Top Chef Episode 5?? World Series Game 6?? What do I dooooo???
Torn between two loves, feeling like a fool
Loving both of you is breaking all the rules
OK, enough cheesy mid 1970s music. Let's get on with the real cheese. (HAH! That was written before I even saw anything of the episode tonight - I must be prescient!)
It's almost Halloween in Top Chef World. In the summertime. But OK, it'll be a Halloween party for Lea Michele, catered by the chefs. But before that...
Back at the house, Travis calls home after almost being eliminated on a Vietnamese challenge. He says his Mom knows that he's gay; his Dad doesn't know. (Dad will know when he watches the show!)
Quickfire time - Gail Simmons joins Padma. And everything is wrapped in foil in the TC kitchen! Pots, pans, kitchen tools, every last bit of food and any possible ingredient are all wrapped in foil. Gail's and Padma's mothers join them. The chefs are split into 2 teams - Team Lakshmi and Team Simmons. They'll have 30 minutes to create 3 dishes - the Moms are going to personally shop for both teams (within 5 minutes) to grab all of the ingredients and the cooking tools. The teams will have to use every single ingredient that the Moms choose. The winning team will share $10,000.
The chefs have to unwrap everything within their 30 minutes as well as cook. The assortment for both teams is crazy - buratta, cheddar cheese, mustard, strawberries, avocados, branzino, okra, lamb chops. Carrie thinks she'll make sabayon....but then realizes she doesn't have a whisk.
Dish 1 (Sara & Stephanie) Lamb & Fonduta with Sharp Cheddar & Roasted Mushrooms
Dish 2 (Justin & Michael) - Red Snapper Papillote with Rice Pilaf
Dish 3 (Carrie, Louis & Shirley) - Compressed Buratta with Pickled Apples & Balsamic Sabayon
Dish 1 (Carlos & Travis) - Clams Poached in Fish Sauce with Coconut Cream
Dish 2 (Nicholas & Patty) - Snapper & Branzino Papillote with Mustard Vinaigrette
Dish 3 (Bene, Brian & Nina) - Soup with Beans, Carrots, Chiles & Okra with Cherry Chutney
The winning Team? Team Lakshmi!
Padma introduces the guest judge for the Elimination Challenge - Lea Michele. Stephanie notes she loves Glee and Lea Michele. She said "We can hang out! It won't be creepy at all!" (with lots of laughter). Lea is hosting a costume party, the cheftestants are catering. They'll be working in teams of 2 - pairing up with the chef to the right. And Nina and Michael are together - Michael says he loves it as he knows Nina knows her stuff, and he's been in the bottom too many times. And Nina HATES it! LOL
They're responsible for 2 dishes for each team. They have 5 minutes with Lea her likes and dislikes. She informs them that she loves the vegan lifestyle, but on occasion, gives herself a break and goes to vegetarian - she allows cheese. But she's not a big sweets fan. She likes pasta, pizza, things that are fried, most vegetables (but doesn't like beets). And she loves lots of spice. She just wants it creepy and spooky as possible.
They head off to WF for shopping, and then back to the kitchen for 2 hours of prep. Nicholas and Patty are having problems coming up with dishes that are spooky, so they go with an Autumn theme. Tom shows up to chat with the cheftestants. Justin notes that Lea Michele hates beets, but he made beet pasta for "blood veins". Tom finds out that 3 teams are making arancini, and Nina's making gnocchi. Nicholas starts to rethink his dish after finding out Nina is also making gnocchi.
Finally, Nicholas does decide to change his dish - a butternut squash cannoli, and Patty's OK with that. Nina and Michael argue a bit during final prep. He said he's not sure why Nina's concerned that he's bringing the team down - "It's not me!" Ummm, didn't he just say earlier that he knows Nina is the best chef in the group and he's not done well himself?
They head back to the house and go over to an abandoned nursing home behind the house that is supposedly haunted - appropriate for the Halloween challenge.
