Top Chef: Seattle Recap

Jalapeno Business

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

January 2, 2013

Knighthood in Belgium is EASY.

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Previously on Top Chef, Danyele’s insecurity about her skills finally caught up to her and she was told to pack her knives and go. Then, in a competition with CJ in Last Chance Kitchen, her turkey sandwich was inferior to the tall man’s offering. In the end, Danyele took her turkey sandwich as a consolation prize and went home.

Over at the Top Chef residence, all of the chefs are annoyed with Josie. Apparently the contestants are wondering the same thing that we have been all season long – why is she even here?

Kristen feels good about winning both challenges in the last round. With ten chefs left, she’s gaining momentum and feeling comfortable about her position amongst them. A lot of times, you’ll see some chefs develop some overconfidence after this much domination, but she seems to be keeping it all in perspective.

A note is waiting for the chefs in their kitchen, and it tells them that for their Quickfire, they’ll be harvesting their own ingredient and then cooking for Padma and Emeril Lagasse. They are told to go to Bow, Washington, and they speculate that the task at hand might require them to gather oysters, clams or mussels. They all climb into the blatant product placement cars that have been provided for them and drive out to a shellfish “farm.”

Oysters will be this morning’s ingredient, and as John is gathering his shellfish, he comments that the creatures taste like the water that they live in, so where you get your product can be vitally important.


It doesn’t take long for Josie to be completely obnoxious. For some reason, she keeps getting stuck in the mud and unable to get herself out without help. Like Gale last week, we have to wonder if she’s drunk, high, hung over, or some combination of the three. She drags down Micah with her when he tries to lend a hand, causing him to land ass-first in the muck. Micah reinforces the fact that the other chefs are very weary of Josie’s constant commentary. “Sometimes you just want her to shut the $#*! up,” he says.

Josh figures that their challenge will be to either shuck the oysters or to cook a dish that incorporates them. We’re hoping for an oyster competitive eating contest, but since Joey Chestnut isn’t one of the contestants, that’s probably not going to happen.

In fact, the challenge is simple. The chefs are to create oysters on the half-shell for Emeril, who has wanted to see this sort of contest incorporated into the show for a while now. Five chefs will do a hot preparation, while five will do a cold preparation. The winner of the Quickfire will earn $5,000 (but no immunity from elimination).

One problem that a lot of the chefs are facing is the fact that the oysters are pretty brittle. The shells break easily and it seems as thought there’s a strong likelihood that some of those pieces may wind up in some dishes.

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