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Top Chef Seattle - Ep. #8 - 12/26/12 (Spoilers)

Happy Day After Christmas, all. Time to muck about in quickmud.

They're back in the suite. Lizzie finds a note on their kitchen counter - Padma's note tells them to head to an address to harvest their main ingredient. Emeril and Padma will wait for them in the kitchen. They head off to Taylor Shellfish Farm in Bow, WA.

They put on their mudboots and start harvesting the oysters. Josie gets stuck; Stefan and Micah helps her out and Micah falls ass-first into the mud. As Stefan and Micah walk away, Josie falls again and her hand gets stuck.

John and Josh try freshly harvested oysters - Tesar grew up on the east end of Long Island. Bart also grew up eating oysters, as his family was in the restaurant business. This is all new to Sheldon, as all their oysters in Hawaii are flown in.

They had back to the TC kitchen, where Padma and Emeril meet them for their Quickfire Challenge. The challenge are to make oysters on the half-shell for Emeril. Five will do a hot preparation (red apron), five will do a cold preparation (blue apron). The winner will get $5,000. They have 25 minutes.

Brooke has problems shelling her oysters. John's doing a riff on the oysters from Drago's in NOLA. Stefan's smoking his oysters. Lizzie's combining oysters and currants. Josie's sauce goes past reduction and has broken, so she won't have the right sauce for her Spanish oyster dish.

Kristen (hot prep) - Oysters with Caramelized Honey, Tomato Broth, Celery Leaves and Chili - Emeril liked the celery leaves on top.

Stefan (cold prep) - Smoked Oysters with Potato Vinaigrette and Flash Frozen Salt - "nice crunch" comment from Emeril.

Josh (cold prep) - Oysters with Pickled Cucumbers, White Soy, Cilantro & Red Chili - Emeril asked Josh if he shucks a lot of oysters (as he picks a shell from his mouth). Josh says no, he doesn't, so it was a wrestling match.

Lizzie (cold prep) - Oysters with Crushed Currant Juice, Crushed Pink Peppercorn - Emeril likes the final drizzle of olive oil and Padma said the red currant worked.

Brooke (cold prep) - Oysters with Salsa Verde, Cilantro, Horseradish & Red Chili - Emeril notes a couple of shells in his oyster.

John (hot prep) - Oysters Poached in Garlic Butter with Swiss Chard & Garlic-Parmesan Foam - John said he did a combination of Brennan's and Drago's. Emeril said the cheese wasn't heavy, and Padma notes it was smart to do a foam.

Josie (hot prep) - Wood-Roasted Oysters with Chorizo & Cilantro Cream - Emeril said the chorizo was not overpowering.

Micah (hot prep) - Crispy Fried Oysters with Arugula Salad, Hot Sauce & Lemon - Emeril said it was a very nice seasoning, but not overpowering. (This dish looked *really* good!)

Bart (hot prep) - Oysters with Champagne, Butter & Cream - Padma asked if he roasted the whole thing at the end, and Bart said he roasted under the broiler at the end.

Sheldon (cold prep) - Oysters with Chilled Old Bay Broth & Ginger Scallion Pesto - Emeril liked the little hint of ginger floating in the broth.

Bottom group - Bart, Josie, John
Top group - Lizzie, Micah, Brooke

The winner is Micah!

Padma said they're going to roll right into the next Elimination Challenge - they'll be cooking for the Rat City roller derby team in Seattle's Roller Derby League. The chefs will be doing the food for the wrap party for the season. They are to divide into teams of two.

Each team must make a dish inspired by their Rat City Rollergirl's names.

1. Micah & Lizzie - Micah won the QF, so he gets to choose first, and he chooses Jalapeno Business. (He also choose which team chooses next)
2. Sheldon & Josh - they pick Tempura Tantrum
3. Stefan & Kristen - they pick Eddie Shredder
4. John & Brooke - they choose Kutta Rump
5. Bart & Josie - they get Teriyaki Terror

They have 2.5 hours tomorrow at the rink to cook. They get to go watch tonight's game.

Josie bugs the rest of the cheftestants with her hooting and hollering at the game. Meanwhile, Josie says in the confessional it's like going to the roller derby with her parents.

