Top Chef S13:E11 Hammer Time Recap


Hi guys! Woo hoo Top Chef time! I love this show, let's see if the boyos can pull it together or if the wimmens will pull ahead.

The cheftestants are reviewing last week, nobody was particularly surprised to see Phillip go, that thick strawberry goo, guck. I wouldn't eat it with OneEyeCharlie's mouth. Amar knows he didn't do very well running the team, but his food also didn't stand out. He's been flying under the radar for weeks, after coming out strong right out of the gate. Break away from the pork belleh and chicken, Amar, this is your time to SHINE! You know, a little

Razzle Dazzle

Amar has been taking care of this mother and brother since his dad died several years ago; that's what drives him, that's what motivates his mojo.

The chefs are traveling through Oakland, we get to hear a bit about Marjorie. She grew up a couple of hours north of San Francisco and pretty much lived in the soup kitchen her parents ran. She was an adorable chubby kiddo, and I know it's my own body image issues talking right now, but for the love of BOB, Marjorie, wear a shirt that fits! Yay yer bewbs! know. Jersey isn't always our friend.

They get to downtown Oakland and who is waiting for them? MC Hammer! Woot! I know he will forever be rememebered as a one-hit-wonder, but that song is STILL awesome. I swear. Listen to it with your ears, and not your mind, which will be screaming ''turn off this hack and put on something that doesn't involve visions of Beiber's drop-crotch silkies!!'' But I digress. He's the guest judge for this Quickfire and Carl is EXCITED! Did you know that his handle came from someone who thought he looked like Reggie Jackson? It did!

The challenge is to come up with a rap name and create a dish that personifies that name. Allow me to say; they're reaching a wee bit here, hey? Must be getting punchy towards the end, like me 4 hours into a Vinyl recap.

Amar is making Chilean see bass to represent Satana (his last name) Lovah. He and I laugh and laugh and laugh


Aww, he's still hung up on ex-gf Joanna, this is the SECOND time he's mentioned her and this time he says he's going back to get her. She wanted more commitment than he thought he did, but the time is right. Ish. We'll see if she still kicking around waiting for this one to commit.

Jeremy says he's a little rock and rap (I call Classic Rock, all the way), dubbing himself Spicy J-Rock 305 and making halibut cheeks and there's a red Dungeness crab battle and I don't know what that means.


Kwame actually had a rap career for awhile in New York, but says he would give food away at his shows and I'm betting that was the draw. His name was a ROLLERCOASTER, I was so excited when he said Baelish, because I heard Petyr and I could not WAIT to tell Veronica!! KWAME IS USING A GAME OF THRONES NAME!! But actually, it was


Sad panda.

Karen is pretending her name doesn't refer to her bagina, but rather her coiffure


But we know better. Hot and sour soup means more Korean grub from our Pink Dragon

Awwww, Carl was gonna be Soigne Ploosh, which sounds like something that happens to your genitals on The Strain, but goes with Dr. Funky Fresh. Humph


Marjorie's rap moniker doesn't make any sense, but it makes her laugh, soo


Cue punching montage! She's worried because she has time left over, and yeah, that probably means she went too simple. Top Chef does not seem to like straightforward.

Isaac is making BBQ prawns with grits, something about 2 Legit but no screen cap yet

Pink Dragon's spicy soup is spicy:


Dr. Funky Fresh raps his intro and yeah


Santana Lovah's


Miss Punch-A-Lot's fried chicken sandwich sounds interesting (honey siracha?)


Isaac is Toup Legit to Quit and they need to quit putting grits on their fancy plates, looks like cat vomit


Spicy J-Rock 305's halibut cheeks look fine, but MC Hammer's body language seems to indicate otherwise


Baylish's food looks...simple and Padma talks Kwame into rapping; he has such a crush, hey??


Among Hammer's least favourite dishes is Satana Lovah's seabass; he wants more than just fish. He also didn't like Miss Punch-A-Lot's because the bread ate all the yum and calls Baylish out for not having enough Umph in his sauce.

The faves are Dr. Funky Fresh, Toups Legit and Pink Dragon. One chef stood out and that was Toups Legit, y'all! Isaac is doing great lately, and for sure will be staying innit another week, he has immunity. That's odd, actually, I don't know a lot of competition shows that continue to give out immunity when there are so few contestants left. Can you believe there are only 7??

For the elimination challenge, their guest judge will be Jonathan Waxman, who is a pioneer of California Cuisine, says Padma. Um. This guy doesn't look like sprouts and tofu?

Jonathan Waxman

But I love his face. Maybe because he looks like he's ready to laugh at any second? Like NOW. And NOW! He's carrying a globe filled with flags, their challenge is to choose and embody a time period and place with their food. There's the San Francisco Gold Rush, French Revolution, Viking Age, Empire of Japan and a few others. Ooooh I wanna see Isaac do a Viking meal!!

They draw knives, Isaac gets first pick and WOO HOO CALLED IT!! He's going to do Vikings!!

Yes h

Carl is going to Ancient Greece and will I ever be able to think of that without immediately picturing bathhouses full of nekkid dudes? Not today

Amar is doing the Paris, Marjorie Ancient India (hard pass), Kwame the Hong Dynasty (Karen booooos), Spicy J-Rock 305 is going...right here to San Fran but in the time of the gold rush, which seems about right for his middle of the road arse and Karen whines while taking the Empire of Japan. I'm super surprised nobody took the Italian Renaissance, The French Revlution or any of those other traditional ones. You know who would have rocked The French Revolution? Wesley. I miss his sloppy butt.

