Top Chef S14:E6 A Southern Legend Recap

Hi guys! I'm late! Let's watch some cheftestants prepare some amazing food on Top Chef, shall we? After you!

John Tesar's xantham gum mac 'n' cheese (you guys. That sounds SO herkalicious) won the day, everyone's giving him props but I am just waiting until Katsuji takes all the credit.

Well that didn't take long!

Everyone is mourning the loss of Silvia Barban, she was kind of awesome. She had an unfortunate naming incident: you can't give American bbq attendees slimy anti-pasta and call it potato salad. You just cannot. They have to be able to mentally prepare.

Oh. Oh well Jim is a newlywed and his wife is not only Chinese, but female. I was not expecting that. Why did I think Jim was gay? I can't think, but there it is: he is not. Although, rumour has it that heterosexual marriage doesn't preclude existing on the LBGTQ spectrum. Look how lovely!

He creates food that nobody eats and that makes me sad. Only people who come to the Governor's mansion get to eat his food and it doesn't sound like many. Poor lonely Jim

Sheldon's ready to DO THIS! Yay no crippling back pain, was it the wasabi bumps?

Time for Quickfire! We've got the U.S. Surgeon General with them, who everything thought was a boat captain. I mean

Dr. Vivek Murphy calls the chefs changemakers: ahhh we're doing a healthy eating challenge. Plus maybe working out at the same time. DON'T WE HAVE ENOUGH CHEFSWEAT IN THE FOOD, DR. MURPHY?? Don't we?? Shirley doesn't want to make healthy comfort food, damnit

The chefs draw knives to see what dish they'll be making, it looks difficult, but not impossible. You can totally make lasagna, pizza and spaghetti and meatballs healthy! Oh. Padma adds vegetarian to their list of rules and everyone's hearts sinks. Not me, I'm a carnivore but I watched Blackfish last night and now I'm questioning eating ANY animals.

John and Jamie are excited, Jamie's got a vegetarian kiddo so he already has some ideas. The physical exercise part is that they can only grab one ingredient at a time, so now Jim's excited: he's been training! What's a "treadmure" Jim?

Sheldon has NOT been working out, he's been focused on eating. Katsuji is so out of shape that he's actually changing his recipe so that he doesn't have to grab as many ingredients. It's like you guys are doing a commercial for the U.S. Surgeon General!

Emily is liking the extra time for planning in between dropping off ingredients...and then Sheldon goes down hard. And then pops up and plays hurt. Dang, Sheldon, you just got your back fixed!

Jamie's working on his vegan Sloppy Joes which I am reserving judgement on while humming Lunch Lady Land from Adam Sandler.

Jim's making chicken-fried eggplant, yum! I would eat those. He was a vegetarian back in university, "sticking it to the man" and I don't know exactly how those concepts work together. Was Big Beef on his back?

It looks like Katsuji is making spaghetti and meatballs completely out of zucchini; sure! I can see the noodles, kinda, but zucchini meatballs?

Casey's struggling with the crust on her "chicken" pot pie, but there's no time!

Tasting! Amanda first

Katsuji's looked better before judging but I can't resist a captioned photo!

Brooke's lasagna

John used curry powder in his burger, Padma asks if he was profiling, since she and Dr. Murphy are both Indian. Noooo

Sylva's something or rather looks gross

And now Casey's StruggleBus pot pie

I'd eat Jamie's Sloppy Joes!

But what in Sam Hill did Jim do smearing his stuff everywhere??

Emily's a great plater

Judging time! Least favourites were: Sylva's chicken and dumplings, Casey's pot pie and Katsuji's spaghetti and meatballs

On top are: Brooke's lasagna, Jamie's sloppy joes and Emily's meatloaf. The winner of immunity is: Jamie! Yay!

The main challenge will be based on the work of Edna Lewis. Jim knows all about this Southern cooking legend, but so.many of the other cheftestants do not. How do Jamie and Emily not know? They're in Charleston!

Side note: it was lovely to see Emily in the top again in the quickfire, get that confidence up, lady and show us what you got!

The two guest judges this week are people deeply touched by Edna Lewis, one is Alexander Smalls (Imma call him Biggie Smalls: you'll see why)

And Toni Tipton-Martin

who tells us that Edna Lewis was instrumental in the farm-to-table movement. I love Miss Lewis' smile; doesn't she look like she has a secret? In a good way?

