Top Chef: Maybe Captain Planet is Coming

Last week’s Top Chef started with the most interesting Quickfire.  Based on the cheftestants’ zodiac sign, the chefs use ingredients to represent Air, Water, and Fire (there are no Earth signs among them) for Padma and guest judge Michael Cimarusti.  Unfortunately for the group, it’s a sudden death Quickfire.

When the dishes are tasted, Katsuji, Sheldon, and Jamie are the favorites, but Jamie takes the win and immunity.  Emily, Jim, and Sylva are on the bottom and fight it out in a cook-off.  Because there were no Earth signs, they must use those ingredients to create the same dish.  They choose steak tartar.  Graham Elliot joins Padma and Michael for judging.  Jim is shockingly send packing his knives!  Guys, this one hurts.  I’m rooting for him in Last Chance Kitchen!

The mood focuses to Black Beard the pirate, who apparently threw quite the party!  The chefs are breaking into teams for an ingredient treasure hunt through Charleston!  They draw swords to determine teams of three.  The yellow team is Sheldon, Shirly, and Sylva.  The black team is Katsuji, Brooke, and Casey.  The red team is John, Jamie, and Emily.  This seems like such a fun challenge, but it’s a tropical storm…

They run around in the rain with a map given to them by a pirate.  There are seven chefs, each with three ingredients.  The first team to the chest gets their first choice of ingredient.  Yellow is the first team to finish.  Black is just a few minutes behind, despite Katsuji’s abhorrence for the rain.  Red is the last to return, but they have plenty of time to cook with their booty.

The yellow team took an easy win, being the judges’ clear favorite.  Shirley is given the win for the team!  While Katsuji had a good dish, there were some issues with the rest of the black team’s dishes.  There were equally as many issues on the red team.  Jamie had immunity, but one of the worst dishes.  Jamie offers up his immunity to the judges to be judged for elimination among his peers; he feels that his dish landed his team on the bottom.  (Funny, Tom said the same thing tasting them!)

Tom & the judges think that Katsuji’s dish saved the black team.  Padma asks Jamie if he’s sure he wants to give up his immunity.  He confirms, and is sent packing his knives.  That was kind of crazy!  Jamie was very noble, and is off to Last Chance Kitchen to fight his way back.

HK14: Homecoming

Eight chefs competed on this week’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen: four ladies on Red and four on men on Blue.  They get an early start to their day when Chef Ramsay calls them into the dining room.  There, they find a huge pep rally for Calabasas High School.

The kids are having their homecoming dinner dance in Hell’s Kitchen and the chefs compete to get one of three dishes on the menu for the evening: a seafood appetizer, a chicken entrée, and a beef entrée.  Abigail, Max, and Georgia of the homecoming committee act as judges:

  • T presents a jalapeño grits and shrimp dish for Red.  Milly present a stuffed shrimp alfredo creole risotto dish for Blue.  Abigail, Max, and Georgia all chose Milly’s dish.  Point for Blue!
  • Meghan presents a chive fettuccine chicken dish for Red.  Randy presents a blackened chicken pasta.  Georgia likes Blue, but Max and Abigail both like Red.  Point for Red!
  • Josh/Nick have prepared a chicken fried steak for Blue.  Michelle presents her filet of beef au poivre.  Georgia goes Red, but Abigail and Max pick Blue sealing the win for the men!

They win a pirate adventure dinner, while the girls have to set-up the room for the Mardi Gras themed homecoming… under the supervision of the committee.  To add insult to injury, they must also string loose beads to make necklaces for all 200 guests.  I assume those Mardi Gras necklaces are way less expensive than buying all those beads.

Top: the winning dishes.  Bottom: the men enjoy their pirate adventure dinner!  Milly makes such a good pirate.

Top: the winning dishes. Bottom: the men enjoy their pirate adventure dinner! Milly makes such a good pirate.

Homecoming dinner service comes and it’s a rocky start for both teams.  T starts by setting the flat top on fire.  Ramsay is as cool as a cucumber in the face of fire– he knows how to quell every kitchen fire and I’m impressed.  Josh tries to serve super alcoholic risotto to 17-year-olds and then serve raw capellini.  After these hiccups, apps roll out fine.  Entrées get a bit of a rough start too.  Milly’s flat top isn’t hot, so they start out delayed.  Randy struggles here and there.  Red is smoother, even though Michelle was assigned to meat and Meghan pushes her off to garnish.  Alison just cracks me up when she takes it upon herself to expedite and keeps yelling “all day!”  Blue finishes service first, but Red is right behind and with a smoother service, they win!

Blue puts up Randy and Josh for elimination.  Josh immediately starts campaigning and badmouthing Nick in offensive ways.  However, no one is getting eliminated.  Instead, Josh and Meghan switch teams!  I’ve been waiting for them to switch it up!  Meghan has already displayed leadership skills… albeit she’s been a little mean, and Ramsay expects her to lead Blue.  All the ladies left on Red are vying for that leadership role and so is Josh.  We’ll see how things go next week!