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They tossed around big time word-grenades like “redneck” and “prick.” Basically, it was the ugliest bout of name-calling the Bravo network had seen in at least an hour and a well-done homage to the wonderful history of Seattle-based reality TV.
When all was said and done, Josh, C.J. and John had definitely made enough drama to guarantee that producers will keep the trio at least through mid-season (er, I mean, they’ll make it because of their cooking skills, obvy).
By the next morning, Stefan summed up tensions in the Top Chef apartment, saying “I feel like the Real Housewives of Seattle.”
Back in the kitchen, this week’s Quickfire Challenge featured Top Chef: Masters vet Naomi Pomeroy and a couple of massive slabs of primal cut beef.
The chefs got one hour to butcher and prepare steak cut from the slabs. The top three dishes were cooked by — big surprise here folks — C.J., Josh and John.
Pomeroy liked C.J.’s beef tartare and Josh’s meatball, but ultimately the oxtail gnocchi of Dallas’ “most hated chef” reigned supreme.
On to the main challenge, which tasked the cheftestants with preparing the original menu used at Seattle’s 50-year-old landmark restaurant Canlis. Also, there’s a surprise: TWO losers would be sent packing after the challenge.
With everyone working on the same menu, certain cheftestants felt like they were given raw deals. Kristen wasn’t thrilled with the two sides she was assigned: fried onions and mushrooms; Carla got stuck with squab.
One of the unhappy cheftestants would end up being the episode’s winner, while the other would be told to pack up her knives and go.
While the chefs seemed to like working in the Canlis kitchen for the most part, there were a couple of hitches:
1) A small grill-room meant Carla had to let others cook the squab for her. First they were sending out undercooked birds, then they overcorrected and sent the judges over-cooked dishes.
2) The second problem had nothing to do with the kitchen itself, and everything to do with the man expediting the food coming out of it. John, who had earned immunity from elimination, was put to the task. Let’s just say something smelled fishy when arch-rival Josh’s soup landed in front of Tom Colicchio totally cold.
OH, THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN and cooking’s Red River Rivalry is getting dirty.
Josh ended up in the bottom four, along with C.J., whose demise had nothing to do with John and everything to do with a grainy sous-vide kabob. They were joined by Carla and Chrissy, who had the unenviable task of preparing the restaurant’s namesake salad — the only item on the original menu that’s still served today.
Carla never had a chance and her fate was sealed when she mentioned that she didn’t taste her dish much during the service. Chrissy was given the boot, but only after being told that her dish wasn’t just a bad Canlis salad, it was a bad salad in general.
On the brighter side of things, Stefan’s calf liver, Tyler’s crab salad and Lizzie’s herring were all recognized as among the best dishes, but Kristen’s sides of onions and mushrooms ended up taking the night. They might have seemed like basic things to cook, but the judges thought she executed them perfectly.
While most of the cheftestants seem to be floating along right now, next week promises high anxiety. Top Chef’s “scenes from the next” showed an angry Colicchio threatening to kick eliminate everyone, because TV seasons can definitely work like that.