So I guess this is Part 2 of Episode 1. Sort of the Finale for the Premiere? LOL
Those on the bubble are at least getting to know each other in the Stew Room, almost as if they were prisoners confined in one room. Oh wait - they kind of *are* prisoners confined to one room!
OK, we're into the 3rd heat of the cook-off to get into the Top 16. The remaining 10 cheftestants file into the TC Kitchen - Padma, Tom Colicchio, and Hugh Acheson are there to greet them.
AND......we have yet another cheftestant in love with Padma! Down, boy. :-) The Qualifying Challenge starts. Ten items on the table - again, they all have to decide which ingredient they'll be cooking with - BUT there is a cloche sitting next to each food item. They choose their ingredients, and then lift the cloches next to their individual ingredients. Underneath are kitchen timers - telling them each how long they have to make their particular dishes...and the times range from 20 to 40 to 60 minutes. Risotto in 40 minutes? Could be tough.
One of the chefs, Paul Qui, has 3 food trucks in Texas that's been featured on Bourdain's "No Reservations". The chef who got oxtails has 60 minutes, so she'll have to use a pressure cooker which she's not used before (I think). She's going to make a Filipino-inspired dish. Another chef has 60 minutes to braise a piece of bone-in veal - and she literally runs away from Tom Colicchio as he walks up to her to talk to her to try and keep her time to her cooking. Many run out of time and they have to plate very quickly - can't see who might make it through or who might be told to PYKAG before they go to commercial.
The 20 minute group is up - and the food truck guy, Paul, gets a chef's jacket - that makes 12 cheftestants! Mushroom guy gets put on the bubble, and one chef gets knocked out.
There are 4 cheftestants for the 40 minute group - and WOW...the guy who chose risotto rice as his ingredient *never* got anything on the plate. His time got out of hand, so of course, he's out of there. He said it's like Padma was breaking up with him - he wants his CDs back. Yeah, yeah, yeah - sorry - no more mooning over Padma for you! The 51yo from France, Laurent, ends up on the bubble thanks to Hugh and Padma. He's the only one in the 40 minute group that *might* have a chance.
Now the remaining 3 cheftestants 60 minute group is finishing up - the cheftestant who is making Filipino oxtail dish in the pressure cooker is having problem getting the top off....and then they cut to commercial. Guess we'll see if the lid comes off and she plates her food in a few minutes.
Another cheftestant, Lindsay, tells her how to get the lid off. Unfortunately, the oxtail isn't as done as she'd like. It ends up that Lindsay's braised veal puts her through to get a TC jacket - so that makes 13 cheftestants! The final cheftestant who had octopus also gets a TC chef's jacket. So we have 14 guaranteed. That means the 6 on the bubble are competing for the 2 remaining spots.
So we're at the FINAL Qualifying challenge...Emeril joins Tom, Padma, and Hugh for this final judging. The cheftestants are able to take whatever they can find in the TC kitchen and have 45 minutes to cook the final qualifying dish. Tiger shrimp, mussels, and scallops are being used. Edward chooses duck when he realized that everyone else is using seafood. (He's the one we see cut himself really bad in the preview as well.)
The in-betweener shows those who are already through picking their beds in the Top Chef House - the really big cheftestant (he says he's over 300 lbs!) gets one of the bunk beds. I really hope he's on the bottom bunk! LOL
And we're back...and they're showing Edward cutting his hand. I couldn't see *where* he cut himself, but it does look pretty bad. He continues to cook while the medic bandages his hand (he had immediately pulled on a glove but was still bleeding profusely, so they called in a medic). The medic had to walk around with him as Edward continues with his dish. His duck dish looks REALLY good (I adore duck!).
The seared scallops with a watermelon/bean/corn relish underneath also looks very good and Emeril seemed to really like her dish. Emeril also liked Edward's duck dish, although Hugh said it was slightly overdone the way he likes to eat duck. The bacon-wrapped shrimp with grits also was well received. Laurent's scallops two-ways wasn't as well received - the cooked scallop was enjoyed, but the tartare wasn't liked at all.
They have to go back into the Stew Room waiting for the judges to make their final decision. They all think that Jeannine is in with her scallop, bean/corn relish dish. We'll see!
And we're back at Judges Table...only two are going to get through. One is Edward Lee with his duck dish! I'm glad - I kind of liked him from the beginning and wanted to see what else he would come up with. Andrew, Jeannine, and Grayson are left to vie for one spot. Tom reviews all three of their dishes with them and then looks to Padma to tell them who's in and out - Andrew, an Austin chef, is out. Annnnd....? We cut to yet another commercial. Of course. :-)
And finally, the decision is handed down - Grayson is in, Jeannine is out. Grayson and Edward head to the house where they're greeted by the rest of the cheftestants. Grayson says in the confessional that she doesn't want everyone to think that she and Edward are lesser cooks than the rest of them because they had been on the bubble. I guess we'll see how that plays out in the upcoming episodes!
The previews show that they head to San Antonio first, and it looks like the intense heat takes its toll on many of the chefs (Tom has said in interviews it was 110 degrees in July while filming, and I have a friend who lives in northern TX and she can confirm how hot it was this summer!). Padma talks about making sure some mo-fo snakes are being put on some mo-fo plates! Padma! You were bleeped! Padma also explains the Last Chance Kitchen - which will ONLY be shown online.
And that's all she wrote for this episode - we have our 16 cheftestants!
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