything that you would do differently? 

 DM: I feel like at the Last Chance Kitchen, I was finally myself. I should have had more fun, and just been myself.

Click here for the full interview.

Click here to learn more about The Grape restaurant.

Click here to "Save a Chef."

Thank you Danyele!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Danyele McPherson

It's sad to say, but you could almost see this one coming. Chef McPherson had shown a crippling lack of confidence from the beginning, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before her timid choices would get her eliminated. Although Tom felt that her concepts were solid, her dishes missed the mark, and that was true in the berry challenge. With a rubbery terrine that was slice too thinly and a crostini that was too crunchy, the judges had to send her packing.

It's hard to see nice people get eliminated, but the Top Chef Kitchen is a cruel crucible to endure.

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Congratulations Chef Kristen Kish!

Chef Kish is on a roll right now and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Her creative move to make a sponge cake in 30 minutes with only aluminum foil to cook it in showed Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard that she had the right stuff. Then she wins the Elimination Challenge with her tayberry dish at the Remlinger Farms Berry Festival. As Tom said, if she keeps cooking this way, she should be in the competition for a long time.

It'll be interesting to see if Chef Kish can keep up this hot streak.

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Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 7

When the cheftestants entered the Top Chef Kitchen, everything in the pantry was wrapped in aluminum foil. Padma was joined by the only woman to win Top Chef, Stephanie Izard, to introduce the Quickfire Challenge. The chefs could cook anything they wanted, but they had to unwrap their ingredients and anything they unwrapped had to be used in the dish. Also, they could only use foil for their cooking vessels. After 30 minutes of cooking, Padma and Stephanie tasted the dishes. Kristen's daring move to make sponge cake got her the win.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs had to go head-to-head using a variety of berries at the Remlinger Farms Berry Festival. Since Kristen won the Quickfire, she was on her own, but the other top five chefs from the previous challenge got to choose who they would battle with from the bottom five. Then the teams chose their berries. The next day, they had three hours at the festival to make enough dishes for 150 guests and the judges. Despite the team theme, it was loner Kristen who walked away with the win for her creative use of tayberries. Out of the five who did not win their head-to-head challenges, Danyele was sent packing for her rubbery terrine and too-crunchy crostini.

What did you think of last night's episode? Leave your comments below.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Episode 6

Minxeats on who are these people? "Anna Faris, who's been in absolutely nothing I have ever seen, and her husband Chris Pratt (ditto) are Washington natives who are in town for a 'holiday homecoming' party. In June. Anna is preggo and eating everything in sight, and both of them are foodies, so they want the party food to be primo. Lord knows why they went to Top Chef if they want good food, but they're probably also media whores who just wanted to be on television. Stefan thinks he has something in common with Anna because they've both been on Entourage. Like I said - media whores."

A Just Recompense on the real challenge: "The real challenge, for those of us watching Top Chef on a meta-level, is not – repeat, NOT – to authentically represent one’s cultural heritage, but rather to figure out what an 85-year-old woman from North Dakota who thinks The Olive Garden is pretty cool (and just recently had a whirlwind tour of New York top-flight restaurants) would like."

Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on top and bottom Quickfire dishes: "Time is up, and dishes are served. Marilyn and Padma dig in. Marilyn is not crazy about Bart's Belgian waffles or Micah's dry tamales -- which she calls a "taco," much to his displeasure. Marilyn's winner is Brooke, who gains immunity for her apple crostata with cheddar cheese, candied pine nuts and apple salad. Brooke is sincerely surprised as Padma had described her dish as 'homey' upon tasting it. Let that be a lesson -- homey is where the heart is."

Grub Street on Kristen: "Delice de Bourgogne tortelloni. I thought it was a dessert, but my host corrects me: 'It’s very fancy cheese tortellini with foam on top, which looks lovely' I don’t know who these people are anymore. Kristen feels 'really good' about her dish but still has doubts. Rick Moonen says it’s 'the perfect bite,' which is probably what Stefan says about Kristen’s neck."

