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Top Chef Seattle – Ep 10 – You Can’t Fake Soul

The other super amazing part of this episode happened for about two or three seconds on screen. It was prompted by the existence of our guest judge for the Elimination – Danny Meyer, world famous restaurateur, and partner for Tom when they opened Gramercy Tavern. What we got…a photo of young Tom cooking. What’s so special about that you say? We have seen Tom cook on the show before, right? But not – TOM WITH HAIR!!!! Thank you show – that was work every second of “The Josie Show.”

Quickfire – We have a product placement challenge for Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Even Dr. Sam Beckett loves it. Puck and Padma are there to judge a 15 minute challenge where chefs have to use ginger as their main ingredient. The Thumb is super excited as he loves ginger.

Brooke is going for squid because it cooks quickly, while Kish is using a pressure canister to infuse the soda into her dish. Papa Smurf is making a stir fry, and even I realize that is a way-too-safe dish. Although he does make up for lack of imagination with excess fire. The Thumb is making a tuna tartare – a quick dish, and one that Puck has on his menu. The best part however, Josie and OTV collide and almost provide high comedy.

OTV – White Chocolate & Ginger Soup with Peaches and Tarragon – Puck noticed restraint on the ginger.

Josie – Seared Scallop with Ginger-Honey Yogurt and Miso-Ginger Sauce – Puck liked how the scallop was cooked.

Brooke – Ginger-Caramel Squid with Fresh Lime and Chili Powder – Ginger. Caramel. Squid. Really? Well, Puck found it inventive and was surprised how well the sweetness went with the ginger.

Lizzie – Watermelon and Ginger Soup with Fresh Mint – Puck felt it was a nice soup for a hot summer’s day.

Micah – Ginger Shrimp Salad with Radish, Plum, Ponzu Vinaigrette and Fried Crispy Ginger – Foreshadowing his defeat, Micah sure has a lot going on with this plate. Padma liked the plum, though.

Kish – Fennel-Ginger Salad with Brie and Tomatoes – Puck liked her prep idea.

Papa Smurf – Wok Fried Ginger Skirt Steak with Ginger and Oranges – Puck liked the flavor, despite some extra sweetness.

Thumb – Ahi Tuna with Lemongrass and Ginger Vinaigrette – Puck found it to be nicely delicate. Then the two of them spoke German to each other – despite neither being German.

On the Bottom, Papa Smurf and OTV. Papa had “pedestrian Chinese food” and OTV had “underwhelming ginger.” I prefer overwhelming gingers. Puck was noticeably more biting with his criticism than his attitude while eating showed. Meanwhile, on the Top, Brooke and her inventive, creative dish; The Thumb for his wonderful, simple California dish; and Lizzie for a simple and well made dish. Brooke gets the win, as her dish is menu-ready for Puck.

Elimination – Winner of 25 James Beard Awards Danny Meyer joins them and the chefs all go giddy. We already know about the concept – the will serve it to the Bite of Seattle gathering of chefs. They must make 200 portions, and Danny reminds them they should use their heart and soul, and don’t forget, that you can’t fake soul. Although, if you could, I’m sure Meg Ryan could do it. $10,000 each for the two winners, and the chefs will get four sous chefs to help – The Real Housewife, Camba, Eliza and Yagi Bear. The judges will be Tom, Danny, Padma and Gail.

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