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Welcome back everyone. Last week on Top Chef, more drama was provided then a whole season of the Real Word. I barely remembered it was a cooking show with all the over the top antics that happened. Cliff was sent packing for reenacting a low budget prison movie without Marcelís consent. This week the chefs are off to the 49th state, Hawaii. Hopefully they will merge this with another great reality show that takes place in Hawaii, Dog the Bounty Hunter. Maybe the challenge will be to cook a feast for Dogís family and I donít really think anyone would be mad if they held Dog down and shaved his head. I guess only time will tell so letís get started.

Snakes (Marcel/Ilan/Elia/Sam) on a Plane

After the last episode all the chefs went back to their normal lives for 2 months to prepare for their trip to Hawaii. I assume they will also find out if they have jobs or friends after their behavior from the past couple of weeks. Each chef, while home, takes time to research a little bit about Hawaiian cuisines although itís not guaranteed that is what they will be cooking. The chefs are told they can bring their own ingredients and equipment they might need. They each head off to the airport and meet up on the airplane. I have a hard time believing none of them encountered each other in the airport. They are flying first class so we know that Kenmoreô is really putting out the big bucks for this show. The plane takes off and they are on their way to Hawaii. The question on all of our minds is what will they do if there are snakes on that plane?

Once they land in Hawaii they all get lei-ed by Miss Hawaii. Donít fear, she will not be giving up her crown for this behavior, she was simply placing flower leis around their necks. She leads them to a helicopter they will be taking to meet the judges and to have a celebratory lunch. Sam is freaked out by the helicopter ride and I keep waiting for him to start crying and refuse to go. He reluctantly climbs in the chopper and has one heck of a grasp on Ilanís leg, much to Ilanís pleasure.

The helicopter lands and they are greeted by the judges and Chef Alex Wong. He is considered to be the grand master of Hawaiian cuisine. He has prepared an authentic Hawaiian meal for the chefs to enjoy. As everyone digs in, Chef Alex tells them about the food, ingredients and the preparation of each dish. Everyone seems to enjoy the meal. Once the meal is over the chefs get ready to get back in their helicopter and Padma tells them tomorrow will be an elimination round and two people will be sent packing. They all freak out and I donít find that to be shocking news. They head back to their suites at the Hiltonô and enjoy some Korbelô champagne. I sit back on my couch and indulge in a Diet Cokeô and some Jolly Time Popcornô. See Top Chef, your not the only one who can do product placement.

Opakapaka (I just like saying that)
After a relaxing night in the hotel the chefs head off to the Hawaiian version of the Kenmoreô kitchen and are greeted by Padma and Chef Alex. Chef Alex informs them that yesterday was his birthday and he is going to throw a luau tonight for it. The twist is that the chefs will need to prepare all the food for it. They need to make traditional Hawaiian food but put their own twist on it. They will have 3 hours to prepare and they need to make enough to serve 30 people. I question Chef Alexís sanity at this point, who would let a bunch of drama queens cater a big party?

The fresh ingredients are left out and the chefs run to claim what they will be making. Marcel is going to be creating Lomi Lomi salmon which is a seared salmon with tomato water and chili pepper foam. His second dish is Hamachi poke with pineapple poi. Sam is going to be working with Opakapaka (Hawaiian snapper) poke with sea beans. His second dish is a Marscapone mousse with Hawaiian salted coconut milk and citrus tuile. Ok, so now not only does Sam look super hot with his short hair do he is preparing a dish that I would die for. I heart me some Sam, marscapone, and coconut.

Elia is making Ahi poke with olives, capers and lemon confit. Her other dish is snapper steamed in Ti leaves with carrots and bell peppers. Ilan is going to try making Lau Lau with squid and morcilla (blood sausage). He is also going to prepare a dessert of coconut and saffron. His dessert also sounds divine but I am not digging his short hair as much as Samís so he is just not going to get the same attention.

