12/27/2012 04:09:00 PM

Top Chef Seattle Episode 8: Jalapeno Business

Image via Bravo

We're down to the top ten, and last night's Top Chef opened with a note in the room: Head to Bow, Washington, to "harvest your main ingredient." Aw, shucks! The cheftestants are sent to Taylor Shellfish Farms to pick oysters straight from the water. The beds are huge, the oysters are huge, and they all think it's awesome.

Back in the kitchen, they each have to make oysters on the half shell for Emeril. Five of them will them do hot prep and five will do cold, depending on which blue or red apron they can snag. The red "hot" aprons all go first, but it's a mistake because the bottom three are all hot. Bart's oysters with Champagne sauce (which he makes at his resatuarant) were too heavy on the cream, Josie's chorizo and cilantro cream sauce had broken (which she knew) and John's complex concept of combining New Orleans favorites Brennan's and Drago's with poached oysters in a garlic Parmesan foam just didn't have any pop. The favorites were Lizzie's oysters with crushed currant juice, Brooke's oysters with salsa verde and Micah's crispy fried oysters with arugula salad, hot sauce and lemon. Micah wins, which is particularly special because Emeril is Micah's childhood idol and he earlier told us cooking for Emeril is "like probably what Moses felt like when he was meeting God." Bam!



For the elimination challenge, they're cooking for Seattle's roller derby league wrap party. They divide themselves into pairs and each team makes a dish inspired by a roller girl's name-which, coincidentally-are all food related. Random. Bart takes one for the team and partners with Josie, who is successfully driving all the chestestants crazy. Handlebar Josh compares her voice to "nails on a chalkboard." The Josie problem escalates at the roller derby, where she's drunk and rowdy and calls the rest of the group boring. Not such a big deal, but Micah tries to stand up to her and she fires back, "this right here, knows who she is, you, are hiding in a closet." Whoa, what? Bart says he's the only one who can deal with her because they're civilized in Belgium.

So each pair makes a dish inspired by the roller names and is then judged by Emeril, Tom, Padma, Hugh Acheson and their respective roller-namesake. Micah and Lizzie (who get to pick first) choose Jalapeno Business. They make a crab-stuffed jalapeno with avocado cream. The judges love it, and Jalapeno Business likes that they elevated the standard party jalapeno popper. Josh and Sheldon get Tempura Tantrum and make tempura yuzu curd with shiso, Fresno chili, sweet potato and vanilla sauces. The sauces mixed up make a "temper tantrum in your mouth." The idea and the flavors are good but the tempura is not fried enough, so it's a fail. Tom calls it "tempura terrible." Ouch.

Stefan and Kristen choose Eddie Shredder and they do a chicken inside-out with corn puree, chicken liver and a sunny-side up egg. The liver is cooked perfectly, but Tom wishes they had shredded some actual chicken on top. Brooke and John choose Kutta Rump, so they cut a rump and make Thai beef with lobster jasmine rice and Thai slaw. They feel really good about their dish as they're making it, and the judges agree. Finally, Josie and Bart end up with Teriyaki Terror and make a steak teriyaki with beet-blood forbidden rice and green papaya salad. It's bland.

John and Brooke's Kutta Rump Thai beef and Micah and Lizzie's Jalapeno Business crab jalapeno popper are on top and John and Brooke cut a win. On the bottom are Josie and Bart's Teriyaki Terror and Sheldon and Josh's Tempura Tantrum. Handlebar Josh pulls a CJ and asks how a glorified jalapeno popper could end up on top. Padma says that like his tempura dish, it was risky, but theirs was successful and his was not. Never a good idea. In the end though, Bart and Josie's dish was worse, and the chronic underseasoner Bart gets sent home for their underseasoned dish. Who will put up with Josie now?

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