The chefs will be presenting and cooking in the same kitchen Edna Lewis worked in thirty years ago, the guest judges sticking around to impart wisdom. Padma and Tom get very angry when the chefs aren't properly respectful to visiting dignitaries.

I'm worried about how much we're learning about Jim this time, let this not be foreshadowing. I really like him, he has it in him to go to the end for sure, chicken innards and all.

Toni and Biggie explain the essence of Edna's cooking style: the recipes are written seasonally and are like poetry. They're certainly beautiful. In season and local, which sounds like common sense, but it certainly wasn't the norm 40 years ago.

Whole Food shopping time! Nothing to report but pretty, pretty expensive food.

Oooh Shirley is making confit wings! She had me at confit! Sylva is making southern-fried snapper with a bunch of vegetables because Edna was a gardener.

Jim is making the traditional southern dish consomme. Let that sink in for a moment...

Amanda was looking for a protein that would accentuate her garnish, Katsuji takes a moment to deride her choice of "high class" words. It's not like she said "utilize", jerk.

Emily is making crispy chicken livers in a cast iron skillet, woot! I must confess: I do not have a cast iron skillet. I have a massive Le Creuset Dutch oven, but no skillet. I'm thinking it might be my housewarming present to myself when I've relocated. I don't wanna move extra stuff!

Katsuji is taking southern cuisine at it's most basic: watermelon and fried chicken. Will there be waffles too?? Sylva sideeyes; he would never present that dish to a bunch of southern chefs.

We get a little more of his background too, he won a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America, but his dad refused to let him take it. No son of his was going to be a Domestic. I get it, I do, but I'm glad Sylva found his own way, coming into his own in micromanaging other chefs on Top Chef.

They arrive at the historical kitchen; it's inside a gorgeous brick house. Katsuji thinks Jim is the Andy Warhol of Top Chef but the only similarity I can see is the hair colour. There's no staring or dishevelment, I don't get it. Jim's working on clarifying his stock and I canea even say how concerned I am about this consomme idea.

The tasters will be eating outside right next to the alligator-infested waters, hi Gail Simmons! Padma looks about 12, what's with the off-the-shoulder and barrett look, lady? Is she going to a cotillion?

Hey, BJ Dennis is here too! So is Nathalie Dupree, who explains about the venue. This was a thriving plantation and Edna loved it there in her gorgeous little cottage.

Tasting time! Jim is up first, they love everything but his undercooked peas. Whew

Katsuji and his fried chicken and watermelon get respect, Toni thinks he did a good job. It's elevated. FINE

Brooke's warm salad fails to impress: if she's going to do dessert, DO dessert

Emily's fried chicken livers were deep fried, NOT panfried, which Biggie Smalls calls her on immediately. She's in trouble, the deep fried chicken livers were under-seasoned as well.

Shirley's got those confit wings, yo! And everybody loves them

John is pan-frying his chicken, using a technique he learned in Edna's book. Great reviews; he had me at boiled in butter

Sylva's snapper channeled Edna, ANGELS brought his crispy fish. They said that!

Sheldon's salted pork and cabbage doesn't get much feedback after he cries during presentation. It's his mama and grandmama's recipe!

Casey and Amanda are complete opposites; Amanda flying around the kitchen looking for ingredients while Casey works carefully through to finish.

Amanda's roasted duck

Hugh Acheson gives her a full read:

Casey's dumplings; her chicken SINGS!

Jamie sous vide'd!!!! Oh noooooo. This is what sent Wesley home last season! It doesn't matter anyway, because he left off one plate: Padma isn't eating today. He is sooooo lucky he has immunity, y'all.

The judges kibitz over the entries; Jim is looking good, you guys! Brooke, who is my front-runner, is in trouble. They hate Emily's and Amanda's and I hope they dislike those dishes enough to save Brooke's unfortunately sweet chicken.

Judging time! The three on top are: Jim, Sylva and Sheldon. The winner is: Sylva. Yay crunchy fish. It's his favourite dish to cook, so good on him.

After the Sausage Party Top three, the bottom are all ladies: Amanda, Brooke and Emily. Amanda stands behind her dish and has to listen to it being called boring a bunch of times. Emily is really surprised to be up there and cries. Brooke handles it better and I hope she's safe, you guys.

Packing their knives are: Amanda, whew. I really like Amanda, but I think Brooke was in troubbbbleee.

Emily needs to regroup, I wish her well for next week! Until then, TTM oot!