OK, we're finally off to Seattle. Let the games begin!
The chefs check out the TC kitchen *and* each other. Padma arrives with previous cheftestants Josie (TC2), Stefan (TC5) and CJ (TC3). They'll be the judges for the first Quickfire. The cheftestants are to divide into 5 groups of 3, and they are to make a dish highlighting local shellfish (crabs, mussels, live crawfish, razor clams and geoduck). They only have 20 minutes to complete the dish.
As Padma is still explaining the rules, John starts talking to Kuniko about how to prepare the geoduck, and Padma interrupts John and calls out "Excuse me! I'm not finished!" to get him to stop talking, and then finishes what she needed to say.
Two teams take the geoduck, leaving another who wanted geoduck to have to go with razor clams. The all-women team (Carla, Chrissy, and Lizzie) are a mess. Carla's going to be a problem - completely all over the place and *constantly* talking ("I want to be a James Beard; but I also want a nice ass!").
John and Sheldon seem to be working well with Kuniko and getting their point across as to what the team needs to be doing. Other teams come very close to *not* getting their two plates up to the serving area, but manage to do so. So no one is auto-eliminated because they didn't finish on time.
Gray Team (Bart, Jeffrey, & Brooke): Crawfish with Pickled Red Chili, Fennel, and Crawfish Cream - CJ said "old school" and Stefan said the crawfish were cooked very well.
Orange Team (Lizzie, Carla, & Chrissy): Oven-Roasted Crawfish with Fennel & Herb Salad - Lizzie knows it's a messy dish. CJ said he would have preferred more acid, and Josie said the flavors are nice and it was seasoned well.
Green Team (Micah, Kristen, & Tyler): Fried & Sashimi Geoduck, Radish & Bok Choy Salad with a Yuzu Chili Vinaigrette - Josie said she liked seeing the Geoduck prepared two ways to see the contrast; CJ would have liked to have seen the sashimi cut more thinly.
Blue Team (Sheldon, Kuniko & John): Geoduck Sashimi, Ponzu, Apple & Cucumber - CJ loved the texture and liked the apple with it; both Padma and Stefan thought it could use a tiny bit of salt.
Yellow Team (Eliza, Danyele & Josh): Razor Clam & Grilled Corn Chowder with Fresno Chili & Grilled LIme - CJ liked the grilled lime, but Stefan thought it also needed some more seasoning with salt. Josh said in an aside saying "Stefan is kind of a dick!" He didn't like hearing the criticism from him.
The least successful - was the Yellow Team's Razor Clam chowder.
The most successful was the Blue Team's Geoduck with Ponzu and Apple.
Next up - those three each get to draw knives to see who gets immunity. And who pulls it? John Tesar.
WHOA!!! Padma announces that Stefan, CJ and Josie are rejoining the ranks of the cheftestants as contestants. And *every* one of the original TC10 cheftestants are pissed off. And in the camera aside? Stefan is STILL a jerk! LOL It seems he drives a GT3 Porsche, and has 8 restaurants. @@ And CJ has just gotten back from a stage at Noma, rated the best restaurant in the world, so he's confident.
Each team stays as a team for the Elimination Challenge - which means CJ, Josie and Stefan are now a team. Tomorrow they'll be cooking at the top of the Seattle Space Needle at the Sky City Restaurant. Each team will serve one dish to the judges and legendary Seattle chef, Tom Douglas. They'll use regional ingredients, and will have 47 minutes to prep and cook their dish, as that's the time it takes for the Needle to go around once. They have 30 minutes to shop in the TC pantry before they head to their evening home at Olive 8.
They go "shopping" and Stefan suggests taking 8 quails "just to have it". The Yellow Team doesn't know what kind of fish they are taking, as there's no head.
The suite they're in at Olive 8 is gorgeous. Stefan goes right to the kitchen and opens the wine. They go around to say who's married or not, and it's noticed that Jeffrey is wearing a ring, but he says he's engaged. His father didn't have an issue with Jeffrey being gay when he came out at age 25, but his mother did. She eventually got over it and they both love his fiancé.
They arrive at the Space Needle the next morning and Jeffrey explains that two teams will work at a time. The Blue and Orange teams start first. Blue team seems organized; the Orange one? Not so much. Meanwhile, the veteran Red team are seeing that everyone is doing seafood - and they *might* do the quail instead of seafood.
The judges arrive, and Tom Douglas asks "What do you want me to set up for you while you're here?" Gail Simmons wants to go fishing and Emeril notes that he was introduced to pink (singing) scallops by Tom Douglas.
