Previously on Top Chef – Gail is getting married to a guy named Jeremy. NY Daniel made secret mushrooms. There was disastrous New School Sushi. Padma and Gail showed a LOT of cleavage. The Nanny won, Jamie just missed again. NY Daniel takes his cheesy act home.
Credits – Did you notice that Tank Top Woman from Episode 1 didn’t even get in the opening credits? Probably because she never even got her apron.
NYC – weird piano music. The Nanny got up without her alarm because she feels great after winning the last two challenges. She pours coffee and says she is just going to make the food that she does well. Like the aforementioned deviled eggs…but that is later.
Eugene thinks he dodged a bullet and wow, dude is covered in tattoos as we see his legs close up for the first time. Man, he is like the guy from Prison Break. I wonder if it’s a map of Tom Colicchio’s restaurant or something. He wants to use his strength – Pacific Rim cooking – and is proud that he has no culinary school background and started “at the bottom as a dishwasher.” And he should be, but as a result, I doubt he is long for this competition.
Fabio laments about having his Patagonian Toothfish deemed boring. He and Finn have a joint interview when they talk about being called the Euros. Does that mean that they are worth more than Americans – just as the Euro is worth more than the dollar? Finn makes some strange story about having either Tom or Padma’s shoe in an unwanted place. Strange because it makes no sense and because Finn did well in the bridal shower challenge. He does cut an incredibly funny face in a watermelon as he talks about this and Fabio thinks the melon looks like Finn because of the hair issue. Stop growing on me, guys.
Hosea is working the product placement as he chats with his sister on a Sidekick. I am now officially worried for Hosea’s future this episode because the chats with home are almost as much of a doomsday on this show as making dessert. We learn that his dad has cancer and as I have said before, I don’t mock these things. As someone who has lost many loved ones to cancer, I send my best to Hosea and family. He says that the competition is “the light in his life, because it is dark back home.” Word.
The kitchen is decorated festively. Almost as if it is Christmas in summertime – since that is when they filmed it. Hosea makes note of the decorations. Padma is there in her glory – and her blue blouse and jeans. Sigh. She tells them that as folks are watching this episode they are dealing with holiday planning and “mountains of pots and pans.” The Quickfire Challenge is to make a holiday meal in one pot.
Radhika says she uses “about 10 cooking vessels” when she cooks. Cooking vessels? Does that make her the captain? Her head is spinning.
In walks the guest judge for the Quickfire – some up and coming woman named Martha something. Holy crap – it’s Martha Stewart slumming on a basic cable reality show! Almost as if she has to pay for legal bills or something. The chefs are understandably awed – or perhaps afraid that she may rip their heads off. Fabio mutters “no” in disbelief and Radhika gives an “oh my God.” The Nanny recaps the scene for us and then amazingly starts to give us Martha’s bio – because none of us have ever heard of her! She reminds us of Martha’s Jersey roots. Leah thinks Martha is “bad ass.” She is quite right.
Martha quotes Einstein about how you should make things simple, but not too simple. Did Einstein say that? Not that I question Martha Stewart or anything because I fear that she may track me down. They have 45 minutes to cook.
Chopping, running and freaking out. They all make a beeline for the fridge. Jamie has found some sea scallops that look good. Jamie is really talented, but she makes a lot of scallops and liquids. Hosea wants some sausage because he is making paella. Yummy – I love paella. He used to cook at a Spanish restaurant and cautions about the rice needing to be perfect. Somewhere Lisa is nodding about the complexities of rice. Watch out that no one sabotages your rice, Hosea.
More chopping and pouring. Jeff describes that you can do this challenge two ways – do it all in one pot like Hosea is, or cook something and dump it out into a bowl and cook something else. He is thinking “out of the box” and making potato risotto. I can’t think of risotto without thinking of Seinfeld – I felt full after the risotto.
The Nanny is making cauliflower puree. I have to say it because my son always says this – Bon Jour Cauliflower! That is a really long story that to tell the truth doesn’t really make any sense anyway. She thinks this a good kid dish because it tastes like mashed potatoes but is really a veggie.
Jamie and The Nanny seem to have a mini alliance working. They work next to each other and give each other advice. The Nanny tells Jamie that her sage is delicious. Jamie says that The Nanny is “simple, classic American” in her cooking but Jamie takes more risks and is more innovative. Especially if referring to scallops and liquids.
Fabio tells us that when he was six he was evil, a bad boy. His grandma would keep him in line by making him stir the polenta for her. That works? He is tainting his polenta with mushrooms and will be adding a seared duck breast.
Eugene is making comfort food and is also playing the grandma card. This is pork stew, but since his grandma was Korean he is going with an appropriate recipe. However, he admits that because the stew will need more time to reduce than he has, he has thus added corn starch to thicken it. My wife immediately chimed in here that this was going to be a big mistake.
Jumping, running, panicking. Melissa is worried that Martha is going to be a tough judge. You think?
Commercials – The first of about 800 Real Housewives ads pops up.