The season's second episode of Top Chef aired last night, and as is the norm for these early episodes with a crowded cast, not much culinary or character development is taking place. For the cheftestants, the name of the game in the earlygoing is to keep to your strengths to avoid any disasters, and San Francisco's sole rep, Jamie Lauren, did just that. Plus, in her limited screen time, she pretty much predicted how the entire episode would play out. To the mini-recap:
1) Before the quickfire, some serious bonding went down between Fabio and Stefan, or as the Mothership called the Eurotwins: European partners-in-war-crimes. Both seem to be strong contenders, so this season could conceivably go down as the foreigners' season, especially if Fabio keeps on delivering sound bites made of pure gold: "Is not how many dragons you kills, is who takes a-home dee princess."
2) Quickfire Challenge: The ol' hot dog challenge saw Jamie make a pork-beef concoction from scratch which would have been fine ... if Padma didn't get a bone in hers.
3) Even with the bone, Jamie wasn't one of the losers; that title was reserved for Stefan and Jill, who made the grossest spring roll ever (the secret ingredient was store-bought hot dogs!). Radhika won immunity with her Indian spin.
4) Elimination Challenge: The 15 chefs divided in three teams of five to cook at Craft. JL found herself on Team Appetizers, and made a simple cold corn soup with mint and chili oil accents. Immediately, she declared it a winning dish. She be knowin'.
5) More JL prophecies that were fulfilled: "I think there's a difference between playing it safe and playing it ridiculous and that was ridiculous" --Jamie, on Jill's purchase of an ostrich egg.
6) "Seafood expert" Hosea, looking for Dungeness ... in New York ... in Whole Foods ... in August. What could go wrong?
7) Guest judge Donatella Arpaia, Gail Simmons and Pads did their best Sex & The City impression during the lunchtime judging at Craft, yes?
8) Speaking of familiarities, Amuse-Biatch might have nailed this one on the head. Also, Ariane's ho-hum, diffident attitude is reminiscent of Eeyore. "I don't deserve to be here" :: "Thanks for noticing me"
9) Judges Table: Just as Jamie predicted, Jamie was a winner. Fabio, though, was the overall winner, and became the first contestant in Top Chef history to blow kisses towards the judges. Italians.
10) Elimination: Just as Jamie predicted, Jill's ostrich egg quiche didn't go over so well, and to make matters worse, Jill—clearly flustered by ... everything—gave the "lamest defense of her food in five seasons" according to Gail. She packed her knives.