Nine chefs remain. Back at the suite, Sheldon sharpens his knives; Stefan puts wrinkle cream on his face. :-)
In the TC Kitchen, Padma is there with Master Bladesmith, Bob Kramer. He makes custom carbon-steel knives that sell for $500 an inch. He demonstrates cutting through a 1" sisal knife with one slash. Sheldon's looking good with sharpening his knives every day! He says "Can I hug you right now?"
The Quickfire will take part in 3 rounds, and they'll be grouped in 3 teams of 3 cheftestants.
1. Sharpening skills - turn dull knives into razor sharp. Top two teams will move on.
2. Precision - tourne 50 potatoes to all look exactly the same. Whichever team wins, those 3 cheftestants will move on to compete against each other in the final round.
3. Break down and french the rack of two rabbits.
The winner will receive immunity and take home a Bob Kramer knife. Padma also notes that if *anyone* nicks themselves, that person will be disqualified and the team continues without them.
Red - Josie, John, Kristen
Green - Brooke, Stefan, Lizzie
Blue - Josh, Sheldon, Micah
Green Team calls check first, and Stefan and Lizzie's knives are sharp, but Brooke's is not - she has to go back and continue sharpening. Then John calls check early for the Red Team, and Kristen doesn't think she's ready, but it's John whose knife doesn't go through the paper, but Kristen and Josie do. He resharpens, recalls check, and he gets through.
Blue Team calls check, and they get through. Brooke's poor sharpening skills doesn't allow the Green Team to move on.
Next - tourneing the potatoes with the chef's knives they just sharpened. They are each to have 7 sides and be uniform in size, and Sheldon's potatoes are looking like poop, per Micah. John goes into double-time, and he tournes the potatoes very quickly. Blue Team calls check, and their potatoes are good - Red Team loses by 2 potatoes.
So Micah, Josh and Sheldon are the final three. Sheldon's never broken down a rabbit before. Josh is having problems frenching the rack as the rack bones are easily separated from the actual muscle. Micah says that for some reason, breaking down little bunnies is a zen moment for him - and he calls Check first and ends up winning the Quickfire!
Padma says in honor of Season 10, they're taking a trip down Memory Lane. Each chef will be assigned a memorable moment from a previous season, and they will cook a dish related to that moment. The winning dish will "inspire a new Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer" - so they have to make healthier versions of the original dish. They'll get 2.5 hours to prep and cook at the Palace Ballroom before some Top Chef superfans arrive to sample the dishes. The winner will get $15,000.
Padma tells them there are Kindle Fires under their stations, each loaded with a memorable moment from a past season. Padma holds the Kindle Fire with the Season 10 Memorable Moment and they'll learn about that later.
The judges arrive - Wolfgang Puck, Wylie Dufresne, Chris Cosentino, and Jonathan Waxman join Padma and Tom Colicchio.
Josie, Stefan and John are up first for Seasons 1-3.
Josie (Season 1/Dave Martin) Herb-Roasted Chicken with Parsnip Puree and Steamed Root Vegetables. Nicely roasted chicken; Waxman said it wasn't exciting - it's a standard roasted chicken at a standard restaurant.
Stefan (Season 2/Betty Fraser) - Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Bacon and Grilled Mimolette Cheese Sandwich on Spelt Bread. Wylie and Wolfgang like the soup with it's spiciness, but the sandwich is greasy.
John (Season 3/Howie Kleinberg) - Umami Risotto with Chicken, Salmon Roe, Burdock Root and Carrot Emulsion. Padma doesn't like the risotto; Wylie said some of the rice is undercooked; and then Wolfgang says some is overcooked as well. The risotto curse continues!
Sheldon (Season 4/Zoi Antonitsas) - Beef Carpaccio with Poi Aioli, Mizuna and Mushroom Salad & Silken Tofu Foam with Miso-Candied Salmon. Chris said it is not eye-appealing; they meat looks like it went through the grinder. Wylie likes the candied salmon, but the tofu was a throwaway. Wylie says it's a buzzword for healthy, but there was really nothing to it.
Lizzie (Season 5/Jamie Lauren) - Seared Scallops with Roasted Fennel, Garlic Puree, Orange & Olive Salad. Wolfgang said the scallops' quality were dubious. Wylie is shown taking a very deep smell of one of the scallops.
