Top Chef 11/8 Recap: Cheaters Sometimes Win and Prosper
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Welcome back everyone. This has been an exciting week for me, I became an aunt to two gorgeous girls this past weekend. It was a very exciting experience for me but I am back and ready to dive into the drama that is this seasonís Top Chef. Last week we said goodbye to the snooty Emily and some people started to show their true colors. Michael demonstrated what an ass he is and also demonstrated some sub par cooking skills along the way. If you missed any of the excitement from last weekís episode make sure you check out SueEllenís recap here. Put on your apron and grab your favorite whisk itís time to see what drama we can stir up tonight.
The chefís are waking up after saying goodbye to Emily. No one seems to miss her or care that she is gone. I feel the same. Betty is excited to be coming out with two wins and feels very confident going into the next challenge. Michael realizes he has had a bad couple of days but is blaming it on missing his wife. You are all probably wondering the same thing I am. Who would ever marry that man?
Itís Quickfire Challenge time as all the chefís gather in the Kenmoreô Kitchen. Padma introduces the guest judge, Suzanne Goin. She has won some awards from Food and Wine magazine and everyone seems impressed to be in her presence and I will take their word on that. This challenge is going to force the chefís to pay attention to detail. They need to make an Amuse Bouche. Amuse bouche is a French term that means amuse the mouth. Everyone seems excited about the challenge and Marcel starts talking about making something with oysters.
The group is informed they will be going shopping now and head into the hallway. They stop in front of three large and fancy vending machines. They will each be given $10 in quarters to spend and they can purchase two ingredients from each machine. There is a regular candy vending machine, a soda machine and then one of those machines that have salads, sandwiches, and fancier type food in it for the group to use. This immediately takes me to that Seinfeld episode at the car dealership where George wants the Twix and it never comes out. I hope no one has that problem today.
Each chef goes one at a time to make their purchases and they all think that Michael will do the best in this challenge because of all the crap he eats. Marcel is sad that there are no oysters available in the vending machine. Marcel really can be clueless most of the time. Michael is last to go and since everyone took all the good items he is just going to screw the whole challenge. He sensibly decides to purchase Cheetoís, Snickers, and corn nuts. I canít wait to see what garbage he is going to make with that. Everyone heads back to the kitchen were they have 30 minutes to prepare their meal.
Presenting Crap on a Plate
Everyone gets to cooking and we donít really get a good idea of what everyone has purchased from the machines. The time winds down and itís time to present the dishes to Suzanne. Frank is first and he has prepared a Ham and Swiss quiche with a mint infused tea. It looks absolutely delicious and the judges think that as well. Betty has made a Fromage frittata with a basil, pear and fig sauce. She used fig from fig newtons and I can definitely get on board with that. Sam has potato salad and pickle with fennel powder on a crispy chip. Elia has made a Dorito tostada chicken salad with chili corn and lime. Itís looks very tasty. Michael is up and actually with a straight face presents his cheese puff set in a chocolate candy bar mound. It looks nasty and I canít believe that the judges were actually willing to sample it. I am glad to see that Michael is actually trying.
Josie is up and she could serve all her items as she purchased them and it would probably go over better then what Michael just pulled. She has a deconstructed chicken salad and a shortbread cookie puree. Cliff has made a curried banana pudding with sunflower seeds and herb cheese crisp. Marisa has made a tropical salad and we never get to see it so I assume it must be pretty bad. Carlos prepared a sunflower seed and carrot loaf with cilantro, sesame and Squirt.
Mia made a La Bocodita Deliciosa or a twinkie with charred banana and strawberry yogurt with a ginger lime mojito. She is told that it tastes like dessert and she tells Suzanne that is what it is. Suzanne informs her that an Amuse Bouche is an appetizer. Marcel is up and has created a duo of cracklings with lemon and rice pudding with a grapefruit soda. He also is told his item is too sweet. I really donít see a problem with starting a meal with dessert. Ilan is last and he made a deviled egg with corn nuts with deep fried salami and pear nectar and fig paste.
All the items have been sampled and Suzanne thinks her least favorite were Miaís because it was more like dessert even though it tasted great. Michaels she did not care for at all and felt like Michael just did not care. Michael claims to have gone blank in front of the machines but personally I think he is just an ass. Admit that you were going to screw the challenge, donít try to backtrack and lie your way out.
Suzanneís favorites were Frankís, Carlosís, and Ilanís. She thought Frankís was delicious, Carlosís was very inventive and Ilanís was good but he did not need the sweet puree that he added. The winner is Carlos and he is now safe from elimination on the next challenge.
Serving It Up With a Little Slice of Love
The chefís all gather for the elimination challenge and are first presented with the knife block so they can divide into 4 teams. The black team is Frank, Betty, and Marcel. The Orange team is Cliff, Carlos, and Sam. The Red team is Mia, Michael, and Marissa, and the White team is Ilan, Elia, and Josie. Each team needs to create an entrťe, side dish and dessert and not exceed 500 calories. They will be going to Camp Glucose, a fitness camp, and serve kids 8-16 their meals.
The groups head off to the grocery store and start working on their menus. Sam feels comfortable in the challenge since he is diabetic and watches what he eats. I also feel comfortable with Sam and the more screen time they give him gives me more time to look. The black team wants to attempt pizza because kids love pizza. After the shopping trip is done the teams go back to the kitchen and are greeted by nutritionistís at their workstations. A nutritionist is going to watch each team and make sure they stay under 500 calories. Once the menus are completed each team will sign off on it and they are not allowed to change it. They start working and measuring out items and are shocked to learn that 1 cup of olive oil has 1,909 calories in it. Who actually cooks with 1 cup of olive oil?
