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Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 12 – The Colonel Would Be Ashamed

Papa Smurf – Umami Drumsticks and Thighs, Wings with Usukuchi and Grapeseed Oil – Emeril loves the leg. Tom says it is different. Puck jokes that he got no wings because Tom ate them all. Chang is angry that there wasn’t enough chicken for everyone. Puck agrees but points out the fact that he essentially sucked all the meat off his leg bone.

I know how that sentence sounds. And I don’t care.

Lizzie – Chicken with Coriander, Black Pepper and Brown Sugar Rub with Peach Cabbage Slaw – Can I listen to Lizzie say “slaw” all day long? Chang calls it shake and bake. Ouch. Vinny found it crispy, but Tom doesn’t understand why she boned it. I know how that sounded too. Tom raved about the salad, which coupled with the epic fails of the other chefs helped elevate what would normally have been a lower tier dish to the upper tier.

Josie – Chicken with Black Garlic, Cayenne, Thyme and Hot Sauce with Daikon Salad – Shook is taken aback by her “Southern style” chicken presented on a banana leaf. He would have sent her back to New England. HA! Puck found it to be oily and greasy. Beard said it wasn’t even hot. Bernstein had to put hers down.

Thumb – Chicken Cordon Bleu with Garlic Aioli and Lemon – Emeril has the blues as a result. Vinny asks again if Thumb was on Top Chef before, because if he was, how could he make CCFB. Guess what the F stood for in that? Shook laments that the LA chefs only made breasts and Puck makes a plastic surgery joke.

After Thumb presents his Cordon Bleu, OTV hysterically announces that “I made fried chicken!” And boy did he. OTV – Smoked Fried Chicken with Hot Sauce and Bleu Cheese – It is the only dish of the night that I want to attack. My mouth is watering just writing about it. Puck says it smells like BBQ. Bernstein loves the Buffalo flavors and Tom thinks the smoking was a great idea and that it had the most flavor of anything served so far.

Brooke – Dukkah-Crusted Chicken Breast with Wilted Escarole and Tomato Salad – In an amusing twist, the Animal guys blindside her by informing her that they both applied for jobs as line cooks with her. She is incredibly embarrassed and squeaks, “I didn’t hire you?” The Animal guys thank their luck after eating this chicken that they didn’t get the job. Puck wants to know why it was deboned. He then makes an awkward Apprentice joke. Tom said it was dried out.

They were all very drunk and the Judges Table will be the next day. I don’t know if that is why it was delayed, but in my mind it was because once the food was cleared, the heavy hitting chefs lined up shots and got rip-roaring drunk.

OTV, Papa Smurf and Lizzie make the top group – and basically it was OTV and the two who didn’t screw up the worst. Puck tells Lizzie that hers was fried well, not greasy and not really fried chicken. Papa’s was a good savory and sweet combo, but Puck tells him he wondered if Top Chef cut the budget because of the lack of chicken. But it’s moot because OTV’s was amazing and he wins the challenge.

Thumb, Brooke and Josie are facing the music. Brooke blames the time and that she got way too complicated. Tom calls her decision to chop up the chicken and serve only breast meat as her big error. Josie blames the fryer and the time. Chang says she served it in a pool of grease. Tom has finally had enough and tells her she always has time issues. She said she was wasting time, and he gave her a Yoda moment. And that…is why you fail. Thumb blames Europe for his lack of fried chicken knowledge and Tom hysterically reminds him that Puck is from Austria. Thumb tries to talk himself out of it – this was his style of fried chicken, his twist. Emeril said it wasn’t even good Cordon Bleu. Padma calls him a bullshitter. She’s right. But I’m still a little mad at her for last week. But keep making these jokes and looking as good as you did in the Quickfire, Padma, and I’ll forget about last week very soon.

Finally, the Josie Show gets cancelled. In the funniest non-OTV moment of the episode, Thumb tries to give her a hug and is completely denied and instead gets an awkward high five. OTV is happy to be rid of the Josie Laugh.

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