They go back to the suite, and Stefan asked Josh on the deck outside what happened at the game. (Josie's resting on the couch inside.) Josh says that she knocked beer over on her way out, and she was loud and obnoxious. Micah said that nothing that came out of her mouth tonight was important. Josie gets up and confronts the guys, and Micah said that no one was calling anyone names, and she shouldn't either. Josie retorts that calling someone boring isn't calling someone a name. She then takes it further by saying calling someone an a$$hole or a dooshb*g IS calling someone a name. But Micah shouldn't bark up her tree because she knows who she is, but then says that Micah is hiding in a closet. Micah notes after she leaves that "Apparently, I'm a closeted gay man. Sorry I didn't tell everyone before!" Bart tries to calm Josie down. Josie says "Namasté, bitches. Namasté."

They arrive at the rink the next day. Lizzie's wondering how she and Micah will work together, as they've not done so yet. Bart notes that everyone else can't stand Josie. "Josie is Josie and Josie can be loud." He said "In Belgium, we don't go head to head. We're civilized." Josie has Bart try her teriyaki marinade/sauce. Bart said his interpretation of bold will be different from Josie's, and he usually doesn't go overly spicy.

John said that his partner, Brooke, reminds him of his daughter. He went through a rough divorce and his ex-wife took his daughter from him at 1.5 years old. He says in the confessional that he's overcome a lot of the self-inflicted ridiculousness, but he misses his daughter. And John tells Brooke that he appreciates her taking the time to understand him.

Sheldon does tempura all the time at his restaurant, so he thinks he can execute the dish for the win. Josh asks if everyone can couples skate after the challenge - Stefan says "not with you!" Josh replies that he and Sheldon will couple-skate - they're the Husky Mustaches. LOL

Stefan notes that he was 14 when he used to go ice skating. Kristen asked what year that would be - Stefan said 1986. Kristen said "Oh, I was 3!" :-)

The guests arrive and you hear Josie right away laughing and talking loudly about her dish. The judges arrive - Emeril, Hugh, Tom and Padma. Emeril said he used to go roller derbies in Providence, RI all the time when he was young. Padma said she used to go roller skating once a week. Hugh says her roller derby name should be Padma Smacks-Me. "It's got a good ring to it!"

John & Brooke (Kutta Rump) - Thai Beef with Lobster Jasmine Rice & Thai Slaw - Hugh the flavors build well, and it's definitely bold. Kutta said it starts slow and then gets spicy.

Bart & Josie (Teriyaki Terror) - Steak Teriyaki with Forbidden Rice, Beet Blood & Green Papaya Salad - Teriyaki said it was really unique. Hugh asks if that means unique-good or unique-crappy, and she said it was a little too earthy for her. Hugh said "Ooohh, we're going to unique-crappy!" Tom said "If you're going to skewer individual pieces like this, how are you going to cook it? Are you going to sauté individual slices to get that color on a thin piece of meat? It's impossible!" Padma notes that they use forbidden rice with a striking color with the beets, but the rice was overcooked. Emeril said he doesn't get the texture and it's under-seasoned (KISS OF DEATH!) The camera cuts to Josie telling other guests "It's a little spicy, OK? I'm going to warn you!" Hugh asks what Emeril's roller derby name should be, and Emeril said he likes Emeril Bam-Bam Lagasse.

Micah & Lizzie (Jalapeno Business) - Crab-Stuffed Jalapeno with Avocado Cream, Onion & Pepper Relish - Hugh said it's better than he thought, and Tom said it's very good! Tom said the real trick was making sure it was crispy with good flavors, and it was. Jalapeno said she liked that they took a party food favorite and elevated it with the crab and avocado crema.

Stefan & Kristen (Eddie Shredder) - Corn Purée, Chicken Liver & Sunny-Side Up Egg (Chicken Inside-Out) - Emeril loved the corn pudding and the chicken liver, but his egg was a little bit overdone. Tom said they missed a lot of opportunity - they could have roasted and shredded a chicken and added it to the dish, it would have made it a lot of fun. Eddie liked it being an inside-out chicken.

