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Top Chef: New Orleans – Ep 11 – Sandbagging On Campus

Justin will not have to worry about this because he has finally been knifed. After four consecutive bottom finishes, he finally gets the axe thanks to Carrie’s immunity. He lasted longer than the other local chef that came aboard thanks to Padma’s online show to select the final two chefs, but neither really seemed as if they were ever going to be a true threat to the others. He leaves the show, and enters LCK against reigning champ Louis, and becomes the latest to fail. It is interesting that in the history of LCK, it is defined by runs and not a lot of one and done champs. Most of the reigning champs held the title for a while before relinquishing or re-entering.

Quickfire Challenge – Questlove, from The Roots and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, is the guest, and who knew he also was a restaurateur? I didn’t. Does he slow jam the specials? The challenge is to make drumsticks for him – with several different birds’ legs left out for chefs to grab. The chefs slam into the table sending bird limbs flying as they all grab their proteins. Nick actually helps Chung up – and she promptly takes the meat he wanted. No good deed goes unpunished in reality TV.

Cmar has turkey legs and is making them Fred Flintstone style. BB is going for spicy, Carrie is making hard to cook squab, Nick is making his frog leg recipe for quail, Justin is French filleting chicken, Huskey is making stew, and Carlos has shrinking goose.

Padma and her sexy striped dress join Questlove to judge.
CarrieSquab legs Questlove is “not mad at this at all.”
HuskeyChicken Soup Gets an “interesting.”
ChungCrispy Duck Legs Very nice.
BBGuinea hen legs Spicy.
CmarTurkey Legs the size is noticed.
NickQuail legs admits to not wanting the quail.
JustinChicken legs Just a thank you.
CarlosGoose legs Because he hacked at the bone because the goose meat shrank, Padma got some bone. And I just amused and excited myself with that sentence.

On the bottom – Nick’s salty quail, Justin’s uncreative chicken and Carlos’ bony goose. On the top – Carrie’s just right squab and fig jam, BB’s perfectly cooked sticks, and Huskey’s unexpectedly good fried drumstick stew. Carrie earns the win, and as a result, saves herself in the competition.

Elimination Challenge – go to LSU and cook for 500 freshmen. The prize is a car and the obstacle is living in the dorms. If it was anything like me, that room would have been a pig sty in about 5 minutes. Huskey also seemed to share in my experience of fully living out the dream in dorm life. Although I didn’t put my arm through a window and get 110 stitches. I did get about eight on my chin in a fraternity house, wet floor/drunk boy incident.

They all claim work stations and ingredients. Nick is making a gigantic vat o’ grits. Chung is being creative with the pizza station oven. Justin refuses to cook down to the students – this being his huge mistake. Never think more of college freshman – they will always underperform to your expectations. Cmar is using “non-traditional” cheese for her sandwiches – uh oh. Double uh oh – she’s placing the sandwiches in the soup. Hello soggy bread. Carrie is going healthy to avoid her experience in college of the Freshman 20. Big mistake.

ChungRoast Beef Padma likes the relish, and Gail says the meat was cooked well.
BBFried Chicken Not much flavor going on.
HuskeyShrimp cakes Gail likes the big pieces of shrimp.
NickRoasted Pork and Grits The bacon makes it work.
CarrieBroccoli Salad Padma is happy for the veggie option, but Gail says that to do so means you have to do more with it.
JustinMarinated Gulf Shrimp t leaves a weird taste in their mouths.
CmarTomato Soup and Cheese Sandwiches Tom likes it, but not the bread in the bowl.
CarlosSeared Tilapia Service is very slow, and he calls out Nick here. Tom thinks the food was good despite the wait.

Judges were impressed with Huskey’s cake, Chung’s oven usage and Carlos’ dish despite the oven madness. They didn’t like the sloppy soup, Justin’s garlicky puree and the breading falling off of BB’s. Carrie would have been on the bottom if not for immunity.

Chung, Carlos and Huskey are the Winners’ Bracket. Carlos doesn’t explain the ovens, but is given a nicely cooked analysis of his food. Emeril says Huskey’s spinach made the dish and the students loved it. But Chung’s oven creativity and perfect cherry tomatoes won the day, and the car.

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