Man Poolers, I am faced right now. Just got home from an Xmas party. I’m not ‘Whoa is this my apartment or the Tilt-A-Whirl at Paragon Park?’-faced but I really should have eaten before I drank the Elf Punch. Yeah. Amateur Hour. Don’t ask me about the photos with Santa.
Also I woke up twice the night before last (I never have insomnia, wth) and ended up getting sucked into a Catching Fire vortex (second in The Hunger Games book series. Don't eff with me, I’ll take your tesserae!)
Okay, let's do this!
The chefs return to the TC House and Nyesha is still shocked at how harsh Heather was towards Baby Faced Bev.“…it says a lot about her integrity.” (As in- she has none.)
Ty-Lor, God of Cooking, says it’s time to "showcase the chef that he is." Then he pours cereal from a Lucky Charms box on to a saucer and calls it an amuse bouche.
The next morning in the TC Kitchen, Pads wears separates. (Translation: butter colored pants, a brown leather belt and a slate blue top embroidered with orange thread and potentially pooka shells. Emphasis on "separates" cause she didn’t really need to put them together.)
Next to her is Former TC Master, Tim Love:
Not to be confused with Kim’s Baby Daddy aka Bravo’s Real Housewives of Altanta’s latest addition, Kroy:
Pads and chefLove stand in front of a table full of Product Placement Don Julio tequilas. (Ew. I’m partial to Espolón myself. It’s less harsh imho.)
The Quickfire Challenge
Choose a tequila and make a dish that pairs well with it.
Ty-Lor: “I love tequila. I’ve been to Jalisco Mexico where tequila comes from." (in the back of a station wagon, on a dare; at least that’s how it started but then we were kidnapped.) “This is a challenge I can definitely rock” (if I have an extra pair of hands helping. Maybe chef Rick Bayless’ hands? Is chef Bayless around?)
Pads says the winner won't receive immunity but gets 5k. 30 minutes Time Starts Now!
Sarah Smile says she always does a shot of tequila with her boss when she travels and they’re eating corn tortillas so she goes for Don Julio blanco. Accessory Chef Chris makes a dish that will balance the heat and high alcohol content. Ty-Lor (to Dakota, as if on a chat show): “This is the dish I fabricated when I was on the beach in Thailand.” Then he gives this pouty head nod.
Hey, God? Fabricate a win. You’ve been in the bottom three times.
(Sidebar: How Pads and chefLove are Not tanked after basically drinking 12 mini-shots I dunno but) Least favorites – omg, Karma is here. ChefLove: “Heather? It felt like you were just thinking- ‘I like tequila, and then I’m gonna make this rock shrimp dish.’”
Did you want more, Poolers? I will happily oblige:
ChefLove: “It felt like it was a new special at a new chain restaurant.”
Man that was good. Homegirl won a car last ep but drove over herself in this one.
In other news, Accessory Chef Chris’ chicken was overcooked; Sarah Smile’s risotto was undercooked and “tasted like lemon juice and cream.” (Yuck!) Of course (to Camera) Sarah Smiles and says she’s always cooked her risotto that way and she’s from Texas and she’s never going to stop. Whatever it is, she refuses to stop. Ever.
His Favorites? Chris C.’s raw oyster with tequila lime tapioca pearl, jalapeno cucumber liquor & sea salt air that chefLove said made him feel like he was “at the beach;” Lindsay’s salmon with caramelized fennel puree and brown butter sauce; and Ty-Lor’s steamed clams in a thai style fish caramel sauce paired with the 1942 tequila. But the winner is…
The God Of Cooking!
And he’s gonna “fight to stay here and show that his food is rockin’ off the chart.” I hope you’re hoping what I’m hoping: Ty-Lor will take that 5k he just won and buy a thesaurus so he can come up with some different ways to describe his skills.
The Elimination Challenge
Pads: “Hopefully you like who you’re standing next to because…” Yup. Teams.
Turns out [Bravo has set it up so that] ChefLove is hosting a Game Dinner at his restaurant and all his friends are coming. And, on cue, in walk the “friends,” all famous chefs and several Top Chef Masters.
