This episode is all about traditions so let's talk about them for moment, shall we? Like the tradition of a Yankee swap.
I was always under the impression that you were supposed to spend less than $20 (not push the boundary and spend 30 or $40 which the plastic popcorn container with the three DVDs and movie-sized boxes of candies obviously was worth.)
I thought you were supposed to buy a small gift that was funny.
I thought something useful in minimal packaging, wrapped in recycled paper (as I wrap all my gifts) would suffice. I didn't know you were supposed to put it in an oversized box with extremely attractive paper and ornate ribbons! I thought the stainless steel water bottle with a monkey on it that said Cheers would be enough! Certainly it was better than the three glass latch containers in a box, wasn't it? Wasn't it?! I'm sorry, Jose! Full disclosure this was my first ever Yankee swap. And, most likely, my last.
And now on with the tradition of talking about the last person who left fondly. Everyone says Dry Eye was sweet and funny but you and I know, that does not a chef make. Danyele says (To Camera) she's gonna put aside her nervousness.
Put aside the eyeliner. Please.
Valentine says he's not gonna make pork anymore. (Doubtful when your restaurant is called Divine Swine.) The he admits he's out of underwear because his ass ate them.
When the Chefs enter the TC kitchen they find the winner from Season Four-
If Pads looks extra smug it's because Stephanie was the first TC to be named "Best New Chef" by Food & Wine Magazine. Tout that to high heaven, Bravo! HEY WAIT- maybe it was just a conspiracy to keep Top Chef going! I mean, one of the prizes IS a spread in the magazine- SCAM!
The chefs are told they can cook anything they want (hurray!) using anything in the pantry (woot!) but-
Oh and every ingredient in the pantry is covered in, you guessed it-
Stefan: "Oh shit, I didn't even see that."
OH and once you open said Reynolds Wrap covered item, you HAVE to use it.
Now let me wax poetic about the tradition of using aluminum foil in my Fam. When I was little, we tried inferior aluminum wraps a couple of time and stained glass lasagna pans beyond recognition. So even though we were on the welfare, we always used RW because it was the best. And I'm telling you right now- if My Mama saw this much Reynolds Wrap being wasted in this ep, she'd give everyone involved in the creation of it an ass beating! And I just might help!
Vandaele Industries feels terribly excited: "this is like fun and game." (Just one game?) Stephanie says they use foil in her kitchen every day and she wants to learn from the chefs. TRANSLATION: Steal!
Most Hated thought he had a pot of herbs (when have you EVER seen a pot of herbs on TC ever?) instead he had a pineapple. Lizzie has corn and bell pepper. Model Boston is going to make a sponge cake. Yes, a sponge cake. Most Hated makes an egg drop soup- remember there are no pans, only foil, so Vandaele's beer poached cod is gonna have a little hair gel in it-
Jazz Patch ended up with tomato, fennel, bread and lamb and decides to make a panzanella: "I can't tell you how I thought about it but it just sort of came to me. It's almost like a gift and I can't describe it."
Um, the gift of never winning a Quickfire or an Elimination Challenge ever?
Worst- Surprise! Jazz Patch's undercooked lamb; whatever Brooke made that ended up having raw onion and was under seasoned and Valentine- "Uninspired." Ouch. Pack it in, mustache.
Who did well? Sheldon, Model Boston, Josie, Vandaele Industries, Stefan and Daneyelle (DANEYELLE?!) Stephanie said she would have finished the whole bowl of Daneyelle's white bean soup; Model Boston's cake had a great texture and Sheldon's scallop, mint and tomatoes.
But he chef that used the foil most creatively was-
Pads announces the Elimination Challenge is going to be a head to head battle where they have to beat the chef they're up against.
Model Boston gets to cook alone since she won but she can still win the big prize: 10k from Healthy Choice! Healthy Choice is making cake, yo! Also money!
The six chefs Stephanie picked as the best of the Quick Fire get to select who they want to cook against.
Sheldon picks Jazz Patch and they get strawberries. Danyele picks Valentine, they get blueberries. Stefan takes Most Hated saying: "I gotta whoop his ass." Whoop it! They get gooseberries. Josie takes Lizzie who reminds us she cooked for Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu TWICE and Josie does an awkward hug/"I'm gonna punch you" gesture
Brooke ends up being the last person picked and is flattered. She's going to go up against Vandaele Industries (blackberries.) Model Boston gets tayberries which is not a berry Buckwheat used to eat.
