1/24/2013 01:07:00 PM

Top Chef Seattle Episode 12: Wolfgang Clucks

Image via Bravo

It's a little awkward in the Top Chef suite the morning after Josie publically slayed Kristen at judges' table. She knows everyone thinks it should've been her to go home and she admits she feels "some guilt" as she cries to the camera that she may not have gotten here the pretty way but she's here to win. Get outta here.

We're down to final six so it's getting real. No more immunity. The quickfire is to prepare sushi for master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi. Chef Katsuya says sushi is very simple - fish and rice - don't touch too much. One by one each of the chefs tell the camera they're freaked out because they don't really do sushi - except for Brooke who's super excited, she makes sushi for herself and her husband for lunch all the time. Josh has never made sushi and apparently has never eaten sushi because he makes a - to quote Stefan - "f-----g dumb" sushi breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and salmon belly.  

Unsurprisingly he ends up on the bottom, along with Lizzie who makes lobster soup with sushi lobster. Katsuya tells us pouring hot soup over cold fish makes it fishier. Good to know. Josie also uses bacon in her aioli and fails. Chef Katsuya is trying to be open to the "idea" of bacon but it's clear he doesn't approve. Katusya is intrigued by Sheldon's hamachi with lemon charcoal dust but Brooke and Stefan beat him out. Brooke makes a very clean octopus with yuzu and grated wasabi and Stefan makes yellowtail with grilled shitake and raw lobster with seaweed and unagi. Stefan wins his first win of the season.

Tom walks in with David Chang to introduce the elimination challenge. It's fried chicken. Tom rented a house out here and invited some of his high profile, fried chicken-expert friends over for dinner . The cheftestants have one hour to make fried chicken for David Chang, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (the  dudes from Animal and Son of a Gun in LA), Michelle Bernstein, Wolfgang Puck and Emeril.  Tom makes the joke Wolfgang should open a chain called Wolfgang Clucks, laughs to himself and then runs off stage and demands they call the episode that. A few things about these judges besides their chicken expertise. Michelle Bernstein was one of the guest judges who kicked Josie off last time. And Vinny and Jon interviewed to be line cooks for Brooke back in the day and she didn't hire them. But they're not gonna hold it against her. This is an awesome challenge because more than ever we actually want to know what these judges have to say about these different fried chicken methods. Handlebar Josh is so excited he just can't hide it and Josie thinks she's got this one on lock. She's from the South, baby. She means South Florida.

The first round comes out: Sheldon makes umami chicken drumsticks and thighs and wings a la Momofuku aka a la David Chang, who laughs when he says that. They all think it's good. Sheldon had to throw out a bunch of his wings because his oil was too hot and there isn't enough but they eat those legs down to the bone. And they like it. Lizzie makes fried chicken breast marinated in coriander, black pepper and ground sugar rub with cabbage-peach slaw. While it's an affront to the fried chicken community to only serve the breast only, they think it's surprisingly moist and delicious. Tom loves the slaw. Josie makes southern fried chicken with a blend of secret spices (on the screen says black garlic, cayenne and thyme) in flour, corn starch and all purpose flour. Jon Shook says she pitched it as "Southern style" on a banana leaf and all but the South would drive her out of town. Wolfgang says if you make fried chicken with the skin on it's gonna be greasy and the skin is gonna be flubby. Michelle Bernstein aka Josie's judge-nemesis couldn't even eat it. She just can't.

Next round: Stefan makes chicken cordon bleu. Bad move. The judges all joke cordon bleu is so played out that it's plane food and Stefan's isn't even a good rendition. Emeril's got the "chicken cordon blues." Brooke makes Dukkah-crsuted chicken breast with escarole and tomato salad. So Brooke's already had a problem, she had this whole secret weapon plan to skin the breasts and then fry the skin into her batter but she didn’t have time. And now on top of that, there's the whole "she didn't hire the judges" thing. It's not a good day for Brooke. Wolfgang picks up her piece of chicken and says "Is this show is called Top Chef? I wouldn't even call it The Apprentice and I know it's already taken." Sidenote: Wolfgang is on fire tonight. Jon Shook in embarrassed the two LA chefs rolled out with just breasts and Wolfgang says "hello it's LA, plastic surgery everywhere." Mr. fried chicken Josh comes out with smoked fried chicken with hot sauce and blue cheese and it turns out he actually does have some fried chicken chops. They're all impressed by the smoked buffalo combo and say it's the best flavor on the table.

Josh has the clear win, and it's his first win of the competition. Lizzie and Sheldon were on top with him. The other three are on the bottom but it's really Josie or Brooke. They all agree Brooke's was the worst rendition of fried chicken because it wasn't fried chicken at all and it wasn't good but Tom says he'd rather eat Brooke's than Josie's. Tom's had enough of the Josie Show and he's shutting it down. Josie's out. Josh thanks him, "Thank god the Josie show has been cancelled." 

1 comment :

  1. I can't agree more about the simplicity of sushi. I'm a traditionalist, and a lot of the fusion food that is out there now is actually quite tasty, but there is something about the simplicity and artfulness of very traditional sushi that no amount of mayo or avocado can out-do. I make sushi at home a lot with items I get from http://www.sushinut.com and while I *have* been known to toss in a few odd items, I tend to impress with the design and the preparation, rather than bowling people over with explosions of color and a melange of flavors that overpower the fish.

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