Nyesha and Dakota will be cooking venison for Bryan Caswell from Reef in Houston; Sarah Smile and Street Food - squab for chef Anita Lo from NYC; Accessory Chef Chris and Grayson - elk for chefLove; Chris and Lindsay - boar for Jon Shook from Animal in LA; Heather and…Baby Faced Bev? Uh oh...
- duck for John Currence from City Grocery in Oxford, MI. Finally, Coke Mouth and Ty-Lor - quail for Vinny Dotolo also from Animal.
Then Pads says they’ll also have to cook a few extra plates for their fellow chefs “because all of you will be judges too.”
They must choose three dishes they liked least and those three teams will face elimination. The Judges will make the final decision about “which TEAM goes home.” Woooo!
Pads: “That’s right.”
No She Didn’t just rub it in like that.
The team that wins splits 10k but really who cares? It’s a double elimination and the chefs are nominating, yo! MADNESS!
Shopping Time 30 minutes, Budget $200.
Heather is a B For Bossy! Baby Faced Bev tries to be a team player. Heather slaps her verbally at every turn (may I suggest a new Bravo show where we see chefs like Heather watching themselves act, as Ellie calls Heather B, "a horrible monster"? OOoo then Dr. Drew can show up and talk to them about what dicks they are! YES! Please get right on this Bravo, kthanksbye!
Back to Whole Foods: Dakota has cooked venison but not in a while (ummm then why doesn't Nyesha cook it?) Accessory Chef Chris (who has never cooked elk) makes Grayson nervous with talk of soaking sweet potatoes overnight in a solution and carving them so he can make links out of them. Grayson (looking for good potatoes): “Uh huh.”
Um, he’s gonna make a chain link of sweet potatoes as a side dish. Do not answer 'uh huh' answer 'nah ah' and pelt him with a spud as a way to suggest a sweet mash!
3 Hours To Prep!
Heather: “I just want to make sure the whole dish isn’t too Asian cause that’s not my style and I’m not going home, Bev.”
Whooooa! Friggin Gigantic B!
And also what does that mean for reals, Heather? That if you DO go home you’re going to roast Bev and eat her?
Cause honestly I wouldn’t put it past your ass at this point. I think you must eat humans, that’s why you’re so mad. When you see your nieces and nephews for the holidays it makes you happy but at the end of the day you want to roast them Hansel and Gretel style and you know your sister will miss them so you can't. It’s that kind of irony that made you eat the family cat. I know Whiskers is missing! You cannibalistic bitch!
Everyone sees and hears the obvious aggression Heather B. has for Baby Face Bev. Coke Mouth respects Bev “and honestly, Heather’s being a complete bitch.”
Werd! Get your drug addled chef Pals to show up and beat that B down!
That night at the TC penthouse, Baby Face talks about how abusive Heather is being and mentions that she was in abusive relationship and one day when he was at work she ran away.
She says she’s become a strong person and has in a great relationship with her husband now and will never let that happen again.
#1-More power to her. #2- Now there’s a backstory to her kowtowing but honestly who wouldn’t kowtow? It's that or murder at this point.
The next day they cook in the smallest, hottest kitchen known to man.
They keep reminding each other not to sweat in the food. Ew.
Anger Alert! Now Heather B. is pissed that Bev is asking questions that “a sous-chef would ask.” Well, if she doesn’t ask you’re just gonna barrel in Hummer style and grind her bones for your stew.
Lindsay and Chris C. present their roasted wild boar with peach BBQ sauce, Kohlrabi slaw and farro fried rice (OMG I Love farro!) One of the Animals thought it would be better without the sauce, Colicchio likes the slaw and overall thinks it's a nice plate of food but not exciting. In the Kitchen the chef’s try it, Street Food says the slaw is watery, Lindsay hears and swallows hard with her giant neck.
Bev and Heather’s five-spice duck breast with creamy polenta, pickled cherries and fresh salad has a “rubbery” breast according to Unibrow. One of the Animals says it’s “safe.” (What were these chefs supposed to do? Serve shit off just shot carcasses with feeding tubes as utensils? Ooo new restaurant idea: Feeding Tube. Don't bite!) In the kitchen the chefs think the breast was perfect.