Josh (Season 6/Michael Voltaggio & Mike Isabella) - Soy-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Cashew Puree & Heirloom Peaches. Wolfgang liked how the pork was cooked perfectly; Wylie liked the cashews and peaches working with the pork. Padma asks Tom if he remembers Michael V. getting a standing ovation for the braised pork belly; Tom said yes, he remembers, but says that Padma also got an ovation for her "jumpsuit" at the military base...they show a shot of Padma from that season getting out of a Jeep in very high heels and a leopard-print mini dress. :-)
Brooke (Season 7/Alex Reznik) - Smoked Salmon, Forbidden Black Rice with English Pea & Parsnip Puree. Wolfgang said the salmon perfectly cooked; Tom said both the salmon and the rice were well cooked.
Kristen (Season 8/Carla Hall) - Poached Chicken Breast, Carrot Puree with Garlic & Tofu Emulsion. Tom liked the dish; he said it was light but flavorful. Jonathan thinks it was a great version of what he thought would be a pot pie, but Chris didn't have the sauce that others did.
Micah (Season 9/Beverly Kim & Heather Terhune) - Five-Spiced Duck Breast with Miso Polenta & Pickled Cherries. Tom liked the duck breast and the idea of the pickled cherries. Jonathan, however, doesn't think the miso and polenta worked well together.
Padma comes into the Palace Ballroom's "Stew Room" and asks to see Josh, John, Kristen, Lizzie, and Brooke. Those left in Stew note that that was a lot of people to call in. ::::Whooshing close-up camera shots:::: These 5 served both the best and worst dishes.
Josh, Brooke and Kristen served the best dishes, putting John and Lizzie in the bottom. The winner? It's Kristen - yay!
The judges then review the worst dishes. Chris noted that his rice wasn't well cooked; John notes he had to deal with a non-level bottomed pot, but Josh said the pot he used for his stock was just fine. John said equipment was an issue, regardless of what anyone says, and that to ask someone who doesn't want him in the competition anymore (Josh) is a little jaded. They ask Lizzie if she had tasted her scallops; she had but realizes they must have been off as she couldn't get a good sear. Tom said he was surprised at her dish, as she's always been thoughtful in how she prepares her dish.
Padma says one of them will be going home...but then pulls out the 10th Kindle Fire. They have a chance to save themselves. It has a memorable moment from the current season. The moment is? CJ's burger and spicy dill pickles. They have 45 minutes to make a healthier version of CJ's burger. The other 3 go back to the Stew Room and explain that the other two are cooking for their lives; saying John's making excuses the whole time.
Back in the kitchen, John goes for the ground lamb, and Lizzie takes ground chicken. John asks for *some* of Lizzie's dill, but he ends up using *all* of the dill. Chops some of it, but then puts the rest into a blender. Lizzie's pissed he took it all, and then John starts leaving the oven door open. John says in the confessional saying he was tired of Lizzie pushing him around and bitching and moaning, and he *shared* the pickles - he could have taken them all and said "You know what? Welcome to Top Chef, because if you don't have a pickle on your dish, you're going home. I shared the pickles. Because that's who I am."
Yes, John - but Lizzie shared the dill with you - and YOU TOOK IT ALL. *Big* difference.
John - Lamb Burger with Fried Egg & Spicy Pickle, Tomato & Pomegranate Salad with Dill and Cream Cheese Aioli. Chris asked why he added a fried egg - John said for the fat, but it still had low calories. Wolfgang said his burger was a bit more overcooked for his taste. Chris did like the salad with the burger.
Lizzie - Chicken Burger with Goat Cheese Ricotta Cream & Dill Pickle Roasted Red Pepper Salad. Wolfgang asked if she used white or dark meat; Lizzie replied white meat. Wolfgang said the burger was very moist and flavorful. Chris noted that the salad was very refreshing, but he would have liked a whisp of salt.
Tom found nothing to criticize on either dish and said it was a tough decision. ::::Whooshing camera shots again::: Chris said Lizzie's dish was best for him; Wolfgang said Lizzie's dish was better; Tom said that Lizzie deserves to stay, and Padma agreed. So John is asked to PYKAG. In the confessional, John said he got the shaft and said he's not bitter, but thinks it's b*llshit. (Umm, that's called being bitter, John.) He continues with a bit more in the confessional that he could have been more of a pr*ck, but he wasn't.
Previews - a new spin on Restaurant Wars. Each of them will have to come up with their own idea of a restaurant. They'l present them at Bite of Seattle. And Danny Meyer is a guest judge. The previews showing them cooking at Bite of Seattle shows a complete mess - it's going to be an interesting episode next week!