We rejoin the Stew Room with the argument that CJ and John were having. Josh calls John out about his lack of tact, saying there's a reason John's the most hated chef, because he's a pr*ck. John retaliates saying Josh has no balls. Lovely. So it looks as if there are several people not liking Tesar.
The next morning, several chefs watch John walk through the suite, and no one says anything. John calls Josh a redneck in a camera aside (based on the argument the night before). Stefan notes the tension in the suite because of the catfight in the Stew Room, but says he loves that John pushes everyone's buttons. He calls it "Housewives of Seattle." LOL Kristen also gets a foot rub from Stefan out on the deck.
Back into the TC Kitchen, and Padma is there with Top Chef Masters alum Naomi Pomeroy, chef/owner of Beast. The Quickfire ingredient is behind a curtain, and Padma removes it to reveal two primal cuts of beef. They have 1 hour to create a dish with their favorite cut. Naomi says butchering skills are going to be part of the judging, but to use the sides of beef as a blank canvas. Padma notes safety first--only two cheftestants allowed to cut on one side of beef at a time.
One group is unable to get their beef off the hook, wasting a lot of time. CJ is going with steak tartare, John and Micah are both going for the oxtail, Kristen cuts herself, Tyler is going with Spanish-style crudo, hoping that Naomi and Padma see he's thinking outside the box. Stefan looks to be doing a meat-filled ravioli, and needs an aspirin dealing with Carla. Lizzie's concerned her pressure cooker isn't working well.
Eliza - Grilled Flank Steak with Cherry Cognac Reduction, Asparagus & Potato Cake - Padma was surprised at the asparagus with cherry reduction.
John - Braised Oxtail, Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Veggies & Celery (isn't celery also a veggie?) - Naomi is surprised he was able to get it tender enough in the time allowed.
Josh - Beef Metaballs with Creamy Polenta & Pickled Shallots - nice acidity
Sheldon - Kalbi Round Steak with Tomato Cardamom Broth & Fennel Salad - Naomi liked the flavors, but prefers is closer to a medium doneness.
Brooke - Grilled Hanger Steak with Smoked Onion Figs & Cauliflower Puree - a tiny bit on the rare side, but it's Naomi's favorite cut of beef.
Tyler - Hsipanic Crudo with Charred Tomato Sauce & Cilantro Radish Slaw - Padma asked how he cooked it - flash-grilled it.
Kristen - Top Sirloin Tartare with Mustard Sabayon & Carpaccio Salad - Naomi asked if she got the cut she wanted; Kristen said she went for what she saw first so she could get cooking.
Micah - Oxtail Polenta with Truffled Romanesco Cauliflower - Naomi thought he did a great job in his butchering.
Carla - Sirloin Medallions Wrapped in Bacon, Asiago Risotto with Marsala Sauce - Naomi liked the flavor - the sauce was nice.
Stefan - Braised Top Round Ravioli with Marjoram & Aged Parmesan - Naomi liked the flavors.
CJ - Top Round Tartare, Raw Juniper & Kohlrabi - Padma says "very nice!"
Chrissy - Grilled Hanger Steak with Brown Butter, Parsley & Radish Salad - no comments heard, but a couple of approving nods.
Lizzie - Briased Foreshank with Turnips & Dill - Naomi thought it needed a bit more time in the pressure cooker but appreciated the risk.
Bottom group - Lizzie, Eliza, and Tyler
Top group - CJ, John, and Josh
The Quickfire winner? John Tesar. Both CJ and Josh looked a bit disgruntled at his win. He gets immunity at the next challenge.
The Elimination Challenge is a Time Traveling one. Mark & Brian Canlis join Padma and Naomi. They are the owners of Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. Their grandfather opened the restaurant in 1950, and for one night only, the cheftestants will revive the original Canlis menu from 1950. The winner of the challenge will win $10,000. AND Padma announces that two of the cheftestants will be eliminated.
They get copies of the menus, and divide out who's making what. Looks to be Stefan is assigning dishes - Kristen is ticked off she gets sauteed mushrooms and fried onions to do. Carla's not happy with the squab and doesn't like being told what to do. Chrissy gets the Canlis special salad that is *still* on the menu from when it opened.
John will expedite, since he has immunity. He and Josh discuss french onion soup - John tells Josh he'll jump back and help Josh, as that was his first job in a French restaurant at his first job in 1975. Josh rolls his eyes.
Back at the suite, Sheldon wonders if LCK is happening. Josie asks how it works and when the LCK winner comes back into the TC kitchen.
The next morning, they're off to Canlis to begin prep. Carla tries to figure out what to do with the squab - leave in the rib cage? She notes the grill room is tiny - only Sheldon and Bart can get in there, so she tells them how she wants the squab done. Just before service, John starts telling the cheftestants how side dishes are to be delivered with the entree. And tells everyone no yelling at each other.
Diners arrive, and Hugh Acheson is joining them, along with Emeril and Naomi. John seems to be a bit confused as to how to expedite and call out the tickets.