Chef Tom makes his visit and goes around to each group to find out what they will be preparing for the kids. The Red team is going to make BBQ chicken skewers, coleslaw, grilled vegetables, and old-fashioned fudge cake with fresh strawberries. Their meal is a total of 480 calories and sounds pretty good. The Black team will cook a sausage and cheese pizza, melon and berry skewers, a crispy cookie, and mixed berry lemonade. Their meal is a total of 440 calories and the pizza looks really tasty.
The White team is preparing chicken Parmesan, veggie lasagna, and berry cheesecake pie. Itís a total of 398 calories and the dessert looks very decadent. The Orange team is doing spiced turkey meatballs, roasted corn on the cob, and a summer fruit smoothie. Their meal total is 454 calories and sounds the least exciting out of them all. Chef Tom even asks them about their lack of dessert. Carlos responds with something about the kids needing to change their lifestyles. I agree with that but they also can understand that you can make sweets and desserts in a low calorie way.
As the teams keep working everyone seems to be doing well and getting the hang of measuring everything out. Betty is still working on her cookies and they donít seem to be turning out as she planned. The time runs out for the day and everyone goes home to rest for the busy day ahead of them.
I Believe in FriesÖ
The next morning everyone arrives at the kitchen ready to go. Today they must prepare the meals the same exact way as the day before. Everyone is on the honor system for cooking today. Bettyís cookies did not work well the day before so she is going to remove some of the egg whites and add sugar instead. The Orange team notices that people are using olive oil squeeze bottles on the line in an unmeasured amount. Some people seem to not be following the directions. Where is Otto? Wait, he was eliminated for cheating.
The kids arrive at the camp and each team presents their menu. The kids are asked to select one menu to order. The red team receives 5 orders, orange and white teams have 7 orders and the black team gets 17 orders. The kids dig into their meals and seem to be enjoying what is presented to them. The meals all look really tasty but I wish I could sample them to give an appropriate evaluation. Once the kids are done eating the chefís join them on the soccer field for a game.
Throwing People Under the Bus (The Most Over Used Phrase On Top Chef)
The judges sit to deliberate what happened at the challenge. Suzanne did not care for the meatballs that were prepared. Tom did not like the coleslaw that was made by the red team he thought it needed more seasoning. Everyone loved the pizza but they thought the cheesecake was the best dish of all. The Black team is called in and named the winners of the challenge. Suzanne announces that Frank is the overall winner for making the pizza happen. He is presented with a copy of her book and the opportunity to collaborate with her on a menu for her restaurant. I am very happy for Frank and thought he deserved this win.
The red and orange teams are called in next and told that their two menus were the worst. Mia thinks the meal they made was good and does not understand why they are there. The judges thought the slaw was bad and that is why they are there. They also want to know why Michael was selected to sell the menu. Mia stands up for Michael and says that he was a hard worker and contributed to their team. Michael did seem to participate but his behavior alone in the Quickfire should get him eliminated from the show.
The judges then go to question the orange team, they want to know who was in charge. Sam admits to being the leader of the team. They thought the turkey turned dry and was not a great pick and Cliff agrees. They next want to know who was in charge of choosing the fruit for the smoothie. Sam admits to this again. I am getting nervous because it is not looking good for hot Sam. The judges want to know why yogurt was not added when the team realized the smoothie was so tart. Sam tells them that they were not allowed to change their menu from the day before. He then goes onto to tell about people using squeeze bottle of olive oil on the line. The judges look shocked by this and want some names. Sam refuses to name names.
They keep pressing Sam for names and Mia speaks up and says she will tell them someone who was cheating. She mentions Betty and her use of sugar instead of splenda in her cookies. The judges do not look happy with what she has to say. They dismiss everyone from the room while they deliberate.
Someone Better Get the Hell Out of the KitchenÖNext Week!
After the losing teams have left the judges just donít know what to do. Chef Tom thinks people who were in the wrong should have been called out during the challenge not at the end. They have no proof that anyone cheated so they really donít know where to go with all this. Chef Tom decides he is going to go talk with everyone.
Everyone is kind of arguing about what was said when the orange and red team were at the judges table. Carlos directly asks Betty if she followed the exact recipe from the day before. She admits to changing it and adding sugar. Tom tells her that was not allowed. She starts crying and claiming to have not known the rules. Chef Tom tells everyone that no one will be leaving but they will all be on probation. I wonder if itís double secret probation? Any Animal House fans out there?
Everyone packs up and goes back to the loft to complain and argue. Josie thinks her team should get the win since they did not cheat and the winning team did. I personally still think Frank deserves the win for making the pizza that the kids and adults love. Overall, this was a very dramatic episode and it just keeps getting more intense each week.
Tune in next week to see the contestantís create a dish using some mystery ingredient. With any luck it will be like Iron Chef and they will be given live turtles or Pike eel. Someone is late with their dish and they are not allowed to serve them and someone creates a dish that looks like Pepto Bimol. I can barely wait!
If you think this season of Top Chef is really bringing the drama but lacking in the cooking, email me at Yardgnome77@fansofrealitytv.co m.
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