Outdoor battle. 150 guests. Guests votes DECIDE the winner. Shop NOW!
Sheldon hits the seafood section and immediately asks for all the fresh tuna and Stefan does the same thing he tried with Hosea in the finals of his season: "Hold on hold on hold, I saw this earlier."
Dood. Stop it.
Sheldon is not intimidated and barely even looks at him.
Stefan then buys "the highest quality" fresh frozen tuna they have (uh oh...) Most Hated proclaims, in store: "I'm beating Stefan."
Back at the TC House he rubs more salt on that trawl: "Frozen fish. Frozen tuna." He then makes the Loser sign with his hand on his forehead.
Most Hated says Stefan a brat and the ultimate game player. Here's the game that's going on now:
Next Day! They get in their Product Placement cars and drive out to Remlinger Farms for the Berry Festival. The farm is sprawling. The "kitchen" is not.
It's friggin campfire cooking in that piece!
Josie is doing a play on a California roll using raspberry aioli in place of the avocado. What now?
Vandaele Industries needs a blender. Most Hated isn't using the one he has for his white gazpacho but won't let anyone use it. More hate!
Valentine is making a goat cheese mousse and calls out Danyele who calls him a dickhead.
Model Boston wants to win the 10k to go to Korea since she was abandoned by her mother when she was born. Awww. She was given to the police. Huh? They named her and then she was adopted and moved to Michigan when she was four months old. Awwwww. She needs to "see where she came from."
And there's the tradition of Bravo making us feel for someone we didn't know we needed to. Well done.
Uh oh- here come's Colicchio!
When he asks Stefan if he's going to beat Most Hated he says definitely: "He's 53 years old." When Colicchio approaches Most Hated he relays the message: "Stefan says he's going to beat your ass." INSTIGATOR!
Most Hated: "I noticed that Stefan was using frozen tuna." KAPOW!
Stefan: "It was old fish in there, it was brown and I didn't want to get it."
Most Hated: "CO2, radiation, it's okay though it's sustainable."
Stefan: "Thanks! Why don't you run into my knife MF!"
Most Hated says (To Camera) he's making a political statement and it's not the fact that it's frozen, it's the fact that it's not sustainable.
OMG I can't...
Jazz Patch then announces he misses his daughters....wait for it...
Sage and Saffron.
And none of Josie's rolls are built and the guests are rambling in, dancing poorly to music and hungry.
This is gonna be awesome.
Here Come The Judge!
Danyele is the first target.
Yipe. And the crostini is SO crunchy (TRANSLATION: hard) Danyele can actually HEAR people eating it yards away. HILARIOUS!
Josie chooses to actually name her dish:
And then Josie, perhaps nervous about not having any rock n' rasp- you know what, I'm not even going to type that, proceeds to morph into a combination of Spiccoli from DAZED & CONFUSED and a cooking show host- the only difference is there's usually something cooked already on those cooking shows.
Gail: (to Colicchio) "After show, is she high?"
Josie: "What I'm doing today is I'm highlighting some of the North West-great product- I took a of the-
Gail: "Keep cooking, keep cooking while you're talking."
Colicchio: "You gotta make the dish."
Josie: "I'm sorry guys. Ah haaa ha!"
Wow. Also, this looks like a nosebleed in a wrapper.
Pads: "Thank you."
Gail likes how Josie used the raspberries in different ways but she didn't get the flavor. Colicchio: "For some reason she thinks that putting on a show is more important than making food, something really light like a spring roll you gotta weigh down with mayonnaise? What are you thinking?"
Say like Popeye: "Em-bar-as-KING!"
Lizzie's dish is completed when the Judge's arrive:
Sheldon says Jazz Patch is talented but "I'm gonna bury him in the ground."
Jazz Patch's strawberry chicken- huh? Is good but dense.
Most Hated's is sorta hated. (Finally!)
Stefan made a purdy bite.
Vandaele's dish looks a lot like Brooke's (enough with the plastic cups, Bravo) and didn't need the salmon at all, the blackberry soup was great with out it.
Model Boston's dessert had just the right texture.
Over at Fight Club, Most Hated tells people who voted for Stefan that they voted for frozen tuna!
Stefan says (To Camera) that he wouldn't even flush his poop with Most Hated's soup. (That rhymed!)
In the Stew Room, the hits keep coming.
Stefan says Most Hated started it and tells everyone what he said Colicchio which was, let's be honest, a low blow.
Then Stefan asks every single chef if they used that tuna before. Every single chef answers yes.