They get two hours for research, then 3 hours for cooking and serving the next day. They're headed to the library, and Karen is excited, she loves libraries. Not school so much, but she makes me laugh when she says she took a Women Studies course for her undergrad, that's where a queer lady might just meet OTHER queer ladies and that explains a LOT about the Women's Studies classes I attended. I was crashing a mixer, apparently! I don't care, it was an awesome class. Okay, now I have to tell this story, because I am super clueless and it ties in with queer ladies and my missing the entire point of a class.

TANGENT; READ AT ONE'S OWN PERIL: Years ago, I worked up north and let's just say; I partied a bit. I had just moved up there when a young woman named Tammy befriended me, she was super nice and I appreciated her relaxed vibe and friendliness. One day on the bus home from work, she insisted I hit up a bar with her that night. I was hungover AF, but not wanting to offend this lovely, friendly person who was a bit of an anomaly up north. Off we go, she won't let me spend any money, I meet her friends, we have a good night wherein I try to stay awake and she took great care of me. Time passed, she kept asking me to hang out again, but I was still adjusting to the schedule. One day I turned around on the stairs and happened to look down at her from above: crewcut, baggy jeans with a wallet on a chain, short-sleeved Hanes t-shirt, Doc Martens. How I never noticed that she dressed like James Dean OR the wallet chain I will never know. We were friends for ages and she was still one of the best dates I ever had.

Karen is researching the time period the Empire of Japan, and it's actually very interesting, that was when the Chinese influence started introducing noodle making, veering away from just rice.

Amar and his Belle Epoque era in Paris is all about the rich and luxurious food of the time: truffles, foie gras, wild game, all that along those lines.

Marjorie is not finding much on the Indus Valley in Ancient India (hard pass) and the librarian pulls out the Indian cookbook I have!!


Dinner and drinks time at the Tonga Room! They have the most ridiculously Girl Drink Drunk cocktails ever: TWO umbrellas, Carl? Two? Spicy J-Rock 305 spies a drum set and the whole gang jumps onnit, woo hoo!

Carl is doing a lot of seafood; I feel a little bad in that I wrote him off early on and he seems to be one of the ones getting better as time goes on, unlike Amar, who is fading into the background a bit. Have I mentioned that enough? Razzle Dazzle time, Amar!!

I am loving all of Marjorie's spices; she's making a curry blend and a paste and I am confused because she's putting it into a blender. Full disclosure: I make all my own curry blends and pastes and use whole spices and the fact that she's roasting cardamom pods is ?

Amar figures he has a large juicy target on him; only 120 years old and just the basis of all modern French cooking, no biggie, right?

Isaac is utilizing the advanced cooking technique of reading the back of a bag when you don't know how to cook different foods and I guess barley must have figured heavily around the time of the Vikings or he wouldn't have chosen that particular grain. But. How can he not have worked with barley? Pearl barley, pot barley, how do you make vegetable beef soup without it?? It is nice to see Bob's Red Mill is universal for over-priced grains! If Bob doesn't have it, you don't want it!

Kwame is only using 4 ingredients for his dish AND I AM SUDDENLY SO WORRIED ABOUT MY YOUNG CHEFTESTANT! Duck, eggplant, tea and sesame something are not giving me any confidence whatsoever.

Tom and Jonathan come in to see what's shaking, Amar gets a shoulder pat from Chef Waxman, but Karen is freaking him oot with her noodles. Kwame has fcuked up the main ingredient in his 4-ingredient dish, he's somehow managed to both burn AND undercook a duck in 16 minutes, Tom, Jonathan and I are concerned.

Marjorie is making bread, because of course she is, that MAY be why she's my favourite, but there are a lot of reasons, really. She keeps burning her prana, and nerves about serving Indian food to Padma may be throwing her off.

Jeremy isn't just gonna make a thick San Francisco chowder with oyster crackers, that isn't his style, man. He calls his soup a textured, velvety broth and I don't want to even imagine what that could mean.

At the judges table, Jonathan mentions again that he would have gone for the Italian Renaissance immediately, and someone says terducken *herk*, I'm guessing NOT one of the owners of a Michelin star. There are 10 at the table: eeeeeeee!!!

First up is Carl, and his tweezified plates, and I get NOTHING of Ancient Greece, maybe California-style Mediterranean? Ahhhh and the judges TELL THEM what they think? Right there while they're eating it? Whut? They like it, though


Then Marjorie with her Ancient Indian dish, which is well received, but for the bread. She just can't stop herself from making bread and THAT'S WHY I LURVE HER! I can't either!


Kwame is rotating his duck every 3-5 minutes; and he's super proud of himself with how they turned out. I am still worried.

Isaac and his venison do fairly well


Kwame and his duck are called beautiful and WHEW


Jeremy and his shellfish chowder do not go over well; Chef Waxman wants to know where all that delish crab in the back went??


Karen's soba noodles do not look great and are not well-received


I love Amar's dish and I don't care that it says sweetbreads, I want it all in my face. People say this dish is why they went to Culinary School! I am super happy for Amar, good job! Go get that Joanna!


Judging time! They're so excited about so many dishes, it's awesome to see. They were less excited about Jeremy's non-chowder and Marjorie's bad bread, but really disliked Karen's. I would be very disappointed if Karen went home. But then, it's that point where I don't want to lose ANYONE.

Kwame, Amar and Carl were the top dishes, and the winning chef is: Amar! Yay!!! That was a great meal; every time they show it, I wanna put it in my face again.

Karen, Marjorie and Jeremy are in the bottom: I don't want to lose anyone. But I could maybe stand to not have Jeremy there if I had to absolutely choose. Oh. And it's Karen. That's too bad, but I get it, she hugs everyone and maybe we all cry a little bit. It's hard to lose people at this point!!

See you next week where everyone comes back?? I don't understand, but I'm 'CITED!!