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Top Chef: Seattle – Ep 11 – The Episode Where I Get Mad At Padma

It appears at this point that if the boys win that Josie would go, and if the girls won it would be Thumb. Boy were we wrong.

To sum up the grilling, Josie tries to save herself. Kish noticeably decides not to save herself. Thumb also fails to defend himself – saying he’s a chef, not a server. True, Thumb, but in this challenger, you were. Papa Smurf wins the challenge and the car – and perhaps one day we will see Urbano opening somewhere in Honolulu. Padma hilariously tells Thumb he is very lucky – the best part for me; I wrote “Stefan is very lucky” in my notes mere seconds before Padma said the exact same words!

And Kish falls on her sword, and somehow Josie is in the Top Six. In the website’s blog section, Tom makes it clear that if Kish had said what really happened, things would have been different. He regrets not asking Kish if she would have fired Josie – and I wonder if Kish would have actually spoken up in that case as well. Tom does point out that the fact that Kish chose to stand up for her concept and accept responsibility, regardless of the outcome, proves to him that she is ready to run a restaurant and be successful. High praise, indeed.

So, Kish is out, and I am sad for that, and for being mad at Padma. Things just don’t feel right.

LCK – …or is Kish out? She gets to battle CJ for the chance to stay alive. Tom let’s them select the parameters of the challenge based on various options – protein, cuisine, time, technique. CJ selects a 30 minute time, Kish takes snapper, CJ takes a smoking gun (guilty!), and Kish takes France.

My favorite parts – Tom pointing out that Kish may struggle due to her troubles in Quickfires. Kish comparing lighting the gun to lighting a bong. Man, she would be fun at a party. Tom approaching Kish to talk to her, and Kish bolting to check on something, “Gotta go, sorry.” And CJ following suit.

CJ – Brown Butter Snapper with Creamed Moret Mushrooms, Smoked Mashed Potatoes, and Ratatouille

Kish – Bouillabaisse of Snapper, Crème Fraiche, Smoked Butter, Fennel and Radish

Tom liked both dishes, but seemed to heap more praise on CJ. And to me, it seemed throughout the footage that CJ was doing better. However, in a surprise to me (again!), CJ’s streak ends and Kish takes over the title. I am hoping CJ wins the Save a Chef over Yagi Bear and leads to a potential rematch with Kish for the right to re-enter the competition.

Quickfire Hits
• Brooke said right away in the episode that Kish is not used to being in charge, and that proved to be her downfall. Josie also adds that Kish is used to serving a tasting menu for small groups, not leading something this large.
• Papa Smurf’s win is even more impressive when you realize that OTV and Thumb have never, ever cooked Filipino food before. That was good leadership, and a testament to the skills in the kitchen for the guys.
• I almost named the column – “Dried Mung Beans Are Aisle Six” – which I think may have actually been an episode title of The X-Files.
• Cute sequence – Brooke receives a drawing from her four-year-old and is brought to tears by the thought that her little one might be thinking that mommy has left for good.
• I can listen to Lizzie saying “lovely golden beets” all day long. In fact, someone make me that into a ringtone.
• How much did you love the burly dishwasher that the boys put to work doing food prep? I especially loved the later shot of him standing beside Papa Smurf looking totally invested in his sudden status as sous chef
• Also awesome…the death stare Kish gives Josie when she sees the sauce is not working and the gelatin was not added.
• Oh, and even though we are fighting, Padma, I must say that if you wear that skirt again, I will forget everything. Damn, I’m weak.
• Extra – For some reason, people learned about the outdoor kitchen and were allowed to come back and peep at the cooking. Because THAT’s not too distracting.

Next Week – Sushi is an art. We have fried chicken. This is not The Apprentice. And someone is a BSer.

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