Hit Fix on the Quickfire: "The Quickfire Challenge is simple: each chef must create a sweet and savory holiday dish reflecting his or her cultural heritage. And if it tastes like Olive Garden? Even better! And there's a twist! There's only one knife available for everyone. AND they have 30 minutes. I suspect a lot of these dishes will taste like they were made at Olive Garden just by default. I also suspect that Marilyn is far too nice to say anything negative to the chefs, so I expect a lot of encouragement even if she has to spit food into her sleeve between takes."

Reality Tea on drama, or lack thereof: "There is a massive shortage of drama this week! Instead, I'll share a few observations: John is door-challenged. Josh and Stefan are BFFs and share a Top Chef good luck charm. Aww, that's cute! Do you know what isn't cute? Danyele's eyeliner. The girl needs to lay off the extra-thick Sharpie. When Danyele seeks sympathy for her atrocious eyeliner meat, Josh is all like, So sad, but I'm not here pet your hair and sing you Soft Kitty to make you feel better. I'm here to win. For a split second, I love Josh, but then I remember his favorite mode of transportation is the douche canoe. However, if Micah doesn't calm the hell down soon, he'll be my newest most hated cheftestant."

Allie is Wired on odds and ends: "John is outsmarted by the door and crashes into it after their run to Whole Foods. Danyele and her insane bottom lid eyeliner she appears to have put on with a jumbo Sharpie, are nervous that her pork chops are a little too thin. John, who has recovered from getting his rump kicked by the door, is droning on about being taught by the Obi-Wan Kenobi of seafood, Rick Moonen. He is confident his chowder will be the prettiest princess at the ball."

Eater on meeting with the celebs: "Each chef will cook one dish for the party, and Chris and a pregnant Anna want to eat a lot of everything. Chris asks them to pack in as many calories as possible into each bite, so all the chefs will just be serving open peanut butter jars and spoons. Chris is Norwegian and Anna's German, and they are adventurous eaters. They love game, local salmon, Dungeness crab, and not hummus. Some chefs begin to plan cooking Pacific Northwest specialties, and some plan to make Norwegian and German food. Danyele plans to make a backpack that has googly eyes and stuffed animal arms and then fill it with scrunchies, and Eliza stares at the camera while slowly eating and finishing an entire jar of paste." Posted on

Friday, December 14, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Eliza Gavin

Top Chef Seattle contestant, Eliza Gavin talks about her experience on the show.

A highlight:

ATC: What did you do to prepare for the competition? 

 EG: I looked at past seasons and thought about what I would do for those challenges, both the Quickfire and the elimination challenges. I tested new recipes at the restaurant. I worked on presentation. I memorized recipes and ratios. I did everything I could think of, I reviewed my cookbooks. 

 There were a lot of notecards involved... 

 But honestly, there is really no way to prepare for this experience. It didn't help!

Click here for the full interview.

Click here to learn more about Eliza's restaurant, 221 South Oak in Telluride.

Click here to see Chef Eliza's Cookbook on Amazon.

Click here to save your favorite chef.

Thank you Chef Eliza!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

ATC Love to Chef Eliza Gavin

Only six weeks into the competition, there are still cheftestants who we really don't know very well. While we did learn last week that Eliza was a band groupie who sold vegan sushi on the road, we never did learn all that much about her food. Unfortunately, we may never get the chance. This week, she made an elk dish that was a bit bland and unevenly cooked. It wasn't bad, per se, but in the light of all of the good dishes that came out of the kitchen this week, it was bad enough to send her home.

Good luck, Chef Gavin, with Last Chance Kitchen and/or the Save a Chef contests. We may see you compete again!

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Congratulations, Chef Brooke Williamson!

