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Top Chef: Chicago, Episode 6 Recap – That’s Funny, I Cook with My Feet


Like the proverbial inn in Bethlehem, there is no more room in the fridge. It is so packed up that Richard is duct taping it shut. He describes it as the closet we all have that is spilling out speakers and golf clubs.

They go “home” and Rich says they needed to unwind as he drinks his beverage. Steph and Andrew clink glasses. Steph is going double fisted with the win. Go Steph! Ryan writes and Dale irons. Jen and Andrew share a laugh and I think a Monty Burns impression.

Spike and Frodo take a bath together. Antonia thinks this only happens in West Hollywood. I just really don’t want to recap this scene. Let’s just say there are bubble beards, New Zealand accent saying Da Bears and comments about Spike’s sexuality. I feel dirty. I need a bubble bath. No Frodo.

Commercials – Bravo has an awards show. There is now officially an awards show for everything.

Soldier Field. A Dancing Bear! Chefs running with coolers – quite funny to watch that. WEBER!!!!! Rich has taken the high tech Mercedes Benz of grills, and only Frodo is going with the charcoal, showing “testicular fortitude.” That is one of my new favorite terms, by the way.

The judges show up all wearing Bears jerseys with the number four. That would be Bears punter Brad Maynard’s number. I am officially confused. Paul Kahan, the owner of Blackbird and Avec and the boss of the Quickfire judge is with them. I am sure Simon Cowell would not like Blackbird. American Idol and Carly Smithson fans get that one.

Steph loves his restaurants and loves serving the masses. One fan says about her pork that anything is better when sprinkled with bacon. You know my opinion. This fan is wearing a Kyle Orton jersey.

Dale is psyched that Gale Sayers is at his station and I totally agree with Dale. And I am not a Bears fan. Truly one of the best running backs ever. Also there is Richard Dent – one of the best defensive linemen of his era and William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who was a folk hero and a bit of a joke when he played. He was huge then, he now has his own Congressional representative. Fridge wants the ribs already and none of Dale’s jibber jabber. A lady in a Brian Uhrlacher jersey (finally a good player) thinks it was tasty and tells someone to get their own plate.

Spike is claiming to be a Bears fan and in his attempt to “show charisma” picks at the open sore in the psyche of a Bears fan by asking the last time they won the Super Bowl. Literally nine months prior to this event, the Bears lost the Super Bowl. Good job, Spike! However, the judges like him for once and some fans agree, including someone wearing a Vikings jersey. That is a dead man walking.

Dent is with Antonia now and Tom suggests that her jerk plate should have had the fruit on the sandwich which made it even better. I think if she did this, she may have won the challenge. Some kid calls it a “touchdown.”

Ryan is getting the fans to help him out and has a pen behind his ear, instantly making him dead to my wife. He gets a towel sent over from Frodo and gets everyone to cheer. He even calls a fat guy “honey.” Steph derides him a bit saying he is a bulls**t artist, but she is there to cook. Ryan gets a “touchdown” from one guy but others say it is too fancy and too difficult to eat.

Andrew is wearing a football helmet and suddenly reminds me completely of the ADD kid that Mike Myers used to play on SNL. He explains the helmet as this being his game and his house. He tells folks not to rush the chef and starts explaining his dish in a falsetto to Gail who has a cute reaction shot from this. She later calls him a “trip.” Padma smiles and tells him to “bring it on.” It is broughten. He then gets the helmet stuck on his ears. A Chicago Linda Richman says the shrimp is good. That’s two Mike Myers jokes in the same paragraph. I am proud.

Nikki asks to forgive the size of her portions and I am sure that will not come back to be a factor later on. Lisa is handing out some of her food, Jen is asked by Dent if her stuff is safe. A fan liked her sauce. Some ladies really liked Rich’s burger which is made from pork, veal and pork fat. One fan isn’t sure what the meat is but it is tasty. Gotta love mystery meat!

Frodo is having all sorts of trouble with the charcoal and his place is a total disaster area – a fact confirmed by Antonia and Steph in TH. He is looking a lot like Hyde from That 70s Show and gets mixed reviews from fans.

Nikki says she is serving real man food and is actually out of peppers and onions when the judges arrive. She says this fact is making her nearly s**t her pants. That is not a valid substitute for peppers and onions, Nikki. She says a lot of New Yorkers were there – and I don’t believe her. She gets hit by Kahan for not having enough time to make her own sausage.

Dent thinks that if the game is anything like the chefs, it will be tough. He is actually prophetic here. He liked Rich’s burger. Fridge enjoyed Lisa and Dale. The fans seemed to enjoy Steph. Gale (not Gail) gives props to Dale. A random woman loved it all – I think she may be drunk already. Andrew awkwardly tosses a ball and Frodo runs a rugby plat.

Commercials – Bravo poll is who you want to play touch football with… in other words, who do you want to touch – Padma, Tom or yourself. I can already predict the answer.

Meat Locker of Doom. Lisa reminds us about the comment cards. Padma arrives in a smoking hot turtleneck. She calls for Steph, Dale and Antonia. Spike is seething. The winners give high fives. Steph is called on for being there yet again. Is it me or is this season shaping up to be a Steph vs. Rich battle? Tom tells her it was a great combo, but wanted different seasoning. Gail was hesitant about the rosemary. Seriously, Gail does NOT like rosemary, guys. Tom calls Antonia on his desire for it to be a big sandwich. She was concerned it would be “just a sandwich.” Gail reminds her about what tailgating food is all about. Dale is told that his was really tasty and had great complexity and flavor. He wins. He does a Michael Jordan fist pump and a Sammy Sosa kiss to the sky. He wins a Maynard jersey and the Mercedes of grills. When he returns, Lisa claps for him, so let’s home they get past everything.

