|Image via Bravo|
Padma tells them to divide into five groups of three and put on colored team aprons. They have 20 minutes to make a dish that highlights local shellfish. "Most Hated Dallas Chef" John Tesar has watched every episode of Top Chef and he thinks, "the decisions you make are as important as the dishes" so he picks Kuniko, hoping she has incredible Japanese knife skills and Hawaiian dude Sheldon. It works out because they win with geoduck sashimi beating out a lesser geoduck, multiple under-seasoned dishes and a clam chowder that lost the challenge. The three of them draw knives for immunity, of course the Most Hated chef gets it.
On to elimination, but wait - TWIST - the Top Chef vets are actually back as contestants, competing against all of them in Season 10. The newbies are pissed and the three of them are ready to play with renewed mojo. Stefan always thought he should've won and everyone tells him so (to be fair, we did think he was going to beat Hosea back in Season 5), CJ just got back from a stint at Noma and Josie has tried so many kinds of food since she left she's been be coined "the global food chef." Okay, vets, let's see what you can do. The three of them join the elimination challenge as a team.
The elimination challenge will take place at the top of the Seattle space needle and they'll be serving one dish to legendary Seattle chef Tom Douglas. They have 47 minutes - the exact time it takes the space needle to go around once - to thematically prep their ingredients.
The next day the vets realize all the teams are cooking fish and decide to call an audible and use the extra quails they brought instead. They're feeling pumped about their decision. Carla (the ex-Rao's one) is loud and crazy in the kitchen and everyone kind of watches her as if she's he own sideshow act. She will wear heels because she's a chef and a woman. She wants to be a James Beard but she wants to have a nice ass, too. Later she spastically reaches into her knife bag and slices open her hand. Womp womp.
Seattle has amazing fish, so everyone cooks fish - we've got two cods, two salmons, a halibut and the quail. Kuniko, Most Hated and Sheldon win again (!) with chili oil-poached cod with dashi and spot prawns shabu shabu. These three are looking like the chefs to beat. Kuniko takes the prize for chili poaching the fish. She barely speaks English and is adorable.
The salmon dishes are almost identical, but the judges like the crazy moustache guy (Josh)/red curly hair girl (Danyele) team's seared salmon with spot prawn butter sauce better than Carla's team's poached salmon with beurre blanc. They don't like the quail or the halibut because they're both overcooked. It comes down to Stefan or Jeffrey Jew to go home - they're each responsible for their overcooking their respective team's meats. The judge's decide Jeffrey Jew's halibut is the more egregious mistake and send him packing. Too bad, we kinda liked him.