After last week's dismal performance by all of the chefs, this week brought renewed energy and the drive to create something delicious. This was most obvious in Chef Brooke's dishes, as she won both the Quickfire for her "homey" apple pie with cheese, and the Elimination Challenge, with her far from ordinary lamb-stuffed squid dish.

Congratulations, Chef Williamson! Will we see you in the finale?

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Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 6

This week's Quickfire challenge was judged by food critic for the Grand Forks Herald, Marilyn Hagerty, she of the now-famed Olive Garden review. Apropos to nothing, the cheftestants had to please her palate with sweet and savory holiday dishes that reflect their own family heritage in some way, while using the latest product for placement, Truvia sweetner. Oh boy. Brooke makes an apple pie with cheese, and when Padma calls it "homey," she figures she is on the bottom. But Ms Hagerty likes homey just fine and gives Brooke the win.

With immunity from elimination, Brooke still takes risks with her winning Elimination challenge dish of lamb-stuffed squid. The premise of the challenge is to prepare a welcome home dinner for Washington natives Anna Faris and her husband Chris Pratt. They are foodies and will eat pretty much anything, even raw squirrel heart, according to Chris. The cheftestants dazzle them with a wide array of wild game and such. Well, "dazzle" might be the wrong word to use for Danyele's boring boar and Josh's underseasoned pork. Also for Eliza's bland elk dish, which earned her a one-way trip to the sequester house (unless of course she wins Last Chance Kitchen).

What did you think about the episode? Please tell us in the comments.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top Chef Seattle Episode 6 Previews

It’s a star studded event in the Top Chef Kitchen as the chefs must create a meal for movie stars Anna Farris and Chris Pratt! The party is all about family and friends for the Hollywood couple, but unfortunately for one chef it’s the end of the road.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with CJ Jacobson

Top Chef Seattle contestant, C.J Jacobson, talks about his experience on the show.

A highlight:  

ATC:  How did this experience compare to season 3?

CJ:  This experience compared in many ways.  I figured that since I had already been on, that I would not be caught up in all of the drama, but honestly it was exactly the same.

In terms of production after seven seasons, it was much tighter.  No more eight hours in the stew room. I was happy that the challenges were more culinarily-driven rather than like skeet shooting like last season.

Click here for the full interview.

Thank you Chef CJ!

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Recap Roundup Top Chef Seattle Episode 5

Minxeats on Tom is pissed: "The lunch was an unmitigated disaster, and the judges felt bad for the artisans whose products were so horribly tortured in the name of lunch. Tom is in a snit and declares that nobody will win the challenge or the 10K bonus prize and stomps into the stew room to let the cheftestants have a piece of his mind. He tells them that they suck and that a whole team will be going home for its suckitude. And they'll be further tortured by having to wait until the next day to find out who is going home. The chefs cry."

A Just Recompense on incompatible: "They’ll stay in their teams, which makes just about everyone nervous. To summarize: Lizzie isn’t sure she knows Danyele well enough to cook intimately with her; Eliza is worried that she and Josie aren’t truly listening to each other; Josie is not enjoying this at all but she’s going to do her chefly duty, it’ll be over soon; Tyler finds CJ’s idea too simple but he’s a veteran so he’s in trust; John knows Josh is just barely tolerating him so is trying not to explode the wrath within; Josh is going along with anything John says just so they don’t start butting heads. I think these people need marriage counseling more than they need cooking."

Entertainment Weekly on truth in advertising: "Ingredients ranged from pickles to cheese curds (yum), but by far my favorite reaction was when Stefan pulled rose petal jelly. 'It’s like rose water. It’s a perfume kind of thing. Women in the 1500s put it on them because they were smelling.' Could you make your eventual meal sound any more appetizing?"