First the appetizers:
Tyler - Fresh Crab Leg Cocktail
Lizzie - Marinated Herring
Josh - French Onion Soup
John - Steamed Clams Bordelaise
Chrissy - Canlis' Special Salad
Brooke - Seafood Salad a la Louis
Tyler's crab cocktail was well received. Josh's soup was too salty, cold (per Hugh), no bubbling cheese, per Naomi, and not guest-friendly, per one of the Canlis brothers. They needed a spoon, a fork, and a knife to cut the crouton. Too much work. Brooke's seafood salad was just as if it came out of a Time-Life Cookbook back in the day, and Tom C. said the seafood was perfectly cooked.
Chrissy's salad was way over-dressed, croutons were very soggy. Padma said if there was more mint in it, she'd have been OK with it. Lizzzie's herring is Naomi's favorite dish - well marinated, and Emeril loved the crackers. Tom C. loved John's clam dish.
Time for the second course - Stefan and Carla start to get into it, as Stefan can't hear anything because Carla's too loud. Squab has already come back from the diners, as it was too rare. Someone else didn't want a squab, and the waiter said they didn't want it, to fire mahi. A *third* squab comes back, and it's also too rare. Carla thinks it's supposed to be medium-rare, but she she tells Sheldon to cook them further so they're cooked more.
Sheldon - Mahi Mahi with Beurre Blanc
Carla - Squab with Red Wine Reduction with a side of....
Micah - Mixed Vegetables
Stefan - Calves Liver served with....
Kristen - French-fried Onions
Bart - Double-Cut New York Steak
Josie - Gargantuan Baked Potato
CJ - Shish Kebab with Pilaf with...
Kristen - Sauteed Mushrooms
Sheldon's mahi mahi was well received. Tom did receive a dish with part of the bloodline still in, but said the fish was perfectly cooked. One of the Canlis brothers notes that their grandfather used to pack the mahi mahi in the Pan Am flight attendants' suitcases (packed in ice) to get the fish to Seattle.
Hugh notes Micah's carrots are way underdone, the turnips are overdone; a mish-mash. But Naomi said it was the perfect blend of vegetables to signify the 1950s. Carla's squab wasn't boned properly, per Tom, Hugh said it should have been cut in half, and Naomi said she's never seen squab cooked that much (contrary to what other diners were sending back!). Stefan's liver dish probably looked and tasted exactly as it was back in 1950. Emeril said he respected the product and *finally* - he left something alone. Kristen's fried onions were *very* well received by the Canlis brothers.
CJ's shish kebab was underseasoned; Hugh said the lamb seemed very mealy, and Tom noted he thinks it was cooked via sous-vide. There wasn't really enough rice in the rice pilaf, and it was sort of soggy. Bart's steak was only fairly received. It was sliced with the grain, not against the grain. Josie' s potato was beautiful, but one fo the Canlis brothers would have preferred to have cut it himself to see the steam come out of it and Padma thought that oil on the skin would have allowed them to crisp up. And again, Kristen's sauteed mushrooms were very well received - one of Tom's favorite dishes.
Time for dessert!
Danyele - Vanilla Ice Cream
Danyele - Royal Hawaiian Supreme
Eliza - Mint Sherbet
Eliza - Frozen Hawaiian Pineapple Parfait
Padma said the desserts, out of all of the courses, smacked of the 1950s. Tom said Eliza's parfait was "good" - fruit was fine, ice cream was fine, had a bit of a crunch - what else do you want from a parfait? One of the Canlis brothers liked Danyele's ice cream with the salty brittle on top (although when someone tried it - Hugh? - it looks like mint soup). Naomi liked Danyele's Hawaiian Supreme because of the marshmallows.
The table discusses the dishes - Chrissy's Canlis salad was very poor, as was Carla's squab, CJ's Shish Kebab and Josh's onion soup.
Padma comes into the kitchen and asks to see Lizzie, Kristen, Tyler, and Stefan. They had the winning dishes. Hugh announces the winner - and it's Kristen! She gets $10,000. And Stefan was very happy for her for winning!
They want to see Carla, Chrissy, CJ and Josh for preparing the worst dishes. Remember - TWO of them will be going home. The onion soup was too salty, per Tom (which another cheftestant had teasingly said to Josh in the kitchen) and Tom received a cold soup. Hugh asked how it was expedited, and Josh said everyone thought John had a plan, but he didn't, and he was "like a monkey". Chrissy's salad didn't have the flavor in the vinaigrette, and it was soggy. Carla' s squab wasn't cooked; the judges were astonished to hear she didn't check the squab on a regular basis as they were going out to the diners. She got to try the *last* squab but not enough of them beforehand. CJ also noted that the lamb kebabs were slightly mealy; Tom asked why, when preparing a dish from the 1950s, was he sous-viding the lamb? CJ said in hindsight he wouldn't have done it at all. (Like, DUH!) Emeril also didn't get the flavor of the marinade and didn't want to eat the lamb at all.
Who's leaving Top Chef? It's Chrissy for her salad and Carla for her squab. I'm sorry to see Chrissy go; have to say I'm *not* all that sad to see Carla gone.
And YES! Last Chance Kitchen is back online! Jeffrey, Kuniko, Carla, and Chrissy all get a chance to battle.
Previews show an ENTIRE TEAM going home next week! (Oh wait - a "team" seems to be 2 people.)
NOTE - I think what we did during the last regular season of Top Chef was an entirely separate thread for Last Chance Kitchen, rather than here. So someone else can start a separate thread if they want. Either way, I personally don't want to do LCK here. :-)
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