Stefan: "So have I. So suck my cock."
Laughter all around. Then Pads comes in. She asks to see Most Hated, Josie, Vandaele Industries, Jazz Patch and Danyele.
After they leave, Valentine: "That's the bottom."
Nope, but Josie isn't anymore.
At Judges Table Pads says the guests voted and they're on the bottom. Colicchio adds the judges had the same tally as the guests. Floop!
Jazz Patch says once he tasted Sheldon's dish he knew Sheldon's was better. It popped, his didn't.
Gail tells Josie the challenge wasn't about doing a demo. Josie says she was playing catch up and had to try to entertain while doing it.
Vandaele Industries admits he shouldn't have used the fish.
Pads says Danyele's forcemeat (ew) was like lunchmeat -Lunch Lady BURN!
Most Hated wishes he had poured more liquid into the Judge's soup cups. Colicchio says that wouldn't have made up for all the chorizo he used. Then Most Hated says the kitchen was busy and that he's not trying to make excuses.
Um, when you say you're not trying to make excuses ONCE- you're making excuses.
When you say it twice- you're admitting your ass has been lopped off and handed to you.
When they call back Model Boston, Valentine, Brooke, Stefan, Sheldon and Lizzie, Stephanie tells them the winning dish didn't have any flaws.
And that was made by: Model Boston! She wins 10k!
When the losahs are called back in...lemme make a prediction here- it's not gonna be Most Hated because Colcchio picked him. It's not gonna be Vandaele Industries because his soup was still good. It should be Josie because she's damn near Denny-styles and annoying but she's from another season so I think they'll let her slide. I say it's between Jazz Patch and Danyele and as we recall, Colicchio picked Jazz Patch....
So...Pads asks...Danyele to pack her knives and her eyeliner and go.
When she leaves The Stew Room she gets a weak round of applause (from like 2 people, ow.) Someone asks Josie what the Judge's said. She says "The Josie Show isn't going to win this competition." (Honestly, she's really irking me now.) But all Stefan wants to hear is how they tore Most Hated a new one. So he tells Josie to "stop talking" (uh oh) which results in Josie giving him the finger.
Which makes Stefan really, unnecessarily mad.
They go back and forth, Josie saying don't be nasty to me and him saying: "Shut it. Shut it! You just skated by one more time."
True but for reals, Stefan is The Second Most Hated.
But wait! Danyele could come back! (Whut? No, I am totally not smirking.)
They get to go to the market in a Product Placement car (ugh, you gotta push your drug here too now?) and get 15 minutes to shop. CJ comes back with ham and prosciutto. Double pork! (That's what I said.)
Danyele is going to make a turkey, avocado and bacon sammy which sounds pedestrian and dumb and actually makes Non-Existent Tyler yell out: "Really?!" Danyele: "I eat it every day!"
Um, that's not a reason to make it.
CJ makes a celery daikon radish butter that already sounds like he has Danyele's sandwich in a headlock. Plus he has a cheerleader:
Danyele pays no attention because: "I didn't realize how long it took to make a fucking sandwich."
Colicchio says CJ's sandwich had too much bread but not enough stuff inside, he wanted more daikon and veggies.
Danyele's was just the opposite, the bread fell apart. (How do you screw up a sandwich, seriously!?)
In a shocking turn of events, he proclaims the winner as:
CJ: "Big Ceej."
Oh no. Now he's starting to call himself Big Ceej. Sigh.
Next week it's CHRISTMAS! WOOT! I wish you all happy holidaze!
I'll be back the day after and so will Pads, on roller skates... on roller skates... on roller skates...
Until then we're all still in it to win it!
TOP CHEF SEATTLE
STRIPES Jazz Patch
GBG Brooke and Sheldon
JET Model Boston and Sheldon
MO Most Hated and Sheldon
LUCY Valentine and Brooke
LB Most Hated and Kuniko
TRIPP Sheldon and Kuniko
CC Vandaele Industries and Jazz Patch
Q Lizzie and Sheldon
KAT Most Hated
KEITH Model Boston and Jazz Patch
JENNA Valentine and Brooke
MARI Stefan and Jazz Patch
KAREN E. LOGUE Lizzie and Sheldon
MERIDEN Lizzie and Brooke
GRACE Most Hated and Sheldon
COLUCCI Sheldon and Josie
DAISY Model Boston
HOLLY CJ and Kuniko
ELLIE Most Hated and CJ
ME Brooke and Kuniko