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Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 10 – There’s No Place Like Home

This was one of those weeks where it really sucked to get knifed out of Top Chef. Similar to two weeks ago when Louis was ousted, no one did anything really wrong this week. A couple of small errors led to Bottom Three status, but even those dishes were good, or had some substantial elements of being good. And for a challenge where each chef had to dig deeply into their emotions to find the dish that they crave when they go home – it is at least a small consolation that something so personal was not completely mangled.

Getting right to the end – Cap is the one who made the biggest error, and so he is the one who takes the fall this week. He went down home and put together some country biscuits which reminded him of his days with his dad. The problem – the butter he used was too hot and the biscuits didn’t cook properly. They were raw in the middle. Cap did his best to cover it up – he put the gravy right on the biscuit and served jam on the side – but you can’t slip that past the likes of Tom and Emeril. And so Captain Vietnam falls a bit short of his goal.

I gave Cap some crap early this season due to his very quiet early edit, and then his clashes with the guest host during the Vietnam episode. However, he grew on me as the season progressed. Plus he was cool with the criticism and interacted with me on Twitter about it. He showed he had good humor about his involvement on the show – and as it went along, I began to find myself rooting for him.
Oh well – good luck, Cap. I now need to find a second favorite on the show, since Cmar still clearly has the top spot sewn up.

Hubert Keller joined Padma in greeting the chefs for this week’s Product Placement Quickfire Challenge. He’s a longtime friend of the show – and former Top Chef Masters contestant. Let’s be honest about one thing – I can never understand a word he is saying, so this may be a problem. With Final 9 immunity on the line – and ten grand from a certain donuts chain – the chefs have to make a dish which features coffee. Pretty straightforward. Cmar wants to win so she can replace her stuff which is “old, broken and kind of sad looking.” Never change, Cmar. Chung wants to win because she needs air conditioning in Vegas. Oh boy, that’s a valid point.

Nick has used coffee before and knows he has to balance it out with other flavors because coffee will overcome the entire dish. Carrie is trying to make a crepe in 30 minutes and is struggling. She will later give up the plan and improvise in the last five minutes. Cmar continues to doubt herself during Quickfires and is making a self-proclaimed weird dish. Huskey is making risotto. Silly, silly Huskey. Only BB is immune to the Risotto Curse. And speaking of odds-on favorite BB, she thinks Nick is her primary competition. Hmm. Game on, I guess.

I’d give you the dishes – but the Bravo website has elected not to post them. Not sure why.
Cap – Salmon. We get nothing from Padma or Q-bert.
Carrie – She turned it into custard. And Q-bert liked the crunch
Huskey – Risotto. Nothing.
Carlos – Spongecake. Q-bert says that was tough to do in 30 minutes.
Nick – More salmon. With a whole mess o’ coffee. Oops.
Chung – Tenderloin. Oh, they like it.
Cmar – Crepe. With bacon and coffee jam. She gets a double interesting from them.

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