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Top Chef: New York, Semi-Finals Recap – The Euro Alliance Cracks


Previously on Top Chef – It was in New York. Finn was getting cocky. Tom didn’t want to be embarrassed. A bad Last Supper set. Fabio broke his finger and then won the challenge. Leah got knifed….or did she?

Credits – Hey, it’s in New Orleans now!

Gumbo. Steamboats. New Orleans! I can’t avoid remembering Marge Simpson in Oh! Streetcar! For those that don’t realize it, these last two episodes were filmed after some of the episodes aired, so they have already seen their portrayal to an extent. Hosea is excited to be in the Big Easy and studied up on his Cajun cooking. Fabio is on a mission – if it is from God, we never find out. He is also wearing a terrible pink scarf and has developed a fauxhawk. It’s not Top Chef without a fauxhawk.

Carla does an excited dance in the airport and she too has altered her hair – and it looks great. Hosea and Finn only wish they could change their hair. Carla hopes for a second straight female win. She is proud of herself and is from the south, and food in New Orleans is full of heart and soul which is right down her alley. Finn is a great chef and wants to be number one. When he meets up with the boys in the airport he teases Hosea, “Did you learn how to cook?” Carla loves the culture in New Orleans and points out the European influences (nice cut to Fabio) and African-American styles. Finn has apparently brought a “suitcase full of gumbo” and a gangsta hat.

Houmas House Plantation. Emeril Lagasse is there. BAM! OK, now that is out of the way. There are three tables set up and Carla fears that one of them will be eliminated before the Quickfire. Padma introduces Emeril as the King of Creole and he talks about the rebirth of New Orleans and how the food is just incredible.

Quickfire – Padma tells the Final Four to relax and enjoy the Southern hospitality. They are understandably confused. Fabio likes this start. Immediately I think that Padma, Tom and Emeril are going to cook – poor Padma would get her gorgeous behind kicked. Speaking of kicks, have I ever mentioned that the “jeans in the boots” is one of my favorite looks on a woman? All she needs is the baseball cap with the ponytail sticking out of the side and I will be reduced to jelly.

However, it is not those three, but Leah, Jamie and Jeff that are going to compete. Top Chef is doing their Outcast twist. Leah – who has cleaned up really nicely – knows something is up. Tom says that the season was so close that in the spirit of rebirth, one of the three will have a chance to get back into the competition. Jamie – also cleaned up REAL nicely – has her head spinning. Fabio does NOT like this twist. Hosea sees that Leah is there – awkward.

The Outcasts have one hour to cook a dish with crawfish – said crawfish are crawling all over the place like a scene out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Gumbo. Leah has never used this critter, so she is off to a rough start. Jeff is nervous to be doing crawfish for Emeril and is looking for redemption for being eliminated on the not-ceviche. He is focusing on one dish and jokes that there are always two Jeffs talking in his head.

Finn comments to the others on Leah – “She never knew what she was making, she won a couple of them, let me tell you something, Leah is a good chef.” Finn is not a bad guy – just someone with way too much of an opinion of himself. Ten minutes left and Jamie feels good. Five minutes and Padma is on the veranda. Time.

Leah – Crawfish Soup with Andouille Sausage – Hey, Andouille, I know what that is now. Thanks for bringing that back Top Chef! She put crawfish in the stock and blended it. Padma thinks it is spicy.

Jeff – Crawfish and Grits with Andouille and Beer – OK, Andouille again. Thanks again, guys, but I only needed it once. Jeff tells Tom that it is not slimy – again, get over the ceviche incident, Blondie. He comments about the judges’ poker faces.

Jamie – Corn Cake, Greens, Poached Egg with Tasso, Andouille and Crawfish Cream Sauce. OK, I get it. Andouille. Did the producers and chefs read my article and see my mistake a couple of weeks ago? Also, do you think Jamie put enough things in her dish?

Emeril is about to reveal the winner and then he Seacrests us into a commercial break!

Commercials – That supermodel show just used the words “Raw Glambition.” That show is dead to me.

Back to Emeril Seacrest. Jeff wins. Wow, I thought it would be Jamie. Her dish just looked really, really good. Jeff is raring to go as he hears from Padma that in order to make the Finale, Jeff must win this challenge. Otherwise, he is out. Sort of like the Amazing Race non-elimination rules from a couple of seasons ago. Actually, exactly like that. Finn is not too worried, but knows that Jeff can make Southern food. Jeff also gets Emeril’s book. All five of them will also be going to Emeril’s restaurant for dinner. Fabio play tackles Jeff. That was fun.


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