Good day all, how is your weekend? Mine is lovely, especially now that I am finally delving into Top Chef in all it's glory. I had a Top Chef dream even last night! Well, Tom Colicchio walking around innit anyway, no idea where that came from. Let's roll Shrimp Boats and Hat Ladies!
Sylva Senat is the only rookie left and don't think the rest of the Top Six are letting him forget it, either. He's finally feeling happy, the arson at his very first restaurant that never was sent him into depression but now he's feeling unstoppable and able to express himself. He'll probably be gone today, yes?
Tom Colicchio (hay Tom hay!) interrupts the cheftestants' chatfest; Casey is put off immediately: WE DON'T GETTA GO IN YOUR SPACE! GET OUTTA OUR SPACE!!
But he comes bearing good news: there's a treat tomorrow! Brooke Williamson does not consider going on a boat a treat; she has a major vomit phobia and the two can go hand in hand, like when you consider Shirley Chung's motion sickness. Wait: Brooke has a kiddo; that completely cures you of all bodily fluid phobias through a technique experts call "flooding" or parents call "cold and flu season."
The next morning, we're off to the water! Sheldon's got on his best Luau gear! They're going on a commercial fishing boat, so lots of dead fish everywhere and Shirley clinging to her motion sickness pills. I am a terrible carnivore. I love meat but can't bear to think of how the animals involved are killed or hurt or raised just to feed people. I am a a complete hypocrite. However, I never feel that way about fish, for whatever reason I don't anthropomorphize fish and as such can eat them by the bushel without guilt. I saw Blackfish, though, so I will never ever look at orcas that way: they are INCREDIBLE.
But it's not fish they're pulling out of the water and sorting with little hoes, it's shrimp. And John Tesar is eating them while they're wiggling. DUDE.
But back on the dock, Padma Lakshmi is waiting, dang, dudes! In this awful denim jumpsuit which looks about as good as Tom in his dressed down t-shirt and jeans: the hosts really only look good in luxe clothing. And er, is it cold there? Coz Casey said it was 95 degrees
Guess what the Quickfire involves? NO, GUESS??!! Okay it's shrimp, but it's also a sudden-death cookoff, damn it. But everybody is so good! Even the rookie (she says grudgingly), so I'll have to go on who I would like to have gone based on their personality *coughJohncough* or *coughSylvacough* but I would hate to lose anyone else.
NOT ONE HAIR ON BROOKE'S HEAD!!
John's making a spicy shrimp ceviche and Sylva's making a mess. He just had to open up a can with his $400 knife and you couldn't spring for a canopener, Top Chef? Word to the wise, Sylva: multi-tool. It will change your LIFE.
Shirley is high AF on motion sickness pills and stumbling her way around while Sheldon looks for two perfect shrimp, i.e.: the ones with roe. That's what everyone else is looking for too, so we'll see. I'm just going to say that if you want a high score from me on a shrimp dish, you'd give me more than ONE SHRIMP.
Brooke is making clarified shrimp butter: wow, in 30 minutes? That's ambitious. Sheldon is smoking his shrimp with some branches he pulled off a tree? Just like in Alaska! Hey dude, leave the foliage alone!
Casey is trying to punch the judges in the mouth with her dish; grilled pineapple is one of the key ingredient trends I'm seeing this season.
Casey is up first:
Sylva's looks GORGEOUS
But boy does Shirley's look not gorgeous
Brooke's shrimp with butter is..okay looking? Padma questions the sweetness and I'm worried for Brooke; she gets read a lot for overly-sweet sauces. She didn't add any sugar this time, though, so she doesn't know what Padma's talking about
Sheldon's pine smoked whatsit
Then John is last with his "did you mean for it to be THAT spicy?" ceviche
And it's time for judging!The winner is Sheldon! Yay!
The bottom three will be competing in the sudden-death and they are: Casey, Shirley and Sylva
Damn, I was worried about Casey being in there! Tom calls her dish a tiny bit salty while we all shout in our heads 'LAST TIME YOU SAID IT WASN'T SALTY ENOUGH!!!!"
Shirley gets read for a messy plate and rubbery shrimp and Sylva for an extremely salty bite.
Now for the Sudden Death Quickfire and there is the only part I don't like about fishing: the bycatch. They have so much other stuff they catch while going for shrimp that just doesn't get put back in time or used properly. Well now they're the stars of the show!
