Last week, we met two-thirds of the twenty-nine chefs who entered this competition thinking they were going to be competing on Top Chef. Ok, well all of them are competing on Top Chef, but, ultimately, only sixteen of them get to be bonafide cheftestants. While this seemed like a fabulous idea to me on paper, I'm finding it really difficult to do recaps of the first two episodes. For one thing - I have a cold and can barely think. (I even typed "thing" instead of "think." And this is why I proofread.) For another, there are entirely too many chefs. Do I try to focus on individual antics? Wait - what do you mean there are no antics? Apart from last week's brief appearance of Tyler the Prick, there wasn't a lot of drama. No drama = not much for me to make fun of. Bah.
But lets proceed, shall we?
For the third and final heat, we have Hughnibrow replacing Gail.
Doesn't Padma look practically emaciated this season? Her boobs are deflated. Guess that's what happens when you have a kid hanging off of them, eh?
The challenge this time is to make a dish using any of ten available main ingredients such as octopus and brussels sprouts. The chefs have three minutes to decide who is cooking what and then they are allowed to take the ingredient to their station. On each platter, along with the theme ingredient, is a small cloche concealing a timer set for 20, 40, or 60 minutes. When the cloches are removed, there are groans from the 20 and 40 minute people who will have to think and work more quickly than the 60 minute gang.
Chaz doesn't care that Padma's boobs have disappeared.
As the wanna-be cheftestants start cooking, we switch to the stew room, where the four chefs on the bubble - Molly, Edward, Janine, and Grayson - have been stuck in there for a whole week. They're getting quite punchy.
Edward Lee is very punchy.
Back in the Really Big Texas-sized Top Chef kitchen, the chefs are scurrying about. Chef Andrew - one of the unlucky 20-minute chefs - is fussing over some mushrooms which will take longer to clean than to cook. Padma-fan Chaz is making risotto, and because his wife is Italian, he feels there's extra pressure for him to perform well.
Meanwhile, time is running out for the 40 minute group, especially Chaz, who's busy daydreaming about a threesome with Padma and his wife. He runs out of time before plating his dish and ends up taking empty bowls to the three judges, who immediately give him the boot.
For the successful chefs, it's time to go to the mansion, meet the other chefs, and...
Stop it, Edward. You're turning me on.
Padma puts the kibosh on any potential bloodshed as she walks into the stew room just as Ed is sharpening his knives. She puts on her funeral director's voice and invites the six to join her in the Big Kitchen.
There we find Tom, Hugh, and Emeril, who seems really grumpy.
Andrew's making Spanish-style mussels, which sounds pretty good. Molly and Grayson are both making shrimp, and Frenchy and Janine are using scallops.
I feel for Janine, who tells us about her broken relationship. Dude - her girlfriend dumped her because she didn't like the vows Janine made during their commitment ceremony! That's even lamer than Kim Kardashian's reasons for divorcing after only 72 days of marriage. ("I asked Kris if a skirt made my butt look big and he paused before he said, 'yes.'")
Ed sees that the other five chefs are making seafood, so he decides to be different and grabs some duck to work with. He's feeling confident about his dish and is sure he'll be moving on in the competition. And then...
At the end of 45 minutes, it's time for Judges' Table.
Ed is told that his decision to make mushi (a yummy Japanese custard) was a bold one that payed off. Padma hands him a chef jacket. And now he doesn't have to resort to executing his fellow competitors. Well, not the ones on the bubble....
There's still some time left in the episode so the judges have to drag things out to prolong the agony. Tom goes over Janine's, Grayson's, and Andrew's dishes once more before Padma sends Andrew packing. Then it's down to the Jilted Lesbian and the Teenage Alcoholic, and I'm kinda rooting for Janine. But instead of a verdict...we get a commercial! Sheesh.
And then there were sixteen. Next week, the competition starts in earnest. So...did you like the extra two weeks of competitors? Or would you have preferred to start with the 16 finalists?
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.