Mary Alice of Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on deflection: "After Padma dismisses them, CJ starts to say something and then shakes his head. 'One last thing, CJ?' Padma asks. CJ turns back and asks the judges what they thought of Danyele/Lizzie’s dessert. 'Because that thing was an abhorrence. It was a debacle. It was diabolical. It was a travesty,' he says. To which Hugh retorts, 'Well, uh-oh, ‘cause your burger was even worse.' Tom bursts out laughing. Josh reprimands CJ for asking: 'Stop underhanding pitches to a pro baseball player!' thus ending what I thought would be the worst but ended up one of the funniest Judge’s Table ever."

Eater disses the artisan: "Breakfast and sticks and satisfied vendors are all in good fun, but now things get dark. Pike Place is also a farmers market, and as you know, farmers markets are full of 'artisans.' Each team has two hours to cook a lunch highlighting a different Pike Place artisan ingredient. Now the word 'artisan' can mean a lot of things: it can be someone who has spent half a lifetime perfecting the crafting of bread or knife-making, for example, or it can be someone with a mommy blog who spends every other Saturday afternoon filling cute jars with unusual horse shit only appropriate as a thoughtless gift from and for jerks. Sadly, most of the ingredients our competitors must use in this Elimination Challenge, one worth ten grand, fall into that latter category. This whole thing would be more appropriate for a Quickfire, where they've got twenty minutes and who cares if they make a bad Reese's Pieces ravioli, but to serve an elegant lunch that highlights bagged truffled popcorn, a food Tom wouldn't let through the back door of his restaurant, is embarrassing for everyone, including me."

Reality Rewind explains the elimination challenge: "For the Elimination Challenge on Top Chef 2012, the teams will be staying together for this challenge. They draw knives: Sheldon and Bart have Salmon Candy, John and Josh have Truffle Popcorn, Brooke and Stefan have Rose Petal Jelly, CJ and Tyler have Spicy Dill Pickles, Josie and Eliza have Cardamom Bitters, Danyele and Lizzie have Coconut Curry Chocolate and Kristen and Micah have Cheese Curds. They have to make a dish to highlighting the ingredient they have picked and the artisans who created the ingredient will be judging them. They have two hours to create their dish and the winning team wins $10,000."

Allie is Wired on pairings: "CJ and Tyler throw ideas around, but Tyler looks at CJ to make the decision. I wish this guy would find his testicular fortitude. He is nice, but has no confidence. Those proverbial nice guys always seem to finish last. On the other side of the pairings, Josh is barely tolerating John. Again, I scratch my head at why these two teamed up in the first place? Maybe they have a secret man crush and John pets Josh’s mustache at night while singing ‘Soft Kitty’ to ease him to sleep in the stressful environment. I suddenly want to see ‘Top Chef: After Dark.’"

Reality Tea on burn: "C.J. defends the integrity of the pickle. Tom says, 'It never crossed your mind… not what goes with pickle but what can we make with a pickle?' Tom calls out John and Josh, saying their food was what you'd expect from someone who doesn't like cooking. Hugh says that Stefan and Brooke used so much rose petal jelly, it was like eating a grandmother. Overall, Tom is disappointed that no one fought to make his or her team's dish better. Gail wonders about the lack of artistry – no garnish, no presentation, etc."

Hit Fix on artisanal products: "Elimination Challenge! Teams remain the same, and each team has to draw a knife bearing the name of some weird ass ingredient. The challenge? Each team must create a dish highlighting said weird ass ingredient. Oh I'm sorry, these are artisanal weird ass ingredients, which means you can have them gift-wrapped and sent to people you dislike. They will be judged by the people who create these horrible sounding things (coconut curry chocolate? Salmon candy? Rose petal jelly? Blech!), and they have two hours to make them lunch. This may be one of the grossest challenges yet, "Top Chef," just saying."

Grub Street on artisans: "Padma introduces us to some of the Seattle artisans: Dale Nelson makes spicy pickles and the rose petal jelly. He looks a little old and square to be an artisan — I can’t imagine him hanging out in Capitol Hill, a hip Seattle neighborhood I just learned the name of by Googling 'hip Seattle neighborhood.' Likewise, Kurt Beecher Dammeier, who made the cheese curds, looks like a high-school gym teacher. I thought Seattle artisans would be young and skinny-jeaned. Am I guilty of artisan-profiling?"

