Top Chef, Season 11, Episode 7

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So my DVR hates me and I missed the first nine minutes of Top Chef. But from what I can surmise, it was a rotating relay race musical chairs thing Quickfire Challenge and not everybody appreciated the mess they were left by the earlier chefs. Also, someone managed to crisp up bacon in a microwave, which means that microwave must be made of magic. The least favorite dishes were frog legs and a tofu salad. Brian’s duck and mussels is the winning dish and Brian has immunity in the next challenge. Sara is kind of annoyed because she started at that station and set him up for a great dish in her own mind.

The next challenge is all about collaboration—potluck style served at Kermit’s Treme Speakeasy. Something about Nicholas needing to be cleared by a doctor…did he slice off a limb? Because that’s the only way anyone ever voluntarily leaves Top Chef. The teams self-assemble as follows:

Green Team: Carrie, Nina, Stephanie, Carlos

Blue Team: Shirley, Louis, Justin, Sara

Gray Team: Travis, Brian, Patty, Nick

The Blue Team is going with “big fresh flavors,” including pickled radishes, braised beef, and hominy grits. The Grey Team has chicken and fish in the works, there’s something with watermelon and there are jokes about Nick being roided up. The Green Team is going Italian-style with lots of desserts because everyone loves dessert. There’s something about Nina making gnocchi again because I guess maybe she made gnocchi before, but isn’t there room in the world for more gnocchi? I had no idea there was a gnocchi quota.

The Blue Team pickled a lot of stuff, and the shrimp and grits look delicious. But some of the patrons note that the seasoning on the grits is a little off. The Gray Team lures in the love with fried chicken, watermelon salad, barramundi, and caramelized ribs. The fish is bland and dry, the ribs taste burnt, and the watermelon lacks seasoning. The Green Team has fried artichoke, gnocchetti, and tiramisu. Tom likes the artichokes, the gnocchi is called “fancy Hamburger Helper”, and the tiramisu is more of a trifle.

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Padma asks to see the Grey Team first, but she wasn’t all sunshine and roses and it becomes clear that the Grey Team had their least favorite dishes. How do you not love fried chicken? Oh wait, the judges loved the fried chicken. The fish was overcooked, and the watermelon was bland. Although Travis’s grits were perfectly cooked, they lacked flavor.

The Grey Team is sent away and replaced by the Green Team which had the judges favorite dishes. Stephanie’s artichoke was a hit, and everyone loved the gnocchi (though the judges noted that this is her second gnocchi). The tiramisu was maybe a little off, but still, it’s dessert and nobody else made dessert. Stephanie’s artichokes take the win.

Brian has immunity, so the rest of the Grey Team is at risk. Nick made the lousy fish, Patty was responsible for the blah watermelon, and Travis screwed up the spice on the ribs. Patty is eliminated because come on, watermelon. It’s so simple. Slice it, season it, serve it.

Next week, that’s a whole pig and I heard someone say something about brisket.

Reprinted from

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