Kuniko burns the poaching chili oil and has to start over. The Orange team seems discombulated because Carla will NOT stop talking. ALL of the other chefs are watching and saying "I would *not* want to be on her team!" LOL
Blue Team: Chili Oil-Poached Ling Cod with Dashi, Spot Prawn Shabu Shabu
Orange Team: Courtbouillon-Poached Salmon with Seasonal Vegetables & Beurre Blanc
As both teams go back to the kitchen, Carla cuts her hand after reaching into her knife bag. The medic says no nerves were cut.
The judges try the Blue Team's dish. They were concerned that it was going to be spicy-hot, but it wasn't. The dashi was nice and smoky, and the spot prawns were perfectly done. Gail said "As the first thing to put in my mouth in Seattle? Not bad. :::::a bit of a pause:::: And *that* came out wrong!"
They then try the Orange Team's dish. Tom notes the salmon isn't seasoned at all, but Padma notes that the beurre blanc was so flavorful.
Next up are the Red and the Gray teams. The Red team doesn't like the cherry emulsion, so Josie's going to try and come up with something else. Brooke on the Gray team is concerned that the halibut is overcooked.
Red Team: Quail Breast with Confit Spot Prawn, Cherries & Porcini
Gray Team: Pan-Roasted Halibut, Mushrooms and English Peas, Wheat Beer with Herb Sabayon
The judges try the Red team's dish first. Tom immediately said that the quail is overcooked, and Emeril said the Spot Prawn is overcooked, and he's getting some bitterness with the broth. Tom Douglas said "Wow! You guys are tough!" He thought it was a pretty well-developed dish.
They try the Gray team's dish - Tom Douglas said he likes the pickled radish on top, and that you don't get the wheat beer flavor at all...Gail said it tastes like nutmeg. Padma notes her halibut is overcooked, and it LOOKS overcooked. She calls it "hockey puck" and she's right.
Next up - Yellow and Green Teams. Both teams seem to be well organized, until the Yellow team seems to lose their mushrooms...but they find them.
Green Team: Crispy-Seared Salmon, Local Vegetables (Morels, Fava Beans and Sea Beans glazed in Sherry Vinegar) and Spot Prawn Butter Sauce
Yellow Team: Pan-Roasted Cod, Mushrooms, Fava Beans, Pickled Green Apple and Garlic Scape Pistou
They try the Yellow team's dish, and Tom Douglas notes there's not enough pistou. Emeril said he loves the apple, and Tom C. said it was the best part of the dish, as the pistou is overloaded with raw garlic. The Green team's dish seems to be received better, as Tom Douglas liked the Spot Prawn butter sauce, and Tom C. said the salmon was perfectly cooked. Gail thinks the Spot Prawn's texture was lost.
In the Stew Room, the vets explain what it's like being in the competition and the Stew Room. Josie said they'll second guess themselves over and over and over again while they sit and wait for Padma to walk in. And then Padma walks in and asks to see the Blue Team. And they have the best dish of the day! Kuniko gets raves for the chili-poached ling cod, John gets praise for the Spot Prawn, and Sheldon said the dashi worked very well with the other flavors.
Emeril announces the winner - and it's Kuniko! They go back to the Stew Room and tell the Red and Gray teams are to both go see the judges. (I'm thinking the Gray team is going to be the losing team overall.) The judges skewer the Red team, and Tom C. really gives it to Stefan re: the quail being overcooked. Stefan says "But the quail was so small..." and Tom C. grimaces. Stefan realizes he's being an idiot with his excuses and apologizes.
The Gray team seemed to not be cohesive in how they conceived their dish. Bart and Brooke's styles of cooking are very different (classic French and rustic, respectively). Emeril called out Jeffrey for starting the fish too early in the time frame he had to cook (14-1/2 minutes) and then it sat under a heat lamp. The teams head back to the Stew Room during deliberation. Gail said she didn't want to hear from Stefan that the quail was too small and that's the reason they were overcooked. Tom C. said the halibut was just too overcooked.
John Tesar asked the Red Team how they feel, having been here before. Stefan said it's throwing up time.
They're back in front of the judges. And Padma tells Jeffrey Jew to pack his knives and go. The overcooked fish was just too much to overcome. Padma seems upset to see him go.
Previews look interesting - Emeril and Tom Colicchio are in the kitchen cooking with the cheftestants? Looks like they're making a Thanksgiving dinner.
Whew. This was a long one, trying to get everything in. But it's done for this week. :-)