Sheldon & Josh (Tempura Tantrum) - Tempura Yuzu Curd with Shiso, Fresno Chili, Sweet Potato & Vanilla - Emeril loved the idea. But his tempura wasn't fried enough (Hugh agrees). The rest of the flavors that they were to schmear the tempura through were great, however. Emeril noted that the small fryer and having to continually bring it back up to temperature was the main problem. But meanwhile, Tempura *loved* the dish, and thought they pulled it off really well.

Everyone heads back to Judges Table to discuss.

But FIRST - in the in-between, everyone watches Padma in the All-Skate. Stefan notes he purchased Season 9 to cut shots of Padma out and put them all together to watch. :-)

Padma comes in and asks to see John/Brooke and Micah/Lizzie. They are the top teams. Emeril does a quick review of both dishes. Hugh announces the winning team - it's Brooke and John! John notes third time's the charm, but it would have been sweeter had he won it on his own.

And Josie/Bart and Sheldon/Josh are asked to go in as the losing teams. (::::Whooshing camera shots to each chef's face::::)

Padma asks who did what on Josie/Bart's dish - he did the rice, the beef and the beets - Josie did the teriyaki marinade for the beef. Tom asked if they tasted the dish, especially the rice and beet and the lack of seasoning. Josie said she knew the rice's texture was more like a risotto, but thought the well-flavored beet would "seep into the soil - the terroir, that it would, it would...." Tom sharply calls out "How many times do you guys have to hear this? If something is properly seasoned, and something is bland, and you put them together, you end up with bland - you don't end up with seasoned! I don't understand this thought process at all - it makes me nuts!" He notes that Bart has been told several times that his dishes are under-seasoned (KISS OF DEATH!) Bart has a look on his face like "What? Under-seasoned?" Hugh called it a beet spuma served on top of a boring porridge.

They move on to Sheldon/Josh. Tom asked why they thought they were there - Josh noted the plate that the judges got - it had to be the tempura. Sheldon said executing at the moment didn't pull through. Hugh said when they were plating the judges' dishes, did they feel like the tempura wasn't properly done. Hugh said the main focal point on the plate was "Eww...softie".

Out of the blue, Josh asks to ask a question, and hopes he doesn't pull a CJ....he asked about the jalapeno popper, saying they (the roller girls) said don't serve concession stand-style food. Tom said if that was a canned jalapeno with the skin still on, pickled and brined, stuffed with some really bad cheese and fried it, yeah - that's concession. But when you take a fresh jalapeno, roast it, peel it, seed it, stem it, put a nice crab salad in it, and it's perfectly fried, no - that's not concession.

And who's leaving? It's Bart for his under-seasoning. (Damn. WHY wasn't it Josie?) As he's shaking hands with the judges, Padma says she's going to send him a bag of salt. Bart replies "Not healthy!" In the confessional, Bart said no one has sent his food back for under-seasoning after 7 years and counting in his restaurant.

Next week's preview? They're going down memory lane to previous seasons' dishes, meaning they're cooking other season's cheftesants' dishes (shown were Hung, Carla, and Dave Martin "I'm not your bitch, bitch!").

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  1. Thanks for the excellent recap Linda!

    I got to watch TC live, since I'm on vacation this week (WOOHOO!!)

    I agree, why wasn't Josie the one to go home? I really find her personality grating and it seems like her dishes are never quite there. has she won a challenge at all?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jujuthomas

      She's won one QF in Ep 3:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

      She *would* have gone home in Ep. 3, as her dish was instrumental in her team's loss in the EC, but she had immunity from that QF win.

    2. Wasn't crazy about this week's episode. Too many toyota's, too much Josie, too distracting drama.

      On the positive side, I have both Brooke and John in my family Top Chef fantasy challenge, so I'm in the lead.

      And they are down to nine -- so one more eliminated and we get Restaurant Wars!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nosh

        Yeah, WAY too much Josie. I was kind of hoping that the focus on her meant she was going home and that the previews would show everyone in the Stew Room breathing a sigh of relief.

