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Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 9 – Monkeying Around With Pickles

OTV, Monkey, Kish, Lizzie and Brooke get called in. Brooke’s salmon gets praise from Puck, Tom gives kudos to Kish and OTV. The cash goes to Kish, who is really on a roll now.

Monkey blames his pots, but says there are no excuses. Puck calls him on that BS. He also says Lizzie shouldn’t have cooked bad scallops. But, the Season 10 twist – make CJ’s burger in 45 minutes. Monkey takes the pickles and dill, and Lizzie wants to “beat his bum.”

Monkey – Lamb Burger with Fried Egg and Spicy Pickle, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad – CC questioned the egg. Puck thought it could use moistness, and CC liked the flavorful salad.

Lizzie – Chicken Burger with Goat Cheese Ricotta and Dill Pickle Roasted Red Pepper Salad – Puck liked the meat’s flavor. CC liked the ricotta and goat cheese, but wanted a bit more salt.

Tom liked them both, but when the judges vote, it is unanimous. Lizzie survives. And now…NOW…at the end, Monkey takes the damn glasses off his forehead.

LCK – CJ and Monkey get to make whatever they want, but when they return from shopping, they are presented with a display of horrible, broken down pots and pans. They can only use these. Nice. I love how they have made the LCK some twist on the problem that led to the recent elimination. Brilliant. CJ’s strategy is to start getting his food ready and leave Monkey to pick the best of the bad pots. In fact, one of CJ’s breaks and he has to use it without a handle. CJ accidentally puts too much chili oil on his dish and is really worried.

CJ – Seared Diver Scallop, Foie Gras Dashi with Mango and Caviar – How ironic that scallops did in Monkey twice in this episode.

Monkey – Corn Veloute and Succotash with Roasted Lobster and Seared Foie Gras

Tom tells them that pans do matter, as both had searing issues. Tom thought CJ may have too much heat, and needed a bit more dashi. He found Monkey’s foie to be salty but with spot on flavors. CJ earns another win. He awaits the next challenge, as Monkey now winds up in a Twitter and text war with Yagi Bear to earn a spot in the final LCK challenge down the road.

Quickfire Hits
• How much cream do you think Thumb needs to use to cover the face, neck and giant bald head? Well, we almost saw it.
• I was a bit disturbed by OTV’s comparison of butchering a rabbit to that of a cat. That’s either the sign of a psychopath or of an offensive Asian stereotype.
• Micah – “For some reason, breaking down bunnies is a very sad moment for me.” Breaking Down Bunnies. The new show about meth and roadkill.
• How could Season 2’s moment not be the attempted Marcel head shaving? Granted, not sure how that becomes a meal, but still.
• So, Monkey is a character in Bourdain’s famous novel, “Kitchen Confidential.” Jimmy Sears. I think I would have been happier to have had that remain Primary Colors-like and anonymous. Some things are better left to the imagination – and obnoxious book characters do not need to have their obnoxious real-life inspiration revealed.
• Although, if he did introduce Bourdain to Eric Ripert, then he has done the world a great favor.
• Smart move by Kish to stay with the pot pie, but use a puff pastry and serve a smaller portion to account for the healthy part. It is really hard to make pot pie as a healthy dish and not completely alter it.
• If Josie’s job is to help people cook and eat a healthy lifestyle, shouldn’t she have won this challenge?
• Loved Padma remembering the Standing O for Voltaggio in Season 6, and Tom correctly remembering Padma’s immense hotness at that military base. I guarantee each of those airmen would trade that bacon for just a few moments of Padma’s time.
• Brooke upon meeting the table of judges, “Hi…intimidating group of people…”
• Extra – Tom recalls a great Paul dish last year as memorable. CC goes for the awesome early boot of the bad butcher last season. Puck likes Bearded Kevin in his entirety. Padma goes with Puck tossing a donut.

Next Week – Restaurant Wars and an offensive matzo ball.

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