The next day, they find that they are cooking at Mardi Gras World, and it's all decorated for Halloween. Nina said that at this point, she and Michael are just trying to not piss each other off. Michael keeps calling her names - Boo-Boo, Sweetie, Babycakes...Nina refuses to let him get into her head.
Guests arrive - Padma has got an enormously tall feather hat on, Leah's in a cat costume, Hugh is in a prince outfit, and Tom is in a straw boater and looks a bit like a silent film star, Buster Keaton. And Andy Cohen shows up in the show. (Later Lea said that Tom is playing The Great Gatsby. I think he makes a better Buster Keaton!)
BLACK TEAM - Carrie & Stephanie
Doomed Shrooms - Mushrooms with Black Garlic & Radicchio
Freaky Leeky - Ash-coasted Vegetables with Fontina Fonduta
YELLOW TEAM - Fall Theme
Nicholas - Butternut Squash Cannoli with Ricotta Salata
Patty - Lemon Arancini with Smoked Mozzarella
GREEN TEAM - Spooky Spa Theme
Brian - Crispy Quinoa Salad & Mushroom Espuma
Bene - Heirloom Tomato Salad with Wilted Kale
Nina - Candy Corn theme - Ricotta Gnocchetti with Kale Pesto
Michael - Bloody Eye theme - Yellow Arancini with Saffron and Tomato Jam
RED TEAM - Dios de las Muertos Theme
Travis - Vegetable Ceviche
Carlos - Goat Cheese Fondue with Fried Zucchini
Louis - Severed Thumb Theme - Braised Quinoa and Onions with Potato Puree
Shirley - Worm Salad Theme - Hand-cut Noodles & Fresh Daikon Radish
Justin - Blood Pasta Theme - Beet Pasta with Green Tomatoes
Sara - Evil Eye Theme - Arancini with Moroccan Tomato Chutney
The judges go to deliberate. The cheftestants are in the Stew Room. Nina tells Michael that she feels he thought "Oh, I'm with Nina? ...straight, I can chill." And Michael says "No! You needed me in the beginning!" Nina replies "Umm, excuse me?" She knows this could be trouble for her.
Judges deliberate while the cheftestants listen and watch. Patty's arancini was most appreciated by Lea, and Nicholas's dish was one where he truly listened to Lea as to what she would like. Justin and Sara - Tom liked the flavor; Lea said when she was eating it, she was scared of it! Carlos did Lea right by ensuring there was enough spice.
Padma said there were several dishes where one dish was good on a team and one wasn't. Nina and Michael was one example - Nina's gnocchetti was excellent; Michael's arancini wasn't. Lea said they should have tasted each other's dishes to ensure both was good. Bene and Brian's dishes were heavy and the tomato dish wasn't seasoned.
Padma comes in and asked to see the Yellow Team (Nicholas and Patty) and the Red Team (Carlos and Travis). They are the top teams. The winning team is the Red Team!
The judges now wanted to see the Orange Team (Nina and Michael) and the Green team (Brian and Bene).
Lea said to the Green Team that she wanted the opposite of Spa cuisine. Tom said that if Bene is here to win, he needed to come up with something other than tomato salad. Michael was told his arancini came up on the bottom, and his sauce was too sweet. Nina gets called out by Padma when she is told "Nina, if you're on a team, his dish should be as important to you as your dish is to you."
Bene and Brian's salads *seem* to be the least favored, and Brian is heard saying in the Stew Room "I'm not going to lose any sleep over it!" Umm, maybe you will if you are told to PYKAG!
And we're back. :::Whooshing camera of cheftestants::: Tom reviews their dishes. Padma tells JUST Michael to pack his knives and go. Wow - I thought a team would be going!
And we're done! Quick proofread after I hit POST and back to the World Series - it's 6-1 Red Sox in the bottom of the 8th inning. GO SOX!!!
(And I think that is the fastest I've ever finished a recap - in 65 minutes.)
And Wooooooo Hooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Red Sox are the 2013 World Series Champions!
There go the local fireworks near me! LOL