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Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 3 – I’m Looking Forward to Having Your Kroppkaka

I complained about this during my Survivor column – why is Bravo putting a brand new episode on the day before Thanksgiving? I had to watch this episode after spending three bucks on Itunes – and view it on my laptop in the bathroom of my hotel room so as to not disturb my sleeping family. Thanks Bravo. Now I associate turkey dinner with hotel shampoo.

Because this was their Thanksgiving episode – thus the reason they chose not to skip it despite the holiday. I understand that, but still. Taking notes in the dark could lead to some very interesting translations in a moment.

That being said, I liked this episode. I dug the Tom vs. Emeril Thanksgiving dinner challenge – it was a cool idea and was probably a lot of fun for the chefs. I also very much liked the dumpling Quickfire challenge. And not just because I love dumplings and now have a goal to eat all of these new dumplings. It was cool to see how different regions of the world do a different take on stuff wrapped in noodle.
As for the show drama – well, it is hard to really get a sense of things with so many chefs left.

Seventeen chefs roaming the kitchen is a lot to keep track of for the viewer. So many of the personalities are either shunted to the background or remain overshadowed by the aggressiveness of Tesar, the insanity of the Real Housewife, and the familiarity of CJ and The Thumb. The big moment of drama came when CJ and the Thumb went to taste the Real Housewife’s soup and she went all crazy on them. The Thumb told her to calm down and called her “honey” and “sweetie” in the process. She went off on him – and correctly stated that if she were a man, he would call her chef.

Personally, I think The Thumb wouldn’t call a man “chef” either because that would put them on equal footing as him. And his ego just won’t accept that. His sexism may not be from his opinions on women – but his opinions on all non-Thumb people. Calling a female chef “honey” is just one way he exerts that dominance. The Real Housewife had every right to be offended there – we have learned through this show about how testosterone dominated the professional kitchens are in real life. Did she go overboard? Of course. That’s who she is. CJ merely wanted to taste the soup as he had assumed a leadership role and stuck his super long neck out for the team. However, his sheepish “I only wanted to taste it” moment was certainly worth dealing with the shouting.

Meanwhile, coming off her win last week, Yagi Bear had a rough episode. She lost track of time during the Quickfire and failed to plate her dish. With this in mind, and with her almost burned sauce last week, she may have overcompensated during the Elimination Challenge. Plus, she spent a lot of time helping others, as Josie pointed out to the judges. However, she failed to properly cook her potatoes as a result – they were in fact, raw. These were contrasted with Lizzie’s mashed potatoes on the other team – a simple dish that she correctly stated would send her home if she didn’t do it perfectly. She did and earned a top spot – losing to the Real Housewife’s CJ-tasted soup – while Yagi Bear fell to the bottom. Josie’s Quickfire win saved her skin as her uncooked turkey may have sent Dana Cowin and The Hat (see Top Chef: Masters recaps for that reference) to the hospital. Looks like I will only have the Real Housewife’s accent to worry about this year as Yagi Bear fell by the way. Judging by the lack of a challenge on Bravo’s website between JJ and Yagi Bear, it seems Last Chance Kitchen went the way of Survivor’s Redemption Island.

Last bit – Tesar called out Yagi Bear’s failure to taste her uncooked potatoes, and felt the wrath of CJ and the others. The Most Hated Chef in Dallas seems ready to become the Most Hated Chef on Bravo very soon.

Quickfire – Make the international dumplings. The chefs have to rush to the giant board and remove a magnet for each region for dumpling creation. CJ’s long reach enables him to land the pierogi, while Micah waited too long and got stuck with Kazakhstan – which he apparently think is as made up of a place as Oz, Narnia and Utah. Sorry – any state that gives Mitt Romney 75% of the vote has to be made up.

I refuse to talk about the product placement – however I will talk about what should have been the product placement – the skintight black leather pants worn by Padma. Thank you, Bravo. You can have your Kindles. The challenge is a good one – make a wrapper, stuffing and sauce. I always like when they test the chefs on simple foods and see what happens. The big things – Yagi fails to finish, and Brooke can’t find flour so she has a half-finished dumpling. How can they run out of flour in the Top Chef kitchen?

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