Everyone gets to cooking and Chef Tom makes his regular visit. He seems happy with all the dishes that are being prepared. He sees that Elia and Ilan are working to blend their flavors, he thinks Sam is playing it safe, and that Marcel is going to be breaking down his dishes. He is happy they are focused on the food and not creating drama. Arenít we all Chef Tom!

What? No buried pig?

The luau begins and all the judges and Chef Alexís friends arrive. Sam is up first and he presents his two dishes to the judges. They enjoy the Opakapaka with the sea beans except they wish it did not have raw shallots in it. The marscapone mousse is next and everyone loves it, some people even ask for seconds. Elia serves her snapper in Ti leaves first and the judges think the olives overpower the fish a little bit. Her poke is served and they really enjoy it except they think it needs a little acid added.

Marcel is up and presents his pineapple poi and salmon lomi lomi. Marcel goes into great detail about his dishes for a very long time, that keeps dragging on and on and on, and making everyone wonder if it will ever end. The judges like the poi a lot except for Padma who does not think it is the right consistency. I guess itís a good thing she is just the host and not a judge. Ilan is last and he has made Lau Lau which is very Spanish flavored but the cooking in taro leaves gave it the Hawaiian edge. His second dish is the saffron haupia frita, it looks delicious. It is basically fried coconut milk and judges all seem to enjoy it. The meal is over and they can finally relax.

During the commercial break we are notified who the fan favorite is, itís Sam. I am glad he won after he solicited all his friends on myspace to go and vote for him. All I have to say is that everyone who helped him to win by voting for him should get a cut of that $10, 000. It really only seems fair, we all can use some money Sam!

A Bunch of Rascals
The judges gather to discuss the meal they were served. Chef Alex thinks his favorite is Sam. I am not surprised because if I was a betting woman I would have all my money on Sam to take this whole competition. Tom like Ilanís dishes the best. Padma did not like Marcelís pineapple poi but everyone disagrees with her. They thought Eliaís dishes were creative but not really representative of Hawaiian cuisine.

The chefs are called in front of the judges and they line up height wise. I donít know if anyone else has noticed this but every week they line up according to their height. Do I have too much time on my hands? Maybe, but that is really no reason to judge me. Tom tells them he is proud of them and thought this was the best cooking they have done all season. The talk to each chef and ask them about their choice of ingredients and plate idea process. Padma seems to be very critical to everyone and I for once miss the days of Katie ďthe idiotĒ from last season. Padma really needs to hush up and do what she was hired to do, look pretty and read a script.

The chefs are dismissed and the judges talk again to discuss who will be going home. Marcelís poke was the judgeís favorite of all the pokes. Eliaís dish was not very reminiscent of Hawaii so her chances of sticking around are slim to none. Itís now down to Sam and Ilan on who will be staying. Sam they think played it safe and did not cook anything. Ilan played it safe as well but he was the only one to use the taro leaf. If Sam is kicked off I am just going to cry. Granted, he is no Harold but I have to have someone to crush on till the end.

Get the Hell Out of My KitchenÖForever!

The chefs gather in front of the judges to hear the results. Before anyone can say anything Elia and Ilan make a last ditch effort to make themselves look bad or accuse Marcel of cheating. The judges want examples and of course no one has anything specific to offer. Tom gets mad and tells them they are being judged on their food not their behavior. Elia seems shocked by this. I guess she did not realize she was on a cooking show.

Marcel is up first and he is told he will be staying. Yawn, yawn, no surprises here. Elia is told she will be leaving and once again, I am not surprised. Sam is up next and I can feel my blood pressure rising from the stress they are creating or it could be the fact that my DVR stopped recording because who knew this show was going to be an hour and fifteen minutes tonight. Sam is out and Ilan is going to be in. I just canít believe it, Ilan over Sam. Ilan is a good cook and all but Sam seems to demonstrate the Top Chef qualities much more. I am just speechless right now and still kind of mad at my DVR.

Big Hair vs. No Hair
Donít forget to tune in next week for the season finale of Top Chef. I would also like to take this time to thank SueEllen for sharing such a fun season of Top Chef again with me. Hopefully next season we can drop the drama and get back to the cooking. Till next time!