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Friday, December 7, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Tyler Wiard


Chef Tyler Wiard talks about his experience on the show.

A highlight:

ATC:  If you could go back, is there anything that you would do differently?

TW:  I've had a long time to think about this one and no, I don't have any regrets.  I have friends who have said that we should have gone with the chowder instead of the pork burger, but it's like Vegas you know?  You can't go back, you have to play the hand that you are dealt.

ATC:  You were in the top four for the previous challenge and it seemed like you had some creative ideas for this challenge.  Did CJ listen to your ideas at all?

TW:  His energy and his confidence about the pork burger were so positive that I just said, "Okay, let's do it."

Click here for the full interview.

Click here for more about Elway's.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

ATC Love to Chefs CJ Jacobsen and Tyler Wiard

For Chef Jacobsen, his second chance at the Top Chef crown was short-lived. In this case, his strategy to underthink his pickle dish backfired. While pickles go great with burgers, the obvious choice did not impress the judges, and the mistakes made in its creation only made matters worse. It's unfortunate, because we've all seen him do better work.

Chef Wiard may have been right to take the pickle in a more creative direction, but he didn't want to argue with his partner. How many times have we seen chefs go down for going with the flow and not standing their ground? It's hard to say if his ideas would have worked better, but the lack of creativity was definitely a big negative with the judges.

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Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 5

The cheftestants gathered at Seattle's famous Pike Place Market to begin their next challenge. Padma was joined by Daisley Gordon, who has two restaurants at the market. For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs divided into teams of two. Each team had one hour to create a breakfast item on a stick for 50 hungry vendors. A pantry of food items was provided, but they had to purchase all their cooking supplies from Sur La Table with $500. After the vendors were fed, Daisley Gordon announced that Sheldon and Burt's Green Forest Breakfast Sandwich was the winner.

The chefs stayed in their teams for the Elimination Challenge which was to create a dish with one of the unusual artisan ingredients sold at the market. The teams drew knives to find out which ingredient they would receive, and they had two hours to shop for ingredients and cook their dish. The dishes would be judged by the artisans who created the products. Apparently, the chefs were not inspired by their ingredients because all the dishes were deemed pretty poor. The winner was to receive $10,000, but in light of the dismal showing, no team was chosen as winner. Instead, Padma, Tom, Hugh, and Gail had the unenviable job of choosing the worst of the bad. After much debate, it came down to Gail breaking the deadlock and the team of CJ and Tyler was sent home for their overcooked burger on a soggy crumpet bun with poorly cooked deep-fried pickles.

What did you think of last night's episode? Leave a comment below.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Carla Pellegrino

Top Chef Seattle contestant, Carla Pellegrino, talks about her experience on the show.

A highlight:  

ATC:  If you could go back, what would you do differently?

CP:  I would have done my homework.  I don't like the competition side of anything.  This was more of a business decision.  If I had watched, I would have realized that this is a game.  You need to strategize There is a lot of game playing.  I am a horrible player.  I don't gamble.  I thought, "I can cook, that will be enough."

Click here for the full interview.

Click here to save your favorite chef.

Click here to learn more about Carla's restaurant, Meatball Spot.

Thank you Chef Carla!

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Top Chef Seattle Episode 5 Previews

The chef’testants team up and head to the “Soul of Seattle,” world-famous Pike Place Market, for an early morning Quickfire. The chefs face an unusual challenge when they must use their skill and imagination to highlight some of the rarest ingredients found at the market for their Elimination Challenge.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Seattle Episode 4

A Just Recompense on the good old days: "Welcome back to the 50s – a time when no one knew what cholesterol was, when 'dinner' meant shrimp cocktail and roast beef, when desserts were sweet and no one apologized for them, a time before people used words like 'arugula' or 'balsamic vinegar' in polite company."