      2. Loved the quickfire, I was so jealous that they got to harvest their own oysters especially Washington oysters and because they are so good all on their own raw, the chefs really had a challenge to make them taste even better. Although unlike southern and eastern oysters they don't taste as good cooked. I'm surprised the fried oysters won.

        I really don't care how much they focus on chefs hating on Josie, it's pretty clear they've decided to play out that storyline for a while and I think Josie having been to TC before and knowing that her chance of winning aren't as great as her chance of improving her media exposure like other non-winners of TC have so she's just putting on a show.

        Did anyone else hear Micah say his dad was a pastor so they were kosher? I didn't know anyone kept kosher except in the Jewish faith and there are no pastors in Judaism. Did he actually say his dad was a rabbi? Or did I miss hear that?

        Josie was being way agro, on the other hand, she was at a freaking roller derby game and being loud and cheering is pretty normal. I wish Snidely would stop complaining about people or other people's dish and maybe win something cause at least Josie has won a QF. I think Snidely is jealous that even with that mustache and constantly failing to win, he still isn't getting as much camera time.

        The elimination challenge was pretty average but at least they didn't restrict what they could cook with or have to use any branded crap.

        I thought it was funny Snidely said Josie's voice was like nails on a chalkboard when that's how I feel when he speaks.

        It's said that Bart rather than Snidely or Josie went home but I guess since he was more mellow than 4:20 they decided to keep the chefs that are drama. Under seasoning is almost as bad as overcooking your protein on TC.

        19 Replies
        1. re: tjinsf

          Thank you, I had completely forgotten to check out the pastor thing. According to Micah's Bravo bio his father is an orthodox Catholic priest who follows kosher law, which yeah I'm still unfamiliar. On Twitter he says it's a "long story" but leaves the suggestion that his mom is Jewish. I'm more puzzled now by a Catholic priest referred to as pastor at this point, but it's not like I'm all that familiar.

          Oh and so Kristen is 30? And not 19 like she looks? Hanging out with Stephan isn't so cockeyed in that case.

          1. re: ennuisans

            Now I'm really confused. I wondered why his pastor father kept Kosher and now you say his father is an orthodox Catholic priest? Who's married with kids? Is there a sect of Catholics who allow their priests to marry?

            1. re: chicgail

              Orthodox Catholic - isn't Roman Catholic - and from I understand, they are able to become priests after they've married. They just can't become bishops.

              The kosher feature I have no explanation for.

              1. re: chicgail

                Perhaps it's the Orthodox Catholic Church of America...which seems to be under the patronage of the Russian Orthodox Church?

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox...

                1. re: chicgail

                  Yes, there are married priests, even married Roman Catholic priests. They have to be married before they are ordained. Single Catholic priests are still not allowed to marry.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/us/...

                  I'm not quite sure about the kosher thing. I onced knew a girl who came from a strict Protestant family (I don't recall which denomination) and they didn't eat pork. Curiously, she ate pepperoni, bacon, and ham. I asked her if cured and/or smoked pork was allowed. She said it was not but that she liked those pork products. I explained that a pork loin was lean and not 'unclean' but she said she would not eat that kind of pork.

              2. re: tjinsf

                I did hear that about keeping kosher and that he hadn't had seafood until he was an adult.

                And remember - the judges don't see any of the behind the scenes drama. They don't keep someone because they add better drama.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  And remember - the judges don't see any of the behind the scenes drama. They don't keep someone because they add better drama.

                  Do you really believe that. Also if I am not mistake at the end of each episode they have disclaimer that producers may be consulted in decisions.

                  1. re: tjinsf

                    :::Sigh::: I'm not going to repeat what has been said in previous season's threads over and over and over again, as well as by Tom Colicchio.

                    But I will say - he's a professional chef. He's not going to ruin his rep in the restaurant industry and allow for someone who hasn't tasted the food to have a decision in who stays and who goes. Many guest judges have said the judging is scrupulously fair and detailed by those judges, and can take upwards of 8 hours making the determination. You think with as many people who have been on the show (guest judges, behind the scenes staff, etc.) that someone wouldn't have revealed an issue with judging before now?

