After last week's subpar episode, last night's Top Chef was a rather entertaining one. As the field continues to dwindle, personalities and cooking styles are slowly but surely coming to light. We had local favorite Jamie Lauren in the middle of things, the return of Stefan the Evil Bald European Bond Villain, Gail's bridal shower, Padma in another one of her goddess outfits, some good zingers from Tommy C, and the usual inedible dish. Here then, are some musings on this week's episode. As always, yours are welcome in the comments.
1) Instead of diving right into the quickfire, the producers let us in on the entirely-odd phenomenon of Stefan courting Jamie ... the lesbian... with stuffed animal pants ... made from dish towels? There are no words. Dude, at least buy her a Madonna poster or something.
2) Quote of the episode: "This is like the fourth or fifth thing he’s given me. Stef-an! Come on! Does the word lesbian mean anything to you?" —Jamie
4) Quickfire Challenge It was the palate challenge, and this time around, the chefs squared off to see who could name more ingredients in a mystery sauce. In the first round, the talented Stefan—who has emerged as the new frontrunner—delivered "an ass whooping" to his soulmate Jamie and then to Leah, who subsequently called him an asshole. Fellow baldy Hosea triumphed over The Finn in the last round, winning immunity.
5) And just so we're clear, Danny has the worst beard ever, right? OK, just wanted to make sure we're all on the same page here.
6) Elimination Challenge: Four teams—with the themes Old, New, Borrowed, Blue—are tasked to cater Gail's bridal shower and its harem of Food & Wine staffers. Jamie found herself on Team Borrowed with old lady Ariane and unassuming Radhika. JL took charge of the team and decided they're doing Indian food. Because Radhika's Indian, you see?
7) Signs that Team New was doneski: "Pickles are new!!! I know Gail likes pickles!!!" —Danny, um, brainstorming.
8) Best moment of the episode: Carla wandering around Whole Foods, randomly yelling out "Hootie! Hootie!", unable to understand why no one is replying "Hoo!"
9) New tidbit that just makes so much sense: Stefan revealed that he's been married twice, to the same woman. And now they're divorced. Again. See anything you like, Jamie?
10) Signs that Team New was doneski:" I failed to mention how to eat the dish" —Eugene
10.5) Signs that Team New was doneski: "A little crunch a 'dis, a little splooge a 'dat" —Danny, on his hidden mushroom surprise in the deconstructed sushi disaster plate.
11) Winners: Jamie's Team Borrowed, along with Stefan, Hosea and Jeff of Team Old. Ariane took top honors for handling the lamb, leaving Jamie the bridesmaid once again. A visibly disappointed JL—who was clearly the leader throughout the challenge—had this memorable quote: "None of us expected anyone but me to win."
12) Losers: Team Blue—who made old-people food out of Chilean sea bass—were spared due to the trainwreck that was Team New: Danny, Eugene and Carla. Somehow, Danny—who, it should be noted, might be a big dumb animal—refused to realize that their sushi salad surprise was a mess. So, the New Yorker got the ax.
13) Danny's "rationalization" in his exit interview: "I do feel like they made the wrong decision, but there’s wrong decisions in football games too." ... Oh.
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