Minxeats on bitching and moaning: "This week's show opens in last week's stew room. John is once again proving why he's the Most Hated Chef in Dallas (and by the time the show is over, possibly the Most Hated Chef on TV, except maybe Gordon Ramsay) by insulting all and sundry in the room. He even goes so far as to call Mr Mustache a 'blogger.' Honestly, I think he should be proud to be called that - we bloggers are more influential than chefs these days. Heh heh. Stefan above it all, saying it's too much like the Real Housewives of Seattle. Andy Cohen, make sure you give Stefan credit when you put that show on your network."

Atlanta Journal Constitution on menu distribution: "As the team divvies up the old school menu, a few chefs feel a little slighted. Stefan sort of takes over the dish distribution, and Carla isn’t pumped when she gets saddled with the squab dish. Considering how she reacted to being called “sweetie” last week, I’m surprised she took that one lying down. Likewise, Kristen gets two sides, a fried onion dish and mushrooms. Not exactly the sort of thing that lets a chef showoff."

Hitfix on villains: "Remember the fighting we saw at the end of last week? How everyone hated Dallas John for bagging on Kuniko? Yeah, that wasn't all of it. Of course the show saved a little bit of crazy to kick things off this week, and just to confirm, everyone really, really hate Dallas John. And he's pissed about it! As far as he's concerned, 'Josh was a redneck and CJ was playing me.' Um, what does that have to do for calling Kuniko just short of an idiot? But wait! Dallas John has one sole defender -- Stefan. I think Stefan's just relieved someone else is the villain this season."

Grub Street on it's what's for dinner: "It’s kind of amazing how many ways you can prepare beef. For instance, Stefan makes little slimy globules of meat that look like they’d be right at home in my shower drain, while John, the most hated chef in Dallas, makes oxtail with gnocchi. (For those of you who don’t know, each beef has multiple parts to it, and you can make different things with the different parts: If you cut off an ankle, you can make beef-ankle stew. If you get the flank, you can make flank-beef parts with drizzled mushrooms.)"

Reality Tea on eliminations: "Observation: Two of the quickfire top were in the elimination challenge bottom four and two of the quickfire bottom were in the elimination challenge top four. Also, Jeffrey got raves reviews in week 1 and was eliminated in week 2. Kuniko won the elmination challenge in week 2 and was eliminated in week 3. Carla won the elimination challenge in week 3 and was eliminated this week. Will Kristen be eliminated next week?"

Allie is Wired on thquab: "Enter the squab issue. I am going to call this woman Evil Carla. The loveable HOOTIE HOO of season 5’s Carla Hall is greatly missed as Evil Carla thinks undercooked squab sitting in a pool of blood “looks fine.” Her dish repeatedly gets sent back with an reject stamp. She does take the time to let the boys in charge of the grill know the bird is too rare, but she has the same philosophy of John. She has opened restaurants and this somehow gives her a superpower for never failing. People are getting violently ill from undercooked meat? It’s ok! I’ve opened a restaurant. Problem solved!"

Eater on kitchen nightmares: "Everybody cooks in Canlis' luxuriously large kitchen. It seems comfy, but also there is a copper-walled grill room. Maybe that is a common thing, as I am not a chef, but it seems like a literal nightmare: a crazy hot metal room with a small locked doorway. I have only seen about 10 of the 15 Saw movies, but I imagine there must have been at least one or two traps in a grill room. It is some real Final Destination shit."

Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes for the Baltimore Sun on poor Tyler: "Naomi lists off her least favorite dishes, including Tyler’s crudo, which she thought was underseasoned. Cut to Tyler’s interview where he quite seriously becomes Charlie Brown, declaring, 'I can’t do anything right!' heaves a sigh, and stares at the ground. Holy cow, please don’t let them pull the football away from him during the elimination tonight."

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