Grayson & Accessory Chef Chris’s juniper roasted elk with sweet potato (that was supposed to look like a “chain” but had the wrong texture so Accessory Chef Chris couldn't pull it off) and a bouquet of citrus greens.
Grayson is not pleased. Pads: “Is there any particular reason why you cut the sweet potato into a shape?”
Accessory Chef Chris says he was trying to do a technique that didn’t work and "wasn’t as cool as--" Grayson quickly (and wisely) cuts him off: “It is how we wanted it to be, we just wanted to get height and we accomplished that.” On the way back to the kitchen Grayson scolds him. “Don’t tell them that!” Caswell says visually he thought the plate was “1982 banquet menu, boom.”
Yipe! I didn't even add that "boom" he did!
Coke Mouth & Ty’Lor’s sorghum quail with pickled cherries and eggplant is earthy and beautiful. Coke Mouth suddenly grows a less coke riddled heart and says he's proud to cook with all the chefs. Someone's in withdrawal.
In the kitchen, Sarah Smile re-poaches her sausage; Dakota is insecure about her venison. She said she was going to "rock it out" and doesn’t know if it’s "the number of people going in and out of the oven" or what (yep, that’s what she said) but the venison “raw slash rare.” Nyesha says all she had to do was cook the venison and this kind of mistake shouldn’t happen at this level.
Now I don’t usually feel ill when I see meat but this is make me queasy.
They present their roasted rack of venison with kabocha squash and beet gratin. The flavor is ice but even the chefs mention the venison is undercooked. Dakota looks like she’s going to cry.
Street Food and Sarah Smile present their squab (two ways) breast & sausage with nectarine pickles with shallots and jalapenos. Colicchio says the presentation was sloppy but it was a good plate of food. In the kitchen Sarah Smiles doesn’t smile. She cries and says this isn’t how she would present the food and she cooks sausage every day and this is the most stressful thing she’s ever done and she’s from Texas. Baby Face Bev comforts her and says they're doing their best and all deal with stress differently.
Awww! Now I'm all turned around with Bev, I mean I get her now, you know? It makes me sad to think someone was mean to her Baby Face.
Suddenly Pads enters looking like an extra from DANCES WITH WOLVES.
She asks to see Coke Mouth and Ty-Lor, God of Cooking. All the chefs clap and, tis true, they’re the winners and split 10k! (God is pleased! And I just want you to know, Poolers, I've given Ty-Lor a lot of razzing and I will CONTINUE TO! I love razzing! Hollah!) Pads then tells the Wonder Team they have 15 minutes to decide which three teams to send out for elimination. Ugh.
After seven minutes of hemming and hawing, Street Food nominates Nyesha & Dakota; Baby Face & Heather, and Accessory Chef Chris & Grayson. The rest of the chefs follow suit.
At Judges' Table, Heather immediately says she doesn’t deserve to be there and maybe she’s there because she was in the top last week. Heads shake like ‘Naw, bitch’ all around.
Dakota looks like she’s going to cry and says she’s disappointed that something she’s cooked thousands of times “came out of her grasp.” Pads asks if Nyesha checked on Dakota or asked if she needed help. Nyesha says by the time she did she was “like Dood, this is way under.” Unibrow liked the flavors, it was just that the meat wasn’t cooked. Yeah, just that little thing there.
Unibrow thought that Accessory Chef Chris & Grayson’s meat was cooked pretty well but the potato was like-“Whuuuuut.”
Accessory Chef Chris drops his accessoried head.
Colicchio asks if Bev knows why she’s there and Heather cuts Bev off and says they haven’t seen eye to eye, their work ethics are completely different, especially in the last challenge.”
Here we go...did anyone ask for the past? Cause Heather B. is about to shovel it.
Heather: “She really focused on shrimp and it took her two days.” Bev says Heather actually HELPED her with the shrimp in the end and she didn’t even ask her to.
Heather B: “No, your teammate did.”
OH Wow! Sheet we didn't even know transpiring!
Then Dakota breaks in and says she’s not liking the conversation because Bev is strong and kicks butt. All the other chefs nod in agreement. YEAH!
Colicchio asks if Heather doesn’t trust Bev. Heather says Bev doesn’t trust herself.
