Top Chef Charleston Recap: Episode 10

By Jason Lee

February 7, 2017

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And then there were six. Assuming that only three chefs will be advancing to the finale (per Top Chef’s usual practice), there will be three chefs taken down, and three allowed to go. Included in that group is the lone rookie remaining, Sylva, who is the only person other than Brooke to have won two Elimination Challenges, including the one last week. He’s feeling unstoppable.

But wait! There’s a surprise! To all the chefs’ astonishment, Tom enters the Stew Room, totally violating the unspoken terms of the safe space. He’s got good reason, though. He’ll be taking the chefs out on a boat tomorrow morning as a “treat.”

Yeah, a “treat,” Brooke and Shirley say. They both get totally seasick on the water and make many warnings about potential puke. But Shirley’s got that covered - she takes some seasickness pills and is totally fine as the chefs experience their first “shrimping,” which entails giant nets filled with shrimp and other poor, sad sea creatures, like sharks (*sniff*), squid, and other fish.

Aaaaaaand, it wouldn’t be a trip on a boat on Top Chef without a visit to the dock for a Quickfire. But it’s not any ‘ole Quickfire. It’s a SUDDEN DEATH QUICKFIRE. Holy crap. This seems absolutely crazy - we’re only a few eliminations away from having our top three for the finale, and the judges are going to be sending someone home in a QUICKFIRE?


To say it again, holy crap.

Unsurprisingly, the chefs are tasked with coming up with a dish made from the shrimp they just caught. The chefs all start taking lessons from past challenges. Casey, recognizing that her dish was slightly underseasoned last episode, makes a dish packed with flavor. Sheldon is repeating a technique that worked so well for him during the finale in his season - smoking some pine branches when cooking his shrimp. And Shirley… poor Shirley, she’s dealing with lethargy brought on by her seasickness pills.

Coming out on top are Brooke, John, and Sheldon, with Sheldon taking home top honors for his tomato-water poached shrimp with smoked pine. Brooke is happy that her shrimp with clarified shrimp butter kept her out danger, and John is thrilled to avoid another Sudden Death Quickfire with his shrimp ceviche with fennel and peppers.

The bad news, then, is for Casey (her red curry shrimp with coconut broth was salty and she can’t believe it), Shirley (her garlic shrimp were really rubbery and not what Tom is used to getting from her), and Sylva (his orange-marinated shrimp with coconut broth was really, really salty). As the bottom three, they’ll have another 30 minutes in which to cook another dish based on the discarded seafood that got trapped in their shrimp nets. There’s shark, squid, other fish, etc. etc. The chefs immediately start rummaging around and get to work, exhausted (physically and emotionally) from the last Quickfire but determined to avoid elimination.

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