I can't be the only one who flinched when they saw the episode title, right? Booty? Booty, Top Chef? My kids are down for this, they love pirate stuff! I hope. Rolling Top Chef S14:E7 Booty after the break!
We lost Amanda Baumgarten last episode for her poorly rendered duck; it wasn't southern. It was a snore on a plate and the judges were merciless. Sylva took the win for his dish, sure. I still have my eye on him.
Quickfire challenge time! The cheftestants are presented with these ingredients
Sheldon Simeon thinks that means Captain Planet (??), which he sing-hums as we meet our latest guest judge, Michael Cimarusti. Hey, I'm just glad Abraham from The Walking Dead got another job!
He's a Top Chef All Stars alum; ahhhh, this is a zodiac challenge. I have a close fambly member who is deeply in love with astrology and likes to tell me when Mercury is Retrograde (just left!), she would totally love this. Hippie.
John is not only into astrology, he's very into being a Scorpio, excuse me: triple Scorpio
Michael thinks this is not just a gimmick for a challenge, knowing yourself and who you are is key to performing the in the kitchen. *eyeroll* Let's see what they can do! Oh but one more thing (that Padma, she always has one more thing!); this is their first sudden death elimination quickfire challenge.
There's conflict on the floor right away; Casey and Emily are the only Aquariuses on the show and Emily took all the chicken wings. Good for Casey for going and asking for some, a less confident chef would have just bitched in interview. Isn't this Emily's fourth attempt at chicken wings? We get it, you make good chicken wings. What else ya got? HGM and I wanna see diversity!
I can see I'm going to have to keep an open mind for this episode; when Brooke said she was a Leo I almost gasped. Back when I used to think such things actually affected personality traits (okay, I might still think that. Sometimes. Let's just say I can spot a Gemini AND a Sagittarius a mile away), I would avoid Leos like the plague. Bossy, obnoxious know-it-alls always carrying on at the top of their voices. Please don't tell my bestie from high school that I said that, she'll yell at me. Of COURSE Katsuji is a Leo: see above. I just don't see it about Brooke.
Jamie Lynch is an Aries and I got nuthin'. He thinks they're firey so he's making hot peppers, sure. His wife Courtney texts him his horoscope every day, they look like a good match
Sylva is also an Aries, I STILL have nuthin'. I do like couscous, though, so I can't wait to see! They're both doing lamb, man I hate lamb. HATE
Aries Jim Smith calls himself "adventurous. I have a lot of energy" and I have gotten literally none of that from him this show. He's using a blowtorch on Thai chiles and I'm starting to think Sheldon parties a LOT.
John calls Scorpios vindictive but then did some reading and through a process of self-awareness (enlightenment?) he can become an eagle (or a cockroach, reincarnation can go either way) and that's what his food will represent. Whut? Is he cooking a bird?
Emily is making spaetzle, sure! Katsuji is making spicy Leo food, and by that I mean burning the shit out of everything
Judging time, Jamie is up first. Padma likes the heat, just as he hoped!
Padma has to ask Sylva if he's made couscous before, so I'm guessing him leaving it wet tasted as gross as it sounds
John's tartare is called "very light and very refreshing" nice!
Do you think there are supposed to be big oil drops on top of Brooke's dish?
Katsuji's odd-looking dish
Shirley has tried to achieve "long lingering passion" and I HEAR YOU, SHIRLEY. I FEEL YOU.
I just love how every single thing Sheldon makes look:
Fire-sign Jim's gets the kiss of death for feedback: "well, that's very adventurous!"
And then we're on to Casey's de-boned chicken wing
Judging time! Michael calls Katsuji's dish the most original, it was completely different that he expected and he was impressed. Katsuji is surprised, leaping upwards. Sheldon and Jamie are also in the top, I bet Katsuji takes it, though. But NO! Jamie! Jamie takes it! Atta boy
In the bottom are: Jim (DON'T YOU DARE!! He's fantastic!!), Sylva and Emily
Sorry, sorry, it's a sudden death and if one of you touches one hair on Jim's head, IsweartoGAWD
Graham Norton is coming back in to be the tie-breaker judge; let's get to cooking. They have to agree on a dish, though, which is the tricky part. I'm mad in advance because Emily and Sylva override Jim and he goes along with their decision to make Steak Tartare. They only have 20 minutes, and I guess that makes sense not to try to cook something.
While Emily searches for crunch the other chefs watch as Sylva sears his steak in the pan. Tartare makes completely raw, so they're confused. A lively discussion springs up as to whether or not he's doing it Tataki-style, consensus is Yes. Sylva thinks a ten second crust doesn't count, let's see what the judges think. I think him dying his beef with beet juice is GROSS.
C'mon Jim, you got this, you aren't going NOWHERE
This face says NO
Damn you, Abraham! Damn you to HECK!
It WAS Tataki-style tartare that Sylva was making!
Emily's dish looks interesting, but Padma calls her potato chips "forcefully seasoned" sooo
They all get iffy feedback, but if Jim goes home....
Jim goes home
JIM GOES HOME
HOW IS EMILY STILL THERE?? She can't season ANYTHING, makes crappy food all the time and Jim goes home for a little agar in his egg yolk?
That makes me so sad. I am going to take a minute to get water and point at the air aggressively.
Okay. So the stupid challenge of the day is to throw a party like Blackbeard, after they do a treasure hunt for ingredient booty. Arr. So it's a combination of Hell's Kitchen and The Amazing Race and if you don't know how much of an insult that is, YOU DON'T KNOW ME.