                    Yes. Producers are consulted on rare instances. The producers were consulted when Tom C. wanted to toss out all the remaining chefs in TC2 and give Marcel the win after he was attacked and threatened with shaving of his head. The producers convinced Tom not to do so.

                    If you choose to believe it's done, you can. I don't.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    After reading all of the kosher/pastor/priest comments, I've now decided it's just strange that they chose to include that story in the comments. I'm sure 5 minutes of talking to Micah would explain the language he used and how he was raised and why. But they didn't give him 5 minutes to talk about his family, rather a few sound bites.

                    Just would have been easier not to include the whole bit.

                  3. re: tjinsf

                    I think he might be a Seventh Day Adventist as they keep the kosher diet regarding no shellfish and the ministers are called pastors. He said his mother was Mexican and I have worked with a number of Spanish speaking Seventh Day Adventists. I was hoping he would finally win and was routing for him and Lizzie to win the EC too.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      The Seventh Day Adventists I've known were vegetarians. Not sure if was just their families' preferences, personal Biblical interpretations, or if it was part of their religious belief system. While shellfish wouldn't be eaten by most vegetarians or any vegans, I never heard my Adventist friends refer to their diets as "kosher" diets...

                      1. re: Berheenia

                        I'm Seventh Day Adventist. Yes, our ministers are called pastors and yes, we pretty much don't eat anything the Jewish don't eat--shellfish, seafood w/o scales or fins (squid, eel, catfish, etc.), pork, and so on. However, there is a difference. It isn't really "Kosher" because there aren't specific rules on how the foods can be mixed and matched or how they are prepared. So, we aren't limited to products labeled as Kosher.

                        In response to KalluaGirl, while a lot of Adventists are vegetarian, its not really part of the belief system to be one. We just have to (or should) follow the main rules of restricted foods.

                        Hmm, that still doesn't answer the question of why MIcah's father is a "pastor" yet keeps "Kosher" does it! Haha.

                        1. re: yummfood

                          Perhaps he was just using "kosher" as an easily understood term that tells you what they did and did not eat.

                          1. re: yummfood

                            Thanks for the clarification, yummfood. As I said, it was just an observation. I've eaten at Adventist friends' houses as well as our local Adventist hospital. The food was always good, but primarily vegetarian. I guess the hospital was catering to serve the majority of the patients, their Board, and their church. Going vegetarian probably seemed like the path of least resistance.

                        2. re: tjinsf

                          He definately said his dad was a pastor. Maybe there are Christian sects who "go the extra mile" and also keep kosher. News to me in any case.

                          1. re: tjinsf

                            I thought that Micah had stated that he was half black and half mexican in a previous episode.

                            1. re: JAB

                              Yes he did (Mexigro/Blaxican) but tyis was his first religious reference.

                            2. re: tjinsf

                              I only just watched the episode (yay! I had better things to do!), and also wondered about the Micah story.

                              So he is a blaxican, raised "kosher", single father? Whatever. Still interesting.

                              I am afraid I would totally be the Josie in my crowd. I am told I blasted the other medical residents when they confronted my for smoking (cigarettes) in our break room. Did I do that???

                              My husband tells me this, and he totally dug it.

                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                Don't forget closeted per Josie.

                            3. Just when I thought they wouldn't possibly show the Camry commercial again, it appears. And am I the only one creeped out by the new Hefty commercials? Was so hoping Josie would leave, but as much drama as she and Josh bring, it's still not as bad as Texas. Next week's challenge looks fun.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: KrumTx

                                nothing could be as bad as the Texas season and no that isn't a challenge to the bravo elves.

                                1. re: tjinsf

                                  Season 5 and the gag-inducing mush-gush between Hosea and Leah.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Yea, as much as I hated the Texas season, Linda wins in her recall of the ick! factor.

                                2. I am so turned around, that I forgot it was Wednesday, and I missed the oyster harvesting part, so I was glad for the recap LW! Overall, I thought that this was a nice episode, and I particularly liked the oyster challenge. I realized that the reason Stefan seems so nice this year is that next to Josie, anyone would seem nice. My one disappointment with the episode is that she didn't have to PYKAG. Ugh. May next week be the week.