Baby Face Bev actually wraps it up nicely by saying she stands by her dish and it's all I can do to stop from jumping into the set and saving her.
In the Stew Room Heather says she’s sorry if Bev thinks she hurt her feelings but “that’s the truth” then she says Bev didn’t listen to her and she didn’t want to do anything Asian and she felt like she didn’t have any say in the dish. “You didn’t listen to any of my ideas.”
Bev (To Camera) mentions she doesn’t think Heather crossed the line she (herself) just doesn’t think that way “I don’t feel better when I put someone else down, it just makes me feel worse.”
The psychology is killin' me!
Heather says they’re too quiet and no one will speak up and when Grayson stands up for Bev Heather asks what any one of them would do if Bev took that long to make shrimp. (For reals? Still!?)
Grayson says (To Camera) that Heather putting Bev down puts herself down because it’s a double elimination. Uh-doy!
Then Heather froths up more about wanting to go home because of her dish not someone else’s dish and how delicious her niece and nephew look and how brilliant the movie THE COOK, THE THEIF, HIS WIFE AND THEIR LOVER was (especially that end part) and how awesome salty tears taste just after you kill someone and drink the tears with a nice pinot grigio.
The Judges have no issues with who was before them, they agreed on the bottom three teams. Bottom line: they liked everything else on Nyesha & Dakota’s plate but wondered by Nyesha didn’t say anything about the raw deer; Accessory Chef Chris & Grayson based their whole dish on a “chain link” sweet potato (honestly that Accessory Chef is Never gonna live this down); and Baby Face Bev and Heather didn’t work well together but what happened last week happened last week. Alas, they did not scold Heather B. for being a B when the chefs returned and Pads asked... Dakota & Nyesha to pack their knives and go.
Dakota feels like crap that her undercooked venison is the reason why Nyesha has to go home. Dakota actually leaves the kitchen before Nyesha does. She takes one last look with her matted hair and departs. Not realizing they're both going to show up in...
The Last Chance Kitchen!
Nyesha & Dakota hug each other after they see the letters from Colicchio asking them to go to the kitchen (um, you both don’t get to come back) and then they walk in and see SadFace.
Colicchio intros them to The Eliminated (Accessory Chef Richie, Andrew from Austin, Big Buddha & Cashew Chuy) and Nyesha’s mouth hangs open. (Sidebar: Bravo's putting all these chefs up in a hotel while the whole series goes on? Their budget is swole!)
The three can only use a wok and they must cook with cactus.
Oh! Remember that Flintstones ep where it was Pebbles birfday and also a party for the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos and Fred had Cactus juice and Cactus Coolers (for the grown ups) and someone got the parties mixed up so the grown ups got the juice and the clown and the kids got the Cactus Coolers and the dancing girls? Awwww, cartoonmemories. Oh snap, 30 Minutes, time starts now!
SadFace woks up cactus and chicken fried rice (yawn.) Nyesha whips up an Asian scallop with thai basil and cilantro using the skin of the cactus. Dakota makes a shrimp tostada with watermelon and a prickly pear shooter. The Eliminated taste after Colicchio does. He says all their dishes were good but the one that looked beautiful and had everything perfectly cooked was...
Whew. Welp, after all that excitement I'm taking my Elf Juiced head to bed. The new list is below. Fingers crossed that next ep Heather’s foot falls into a meat grinder and she eats herself. Until then...
TOP CHEF TEXAS!
TRIPP Heather and Nyesha
ELLIE Street Food and Sarah
KAT B Sarah
MAUREEN Lindsay and Nyesha
KEITH B Heather
MERIDEN Grayson and Street Food
LB2 Chris C. and Coke Mouth
COLUCCI Accessory Chef Chris
LB Coke Mouth and Ty-Lor God Of Cooking
KRISTEN K Lindsay and Nyesha
ED K Accessory Chef Chris and Street Food
BROWNIE Nyesha and Street Food
ME Grayson and Lindsay
Q Coke Mouth
GBG Sarah and Street Food
JET Street Food and Baby Face Bev
DAISY Nyesha and Street Food
CC Ty-Lor God Of Cooking
NIKKI M Sarah and Street Food
LUCY Street Food
COLANTO Chris C. and Nyesha