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Top Chef: New York, Episode 11 – There Are No Eels In Colorado


Previously – “All-Stars” came to compete. Jeff and Josie had a ceviche battle that wasn’t really ceviche. Jeff says wow. Carla wins a challenge. I know, that means Finn actually lost one. Jeff gets knifed.

Credits – Did they just add to the credits that the finale will be in New Orleans? Did I miss that previously? Speaking of the Big Easy a reader named Glynis pointed out that my little Heroes joke about Andoville was incorrect. The ingredient is “Andouille,” a type of sausage used in Cajun cooking. Three things – 1) thanks to Glynis for reading and for the correction; 2) I told you guys that I am not a skilled cook, and am a bumbling boob in the kitchen; and 3) my handwriting hasn’t changed since the 4th grade, and if anything, it has gotten even worse!

Daybreak in New York. Finn is discussing Jeff’s departure. He thinks that challenge broke Jeff. Finn feels rather lucky that he is still in the competition because he had a rare misstep last week. Fabio also says it was his first time on the bottom – not really sure if that is correct, he’s been on a couple of teams that have done poorly. He needs to win and says he wants to win for his wife. A couple of episodes ago he wanted to win for his mother. Pick one, Fabio. He talks with her on the Sidekick – it seems Fabio may be immune to the Top Chef Chats With Home Jinx – and asks about the restaurant. She says it’s fine and he jokes that he doesn’t want to come back and find it “burned to the ground” and that she has now opened a “hamburger shack in West Hollywood.” Hey, lay off Top Chef-related hamburger joints.

Speaking of Spike – did you see him and Richard win the Super Bowl Challenge on the NBC pre-game? They cooked Pittsburgh cuisine against Andrew and Antonia’s Phoenix food. With Jerome Bettis and Tiki Barber as judges, the deck was somewhat stacked for Spike and Richard, but they won and they actually won Super Bowl tickets! Wow. Maybe they hung out with Carla.

I could go for Spike’s Obama Burger right about now.

Anyway, Hosea talks about being the last American male chef standing. He’s also the tallest, non-European, hairless, girlfriend-cheater, dude from Colorado left standing. Any other useless classifications you want to cover? He wants to take the “Euros down.” We all know how well the dollar is doing against the Euro, right?

Carla is cutting the cheese – stop snickering – and says that now that she has somehow survived to the Top 6 that she will “gun for it” and is being underestimated.

Quickfire – Padma has brought two really cool things with her – a sexy, red, spaghetti-strap top. And Eric Ripert. As fans of the show know, Ripert is awesome and French. This episode will be dedicated to the Awesomeness of Eric Ripert and could just about double as an informercial for him and his restaurant, La Bernardin. I will say right now – I like Ripert, but I really didn’t care for this episode as a result.

Fabio says Ripert is a God in French cooking and Hosea breaks out his Barney Stinson by calling Ripert “legendary.” Padma says the competition plays into Ripert’s skills – technique and precision. They will have a three round fish filleting tournament.

Round One – Sardines. Carla comments on how they are “wee little fish.” They have five minutes to clean and butterfly the fish properly. Hosea says the bones are rather tiny and the meat very thin so if your knife slips, you’re ruined. Carla teases him that fish is supposed to be his thing. Hosea begins the episode’s second theme – Hosea Cooks Fish For A Living – by reminding us of that and puts the disclaimer that his restaurant doesn’t serve a lot of small fish.

Finn thinks the meat is very soft and hard to cut. Leah reminds us of her incredibly bad recent fish record. Carla’s hand is shaking like a junkie. Leah thinks she has torn hers up.

Ripert judges. Carla is first and she admits to having done badly. “Girl, it was so small and my hands were just shaking. You don’t have to say it. We all know what it is.” That was rather funny and quite endearing. Oh Carla, you are growing on me. Hootie Hoo!

Ripert tells Leah that she did hers on time, he tells Finn that his is very nice. Jamie admits to having never done this before. Fabio says that in Italy he was peeling sardines and chopping onions as a small child. Ripert likes his. Hosea cops to being disappointed in his performance. Ripert tells him that he was able to finish and that he didn’t do too badly.

Best job? Leah – much to her utter surprise. Also, Fabio. The worst job? Ripert jokes with Carla that she is looking at him like he’s guilty. Carla says you don’t have to explain how badly she did. Jamie is also cut from the next round.


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