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Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 6 – Aranchiphobia

So the chefs have to take these parameters and make Halloween themed dishes. Carrie/Cmar are making things with a black theme. Big Easy Mike is making fried olive eyeballs – Nina thinks it is a bad idea, as it is an amateur dish. She worries he will drag her down. Carlos/Cap are using Dia De Los Muertos as an idea – where you cook things the deceased used to love. Nick/Vega are using autumn, not spookiness, as their inspiration.

Justin is making bloody veins – red pasta. How did he get it red? Beets. Hmmm. Now that’s risky. Nina and Nick are each making gnocchi – and Nick gets spooked and changes things around. Clearly the chefs all believe Nina is a major threat. He is now making a butternut squash cannoli – interesting. Huskey/Bene decide to make two salads with a – I kid you not – “spooky spa cuisine” theme. What a horrible idea. What I know of vegans is that they want you to believe that the eat a lot more than just salads.

The judges arrive – Padma in a giant feather cap, Lea as a cat, Monobrow as Prince Charming, and Tom as the Great Gatsby. Later on Andy Cohen shows up at Gatsby too and in the Extra Scene, the two have an odd Gatsby Showdown.

Carrie/Cmar Tom found it very flavorful and had a great look. Carrie made a mushroom dish, and Cmar a leek dish.

Nick/Vega Monobrow was confused by the theme, but seemed to like Nick’s cannoli and Vega’s lemon Aranchi. The chefs would need to start getting used to aranchi.

Huskey/Bene The salads. Lea found Huskey’s quinoa salad heavy, while Tom didn’t think Bene’s heirloom tomato salad was seasoned enough.

Nina/Big Easy Mike Tom found Nina’s Ricotta Candy Corn gnocchi to be perfect. He also found BE Mike’s yellow aranchi to be really sweet, and Lea said it tasted like canned sauce.

Cap/Carlos Padma found both spicy, in a good way. That included Cap’s “angel” of a veggie ceviche and Carlos’ “devil” of a cheese fondue.

Louis/Chung Tom liked his quinoa severed thumb idea. Very creative. Her “worm salad” noodles had a perfect veggie acidity, according to Glee.

Justin/Sara Lea gives him some grief for the beets , but as he pointed out, she didn’t spit it out. Her Moroccan Aranchi seemed to be a more preferable one to Big Easy Mike’s.

In the Stew Room, Nina gives Big Easy Mike some grief, saying that he mailed it in because he was teamed with her. He disagrees. The Big Brother screen comes on and we learn Lea loved Vega’s risotto ball. Nick’s cannoli was also rather good. Tom, and even Lea, liked Justin’s beet pasta. Kudos for the risk, Justin. Carlos and Cap’s got raves from Padma.

Meanwhile, Monobrow loved Nina’s and hated Big Easy Mike’s. Lea said they did not work well as a team. The judges all hated Huskey and Bene’s salad pairing.

The winners are Nick, Vega, Carlos and Travis. Padma said that their smiles make it clear they know they are the winners. Um, does she know about the Big Brother screen? Lea would eat Cap’s ceviche every day. Sorry, Lea, Cap only digs Vietnamese men. He says that his part of Colorado had lots of Latinos so he and Carlos meshed very well on this dish. They sure did – they win the challenge.

The losers are Nina, Big Easy Mike, Huskey and Bene. Clearly, Nina is going to be safe – all they can ding her on is not being more aggressive in reining in Michael. It is clear that this is not really a contest – Big Easy Mike is doomed with his dry, sweet and amateur dish.

So, just to fill you in. Big Easy Mike went into LCK and faced the winner of the Five-Way battle of the first five boots. The men all lost to Booth. And so did this man. Booth remains the LCK champion, with a perfect risotto, and the first FIVE eliminated chefs are all men. Is this Top Chef? Could there really be two consecutive female winners in our future?

Quickfire hits

• Big Easy Mike got laid while dressed as a pregnant nun at a costume party once. Ah, New Orleans. Stay classy.
• The paired up chef interviews made me think of “When Harry Met Sally.”
• Strange interlude with the haunted nursing home behind the house. Not sure what to make of that.
• Also not sure about Chung’s description of Louis and his “twinkle in his dimples.”
• Big Easy Mike enjoys calling women Boo Boo. I call my seven-year-old Boo Boo. I don’t even want to know about the women that got turned on by the pregnant nun costume and the Boo Boo calling.
• And we will NOT be asking follow up questions about Cap’s slutty Santa costume.
• Loved Padma turning to Prince Charming Monobrow for his opinion, “What do we think about this, Your Highness?” HA!

Next week – Cmar is intimidated by John Besh. And there may be trampling by baby squash.

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