The borrowed Survivor gong rings out as Nikki, Ryan and Frodo are facing the music. Nikki tries to say that while the judges didn’t get the whole dish, the fans loved it. She is reminded that the fans put her in the bottom three! Her excuse about time on the sausage is shot down with the revelation that Rich made his own sausage. Gail thinks she didn’t care much for the challenge and that the whole thing was dry. Kahan is unsure of the shrimp’s presence on the dish and suggested mixing them together, which probably would have been good. Tom says running out of food is inexcusable.

Ryan is hit by Tom for making a dessert in general, much less one that would not be at a tailgate party in a million years. Ryan rambles for a week and a half about a full dining experience, still not understanding the challenge. Of course, this is the guy that didn’t know what chicken piccata was. Gail reminds him that a poached pear with huckleberry sauce is out of left field. Ryan didn’t want the meal to be heavy. Again, dude. Tailgating. He adds that he wanted to be different and that ladies asked him for the recipe.

Frodo is told that the charcoal flavor was masked by the thick sauce. Frodo enjoyed the chowder but Tom thought it was coarse and should have been strained. Tom then goes off on him for not only being sloppy, but for tasting his chowder and then double dipping the spoon. Yikes! Samwise Gamgee would be horrified. It must have been bad as Padma is nodding along with Tom. Tom adds that Frodo was wearing more food on his apron. Ouch.

Antonia and Spike are hanging out as the losers come back and Frodo demands a beer. Nikki thinks she is doomed. Kahan criticizes Nikki on the store-bought sausage. She is a chef, not a purchaser in the supermarket. Tom thinks Ryan’s bread salad was the worst he has had in a long time. Kahan thinks he should have just made the chicken thigh into a sandwich. Gail simply puts that Ryan didn’t want to tailgate at a tailgating party. Tom reminds us that the problem wasn’t his use of a pear, as Steph used the same ingredient and was in the top three. Nikki is back in the locker asking Steph if she has seen Ryan before the judges because he is so long winded. Nikki, Steph keeps winning, obviously she has not seen Ryan. Ryan is pissed that he his in danger since Nikki ran out of food.

Tom thinks Frodo’s chowder was gritty and Gail thought he was lazy. Tom was so disgusted by the mess and the double dip that he almost walked away. Who will go home?

Commercials – Tom 50%, Padma 34% and yourself 16%. So we have 50% gay men and women watching, 34% straight men and lesbians and 16% that are watching in their basement with the door locked.

Tom tells Nikki that sausage is like a religion in Chicago. I would totally join that religion. We can worship to the Alter of Jimmy Dean. Ryan is hit for inappropriate food choices that weren’t even any good. Frodo is told you can’t make great food if you are sloppy.

Padma knifes Ryan who is tearful as a result. He shakes hands with the judges. He THs that he wanted to bring Ryan Scott tailgate food to the fans and he is proud of it. Ok. He tells the chefs that the competition humbles you because you learn that you are “not the s**t.” True that. He also says he cooks with his hands and his heart. That’s funny, I cook with my feet.

Next week – Pastry time, that should get ugly. Chefs go to an improve show where Steph has a long, hard log, someone is told to make sauce with tears and another guy makes a Polish sausage joke to Ted Allen. Let’s hope it was homemade.

Dishes:

Quickfire
Winner: Jen
– Shrimp & scallop beignets with fennel, avocado and pepper purees
Top three:
Steph
– Steamed mussels with cilantro vinaigrette and grilled bread
Richard – Grilled tuna sandwich with pickled vegetables

Others:
Andrew
– Rainbow trout with raspberry gastrique and peaches
Antonia – Miso glazed cod with sautéed Napa cabbage
Mark – not listed on website
Ryan – Lamb crepinette with piperade cilantro, pine nut puree and espelette
Lisa – Bacon cheeseburger with potato chips

Bottom Three:
Nikki
– Citrus marinated shrimp with Asian coleslaw
Spike – Charcuterie plate and tapas of clams
Dale – Roasted pork tenderloin with miso caramel sauce and pretzel crust

Elimination
Winner: Dale – Tandori pork ribs & potato salad with golden raisins, dried mango & turmeric
Top three:
Steph – Grilled pork tenderloin with pear, potato and bacon salad & rosemary vinaigrette
Antonia – Jerk chicken sandwich, with pickled onions, grilled pineapple and banana

Others:
Andrew
– Potato parsnip whip, chimichurri, crispy bacon and apple
Richard – Pate melt with spicy mayonnaise and pickled cucumber
Spike – Spicy fire wings and pineapple jicama slaw and apple cider
Lisa – Skirt steak with corncake and salsa verde
Jen – Chicken marinated with harissa & quinoa tabouli

Bottom three:
Nikki
– Sausage and Peppers, grilled shrimp with hot sauce and spiced cider
Mark – not listed on website
Loser:
Ryan
– Bread salad with marinated chicken, poached pear with brandy cocoa.

What body part do you cook with? Send your comments to Jeremy at jeremy@realityshack.com.


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