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

During prep, Tom comes to visit and jokes that he expected The Thumb to go for a Finnish themed restaurant. Yummy – all spiced meats and potatoes. Instead, he is going with a bizarre Thai-German combo. Brooke shows that she has immunity by going with “Unkosher” – which is Jewish food gone awry, like Challah Ham Sandwiches. You’re welcome to the portion of the population watching who was utterly offended by this concept. Gail later would call her matzo ball “offensive to (Gail’s) people.”

OTV – Bistro George – Seared Eye of Rib Eye with Cauliflower Puree and Mushroom Red Wine Sauce – Padma likes how it looked, while Gail liked the taste. Danny liked the mushrooms, but felt it was lacking in seasoning. Tom found it comfortable and earthy, which was exactly what OTV was going for in his concept to honor his father.

Lizzie – Mia Filino – Mustard Green Canederli with Fonduta and Crispy Speck – I think many of these are not actually words. Her concept comes from a trip to north Italy and the cuisine she had which borrowed from Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Croatian styles. Danny called it a classic recipe, but one hard to execute. Tom said the flavors were great, but it was too heavy. Gail said it felt like there was a big slice of American cheese on top of it. While she went to the bottom, the muted praise she got made me think from the start that she would be safe.

Papa Smurf – Urbano – Sour Tamarind Soup with Pork Belly, Shrimp and Snapper – Padma said it looked interesting – which was kind for, the dish looked ugly, but tasted good. Danny said it makes you have to sit up straight. Padma said that while it was not pretty, it was authentic and elegant. As Gail points out, that’s the concept.

The Thumb – Bangkok via Munich – Thai Lobster Bisque with Shrimp Dumplings, Potatoes and Radishes and Bavarian Cream Mango Lollipop – Padma calls him on his Season 5 flashback – the lollipop is from the finale. Gail likes the coconut milk, but wanted more herbs. Danny didn’t think the dessert helped at all, as it took away from the impact of the nice soup. Tom said the idea was ok, but it didn’t show it.

Micah – Raw – Salmon, Snapper, Himachi, Squid, Scallop & Mackerel with Raw Vegetables – For some reason, Micah says his inspiration for the dish was cooking for rich Beverly Hills ladies watching their figures. That didn’t go over well with the judges. Tom suggests that if this was cut to order it may have worked, but the pre-cut fish was too much. Gail wanted more egg yolk, and Danny says the line I referred to at the beginning, that if you are going to do raw fish, it had better be better than sushi.

Kish – Atclier Kwan – Onsen Egg with Camembert Mustard Sauce and Buttered Radishes – She wants an upscale dining restaurant. And the judges are thrilled with that choice. Danny thinks the radishes are wonderful. Gail said it was a perfect egg. Tom thinks the whole thing was nicely done. Gail was very impressed that while everyone else was going for rustic, home-style kinds of restaurants, Kish was all for the formality of things.
Brooke – Unkosher – Matzo Ball So
up with Duck Confit and Toasted Black Rye Bread
– Gail said the broth was good, but the ball was offensive to her people. Tom says that if Brooke used the rye bread to make the ball it would have been better.

Josie – Home 305 – Puerco Asado, Black Bean Chorizo Croquette, Pickles and Mojo Sauce – Gail said the pork was dried out and flavorless. Tom said the dish was both soggy and dry at the same time. Danny said you need to cook this kind of dish better than the customer could at home.

The judges say they liked The Thumb (not enough German), Micah (many problems), and Josie (inedible pork) the least. But as it turns out, they went a different way with the bottom three.

As already said, Kish, OTV and Papa Smurf went to the top. OTV had a nicely seared bit of meat, Kish’s dish was tops for Tom since you really can’t go wrong with cheese, butter, salt and a runny egg. And Papa Smurf’s, according to Danny, “I was jarred with the first sip of soup because it was so sour.” A lot of alliteration leaving the lean leader of lovely leateries. (Ok, sue me for the last word).

On the bottom, Micah, Lizzie and Josie. Kish is nervous as two out of three of the bottom were selected for her team. She goes out for a smoke (sadly, the first unattractive thing about her this season). Gail tells Micah there was too many fishes on the plate and the flavors were muted as a result. Tom tells him he would rather have one perfect fish than this kind of pu pu platter. Or is poo poo platter more appropriate? Sorry. That one was really bad.

Lizzie’s problem was execution and the heaviness of her dish. Danny tells Josie that when he stabbed the pork with his fork, the fork fought back. Gail said it was so bland, she only tasted grease. Tom said the Josie Show had to stop and that the result of the sloppiness is a sloppy dish mushy under vinegar.

Micah gets eliminated, and Restaurant Wars will commence next week with men vs. women as it turns out, and the men at a roster disadvantage.

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