The teams are:
Yellow Team: Sheldon, Shirley and Sylva: Team SCubed, baby!
Red Team: Jamie, John and Emily
Black Team: Casey, Katsuji and Brooke
It's pouring rain outside as everyone prepares to hunt for pirate booty, first we get a little Jamie backstory. I can relax and just listen, since I know for sure he will not be going home tonight. He developed a heroin addiction in New York; I can honestly say that most of the chefs I've worked with struggled with drug and / or alcohol addictions, and they all smoked, as Jamie does. The palate!
Treasure hunt time!
Casey is pissssed that Katsuji is moving so slow, pick up the pace Suje! He can't believe how wet it is, his ginch is SOAKED. That was far too much information. My favourite part is listening to Casey scream 'KATSUJI!!!" while running 100 steps ahead.
Red Team gets first blood at the Seafood Market, Yellow is right behind. Yellow finishes first of all and Red is stuck with chicken. And peanut butter. Chicken Satay it is!
Yellow Team snagged two and a half hours of cooking time and:
It does sound very Hawaiian! Casey's hustle got the Black Team second place, and they are working with
Red Team is last and I am not hopeful, reading their ingredients. Lobster and peanut butter?
Then Jamie hashtags while talking to people in their faces and all goodwill towards him vanishes. Poof! Just like Jim
Oh, thought I forgot that, didja Top Chef?
I DID NOT
Emily is cutting all the lobster tails up, including John's half, what the hell, John? Don't act like you're the only one creating a meal. Emily isn't your sous chef, do your own work or at least thank her! And no, she should not check on your breadcrumbs, John, what if it's between you two and her dish isn't done are you gonna say you have no idea why?
I like the idea of Sylva's asparagus soup involving a 63-degree egg, because I love eggs, but I think it's fussy, no? They don't say much about it
Sheldon's filet mignon; Tom thinks it's too sweet
Shirley's looks really un-polished next to their dishes but Padma loves it
Black Team's menu
Starting with Casey's raw-brined scallop, which the judges HATE. She's in trouble for sure tonight. You can't do raw unless it's practically flipping. The diners hated it too
Then Brooke's cauliflower whatever makes everyone squinch up their faces: loooottta acid
And Katsuji's cauliflower "soup", which they don't think is soup, but is delicious
Now the Red Team is being tasted, Emily's chowdair is up first, comments include "muddied flavour", "nasty" "not a fan" and if she skates through again...
Then John's gnocchi gets props, dude can cook
And finally, Jamie's chicken satay that he had to bake because someone turned the grill off. Roll that tape back! It doesn't matter, and once again: good thing he has immunity because otherwise Padma's grimace would have sent him home. She made a joke about it before tasting, let's see if it comes up again!
Given the fact that the Red Team gave the worst ingredients to the guy that can't go home...that means one of them goes home if the team loses. I think Casey should be thanking Jamie's predictable, bad-tasting chicken satay right now. By all accounts, her scallop was terrible.
Judging Time! Team Yellow wins the challenge, who's number one? Shirley! Shirley is number one, yay! She hasn't won yet
Ohhhh Casey is still on the hook for those scallops, Michael lays it out when he says that scallops aren't considered fresh unless they're still moving. EEWW! How did you kill a scallop? There's no eyes or heart or EWWWWW. Anyway, she gets right up in the judges faces: she thought her fish was fine to do what she did with it. They do not
That wasn't even the exciting part! Wait until the Red Team takes the stage! Tom goes in for the kill; why did Jamie with Immunity get saddled with the crappy ingredients?
Let me just say: another chef may have been able actually do something with those items, he just was not.
John leads the explanation, saying that Jamie graciously offered to take the chicken and peanut butter because he had immunity and Emily goes OFF. She argues that the discussion originated with John, who ALSO didn't do his own prep work, which meant that her soup suffered.
I totally love her in this moment, that's right, you don't have to take that from this older male chef: you tell it like it is!
Jamie is raked over the coals; in another shocking twist he offers up his immunity, rather than send someone on his team home for a crappy meal he cooked. Tom is a grownup and not given to rushed decisions so he says he'll let Jamie know if he can do that. They're off to deliberate and we're off to get some water, yes?
The cheftestants can't believe Jamie offered up his immunity like that; they wouldn't do that. The judges ruminate: Katsuji's dish saved Casey, now it's down to whether Emily or Jamie's meal was the worst. Padma and Graham are on the Emily's Chowder Was The Worst Train, but Tom is adamant it was Jamie's chicken satay.
Everyone is brought back into the room to hear the news; Padma asks Jamie if his offer to give up his immunity still stands? It does and that's it, he's sent to pack his knives.
Holleeee shite. I just said above that I was glad to get to know him in a safe space without worrying about his elimination again, PADMA.
Tom takes a second to tell Emily she's had gone home if Jamie didn't do that, she awkwardly says she doesn't want him to go home, but there is is: done. She punches him and says he shouldn't have done that, but he has to be able to live with himself.
I have no idea how Emily's messed-up food keeps buying her through! She's not even getting better or adapting, she's skating each and every week and it's BULLSHIT. I may be still mad about Jim. Until next week, you guys
Okay, I took a minute to think it about it. The truth is that EVERYONE who leaves from this point forward (except Emily) will be a great chef having a bad day while probably still making some great food. One day I might even have to say goodbye to someone like Brooke, who is my front-runner and maybe Katsuji will make it through to the end. The truth is that it's anyone's game (except Emily) right now and gimmicks aside; most people did really well today. Maybe Jim will make it through Last Chance Kitchen, you just never know! And NOW, it's until next time, cheers!