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Top Chef New York, Episode 8 – Butchering a Little Lamb, Little Lamb, Little Lamb


Personally, none of these sounded great, but I was most impressed with Jeff and Carla’s dishes. They just seemed like they transcended the challenge.

Hung did not care for Leah’s because it was too crunchy, Radhika’s because it was really just a can of pureed beans, and Jamie’s because it was wildly unimaginative. However, he did like Hosea’s for being a balanced dish, Finn’s for being tasty and something he would eat at 3:00 a.m., and Jeff’s for using his time very wisely. To my surprise, Finn wins the challenge. Hosea is pissed because he gave Finn the spam. Finn is cocky as usual.

Padma says that the Elimination Challenge is “back to basics.” They draw knives and divide into three groups – pig, lamb and chicken. The Nanny is upset for randomly drawing “the lovebirds,” Hosea and Leah who have their “own relationship.” The challenge is to make a seasonal meal based on the protein for a family-style lunch with dessert for 16 people each. Jamie is with Finn and she is not happy about it.

Commercials – Ricky Gervais on Inside the Actor’s Studio. Really funny guy, but not really a long list of performances, is it?

The Lamb Team plans their meal as Leah is seen suggesting that they take the leg off the bone and roll it. That will be important later on. Hosea says that he and Leah are on the same page with their cooking and that The Nanny won a past challenge by cooking lamb so it made sense for her to be responsible for it.

The Chicken Team is up next and the Jamie-Finn battle begins. Jamie says that you cannot roast a chicken and just put it on a plate as Finn is suggesting. Finn says he should be trusted as he has not made any “sh*t food” yet. He volunteers to make the mashed potatoes. Jamie says to him that this challenge is not just about him and Finn kind of laughs it off. Carla says that they went back and forth and she cannot create in that kind of energy.

Meanwhile, the Pork Team just chats about their actual menu a bit as Humorless Jeff rattles off ideas. Fabio has the best line of the night as he says this team decided to do “no Indian, no over-thinking and no Italian.” I think it is quite funny that Radhika and Fabio are known for making Indian and Italian food, while Jeff’s bugaboo is over-thinking.

At 11 p.m., Jamie is looking for Finn and asks Fabio if his “boyfriend is out back.” Jamie doesn’t think soup is a good idea and that the meal is too heavy. Finn doesn’t want to change anything and seems to call her a douchebag. She goes on about him having immunity, before she realizes she was insulted. Finn doesn’t even budge one bit and sits back to smoke in his Soviet T-Shirt.

At 5 .m., Jeff puts on socks and Fabio drinks coffee while admiring the view. Hosea is staring out into space and realizes that they need more in their meal and that it is not seasonal enough. The Nanny mocks him for being too nervous in her confessional, and she does so with some crazy looking hair going on. Leah and her wet head are all for Hosea’s plan. The Nanny laments that she is not being listened to.

They drive their Sequoia’s a long distance as The Nanny plays with the car sunroof. Fabio sees trees everywhere and knows that Whole Foods is not the destination. Jamie guesses it first; they are at Dan Barber’s restaurant – Blue Hills at Stone Barns in rural Westchester County. It is a non-profit farm that raises their own foods and serves them. Jamie is happy because that is her style of cooking.

Dan greets them with his farmers – Jack and Shannon Algiere and Craig Haney – and tells the chefs that this is a different kind of “whole foods.” Jamie and Hosea each comment that the menu must be changed and Hosea thinks this is the “quintessential” fresh food. Fabio says that while they will not have a wide selection to choose from, they will have very fresh ingredients.

The Pork team is shown around and Jeff finds some green tomatoes on the ground and has an idea to fry them up with some tomato jam in honor of his southern roots. The Lamb team meets their sheep and Hosea confesses that he works with ranchers out there in Colorado and helps the farmers herd the sheep as he talks about it.

The Pork Team meets the pigs and Fabio gets down with them. He says that they were born, raised and will be killed on this farm, but they deserve respect while they live. As a pig grunts he says, “what’s the matter with you?” Slowly but surely, Fabio is growing on me.

The Chicken Team meets their birds and Jamie worries if they will attack her. She was raised in New York City and so chicken coops are not familiar to her. Finn thinks the pressure is on to do well in this challenge.

In the Commercials, we see more of this scene as the chickens do indeed attack Jamie. Finn comments that with Jamie, Carla, Shannon and coop full of hens that he was the only male there. The only cock in the stall. He said it.


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