Of course, this week Top Chef featured the B-52s, because when I think about fine dining, I instantly think about the B-52s. And what better casting for a show airing in 2012 than a band that last hit it big during the first Bush Administration. People born the week that “Love Shack” was released are now old enough to drink. The entire U.S. Olympic gymnastics team was not even born yet. Derek Jeter was in middle school. Padma was a teenage model. Tom was working in NYC kitchens. Curtis was studying for midterms at some Melbourne junior high school. Taylor Swift, Jordin Sparks and Daniel Radcliffe were infants.
But, yes, the B-52s are here to judge food. I guess Wolfgang Puck will be showing up in The Voice later this year.
So, the eight remaining chefs file in and Stone twists the Mark Elimination Knife a bit for Clark, implying that Clark can now claim the win in household arguments. They are shown a giant salad bar with 52 ingredients and instructed to make a gourmet salad. The Hat comments about how deceptively difficult it is to make a salad – much less difficulty in tossing salad. Well, for some. Stone drops a hint as to who the guests will be when he tells them to make a salad “as big as a whale, and there’s 8 minutes to set sail.” Oh, Stone.
Yeo smartly runs to the pantry instead of the salad bar to focus on making her vinaigrette instead of slamming into everyone else at the bar. Art goes for the blender to mix up some fruit soup, which Clark thinks is a risk given the time. Um, it’s a blender. It blends really quickly, you know, to save time. Kerry again comments about how much he wants to win – as opposed to the others who blindly stumble around and accidentally win all of the challenges. Lorena is the one taking a real risk as she races over to the grill to heat up her cauliflower. She barely makes it back in time to plate her dish.
Stone joins Kate and Fred from the B-52s to eat the salads, and surprisingly, no one questions why two singers are going to judge their food.
The Hat – Baby Arugula, Beets & Blueberries with Rice Vinegar Dressing – Kate doesn’t like fruit in her salad, but she digs this. Fred begins his ongoing theme of bitching about the dressing.
Lorena – Grilled Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette, with Teardrop Tomatoes and Hearts of Palm – Kate sings about sad tomatoes before making yummy sounds and digging the saltiness of the dish.
Takashi – Romaine and Arugula with Beets and Pickled Radishes, with Yuzu Wine Vinaigrette – Fred wanted more dressing, and Kate commented on the tanginess. Stone likes the flavor and says it is a good salad.
Clark – Green Olives and Hearts of Palm with Mustard Vinaigrette – Kate loves the pretty presentation, and Fred is hung up on the tangy dressing.
Art – Tomato, Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad, with Balsamic Vinegar and a side of Watermelon Soup – Art calls this the Holy Trinity of Southern Food. I would agree, if it was fried. Fred bitches about the dressing, Kate likes it, but the soup is too sweet.
CC – Romaine Lettuce with Radish, Egg, and Soft Herbs – Kate thinks you can’t go wrong with radishes. Fraggles around the world agree. However, the salad is underdressed and a little bland. CC takes great umbrage with this.
Kerry – Salade Russe with Yogurt – Kate and Fred seem to both like the flavors a lot.
Yeo – Chopped Romaine and Chinese Noodles with Yuzu Dressing – Fred loves the “tacky” crispy noodles.
Kate and Fred are greeted with dancing and merriment from the chefs, and they give their top three salads, and none for the bottom. Lorena gave them a “tingling taste sensation.” There’s an ointment for that at your local CVS. The Hat’s fruit/veggie combo worked, and Kerry had a nice flavor combination. Lorena earns the win, the $15K for her charity to fight obesity, and the coveted immunity.
Elimination Challenge – Stone tells them that we all rely on the land for our ingredients, apparently forgetting about the existence of fish. An aside – The Existence of Fish will be my next punk band name. He brings in Louise Benson, part of the Tribal Council for the Hualapai Native American Tribe. No Jeff Probst to be found for the Tribal Council. She is inviting them to come to Arizona and cook a meal for the tribe using their native ingredients. Cool challenge.