Hey Trashies! Happy New Year!
This is SnoopK8, filling in again for J-Mo. I hope you all had magical holiday season filled with champagne and unicorns. What better way to nurse your holiday hangover than with some raw seafood? It’s time for Top Chef!
Last time: The cheffies had to feed 500 LSU students. Corn-fed Carrie made a thoroughly unappetizing cold broccoli salad which probably would have gotten her booted had she not had immunity. Illegal Carlos complained to the judges that PhillyDick Nick “stole” his oven and Nick whined about it endlessly like the giant baby he is. Justin DevilBear refused to pander to the college students’ unsophisticated palettes and instead served them bland shrimp over flavorless mush. That earned him a trip to Last Chance Kitchen and an eventual descent into obscurity.
We open as usual in the stew room where the seven remaining chefs are toasting themselves for not getting kicked off yet. Nina says LSU was the most difficult challenge for her and being on the bottom was a reality check. She vows not to let it happen again. Carrie is sad that Justin is gone, but happy she doesn’t have to compete with him any longer. To me, that means she thinks he’s giant asshole and is happy not to have to put up with him anymore, but I may be projecting a little. They leave to go back to the “dorms,” which, even though Nick was joking, is not so far from the truth.
At the chef dorms the next day, Second Chance Stephanie is on the phone with her boyfriend David, asking if he got her a fishing pole yet. He did not, but he is working on it. Between that and scavenging for mussels, it seems like seafood plays a big part in their relationship. I wonder if that includes tentacle porn.
Steph explains that she hired David as a line cook for her restaurant but she had a crush on him and would schedule herself to work every Saturday night so she could see him.
Her plan was successful because they have been together for two years and he stuck with her even though she was booted early from Top Chef first time around. Well, that was nice of him. Isn’t that like the minimum you look for in a boyfriend? “I like long walks on the beach, scavenging for shellfish and guys who won’t leave me when I get kicked off Top Chef in the first round.”
Steph laments having to sleep on the top bunk, but says she’s done well with that and in general. I’m glad to see her being positive for a change. So she is clearly being set up for the loser edit, right? We shall see, Trashies. We shall see.
Meanwhile, Nick is still bitching about last week’s (unfounded?) oven-theft allegation.
Well, more about the fact that Carlos complained to the judges about it. Nick calls that a bush league move, which it is, but also: shut up, Nick. He goes on to say “If you feel good at the end of the day about winning Top Chef by cooking like an asshole, god bless you. I’ll cook with integrity and be a gentleman about it.” I didn’t realize the hallmark of a gentleman was crying like a little girl and not shutting the fuck up. What ever happened to the strong, silent type?
The chefs arrive at the Top Chef kitchen to find Padma and Top Chef Masters alumnus John Besh standing there with a huge bucket of live crawfish.
Ew. Those fuckers look like the water bugs (aka freakishly large cockroaches) that stalk me at work, except the crawfish are smaller.
The quickfire challenge is to put a “flavorful twist” on crawfish étouffée. Padma helpfully explains that étouffer in French means “to smother,” as in “Padma likes étouffer old-man balls with her face.” Besh says to think of étouffée as a rustic stew served over rice. He says the key is to coax as much flavor out of the crawdads as possible. They will have 45 minutes and the winner gets immunity.
Unfortunately, Stephanie is allergic to certain kinds of seafood, like the kind that turns red in water and looks like a giant cockroach. To her credit, she is able to complete the challenge without (much) whining. I can think of a few current (cough NICK cough) and past (Josie) contestants who would complain from now until the end of time how they had such a huge disadvantage by not being able to taste the food they were cooking. So kudos, Steph.