The meds are still messing with Shirley, who is feeling muddled and cotton-headed. I hope she pulls it out! I will say that most of the chefs I worked with were usually high AF too, but then they weren't very good chefs.
Casey heads right for the squid, she's working very carefully. Sylva is descaling an entire fish and Shirley is doing squid tentacles.
Time for sudden-death judging, Shirley's baby squid is up first
And I think Casey is in trouble, just going by Padma's inflections. Oh and it IS Casey going home, goddamnit. Come ON
And now we're supposed to have fun with our food? Whatever. Okay fine, fine, the next challenge will be guest-judged by the guy who invented the Cronut. I hate him already. FINE I'LL STOP. It's Dominique Ansel
And as such, it's a mashup challenge, ostensibly for brunch, but not involving any traditional brunch items, so "eggs benny!!!" dies on my lips. Tom has an example: he used to make a fois-graffle which is a piece of fois gras stuffed in a waffle *herk*.
They don't have much time, and since Charleston's Hat Ladies will be doing the testing: it better be good. Whole Foods shopping time! Everyone gets $400 and 30 minutes, which is one half of an artisanal preserved lemon and a sprig of rosemary.
Shirley's doing a dim sum mashup, Sylva's is going with traditional french cuisine involving filets and John is just not that type of chef. He "aspires to simplicity" which is apparently Octopus Hash.
Brooke thinks her dish for the children's charity would have been perfect for this challenge; there's no way she can make it again so she's feeling a bit at a loss.
Back at the house, it's time for some more low country cooking, woo hoo! Shimp boil, y'all! Brooke is bummed that they didn't really get to say a proper goodbye to Casey and Sheldon's Skyping in the corner with his family, so it's not exactly a PARTY, per se. Lookit his gorgeous family!
John has decided to scramble his eggs instead of poaching them, John...don't do that! Shirley's reminiscing about making potstickers with her mommy since she was 5 and I'm concerned that she's hamstrung herself. She's making all those dumplings to order.
Ohhhhhhh noooooooooo Sheldon bought frozen waffles. On Top Chef. In the top five on Top Chef. I can't help but think of Jon who went home with his storebought bread early in the season.
Tom and Dominique come in for reviews, Sylva's up first. There is a lot of technique in his dish, he's trying to show off for Chef Dominique so we'll see how that works out.
Brooke is next with her tricky yogourt parfait, she doesn't think it's all that creative, just fancily plated, so I hope it gets through.
Gail Simmons is here in a lovely fascinator!
Wow, there are a LOT of pretty hats out there! Sylva is struggling in the kitchen: the eggs are raw. He can't send out the full order to start.
Shirley's Dim Sum for lunch gets good marks for creativity, but the meat inside is dry so it's a wash. A guest questions whether it's brunch-related. He'll eat it! But is it brunch?
Sylva's decided to scramble the rest of his eggs so he can actually send them out for the second and third rounds, I wonder if Tom will ask about the change. He gets: nice fish, no creativity
Brooke is struggling with her plating, that was the key to her dish - it gets ehhhh feedback
Sweaty John is up now! He didn't make it crispy enough, though, and he is in trouble
Sheldon is the last, go Sheldon! But those storebought waffles...they LOVE it and i would totally dip double-fried chicken in butter, "craveable" indeed
Judging time! Sheldon and Shirley are the tops, yay! And the winner is: Shirley! Yay! I really thought Sheldon would take it, but she did great! So much work. Their feedback tableside did not sound exactly like that.
John, Brooke (WHUT) and Sylva are in the bottom; I need to stop worrying about her, she's fine and she makes amazing food. John did a bad, bad dish and Sylva's technical difficulties have him in the bottom.
Dominique takes a minute to turn the knife about the the chefs' lack of creativity and then they're sent to stew while they deliberate.
Gail and Padma go right for Brooke, they were extremely disappointed in everything on her plate. Tom sticks up for Brooke but they are determined. I'm annoyed that John is still in this with his bad hash, Sylva too. I fear for Brooke.
Especially when the judges all say they are sad about the decision: come ON! And now, the decision: ohhh okay. It's Sylva who is packing his knives. He's done some amazing work on this show and I'm glad he's found his passion.
Until next time you guys!