After last week’s restaurant wars left a pit in my stomach due to Kristen Kish’s unexpected elimination, Top Chef: Seattle needed to put a smile on my face. The only way this week’s episode could ever meet my expectations was, and I know this sounds vindictive, if Josie Smith-Malave packed her knives and headed straight to Last Chance Kitchen.
The beginning of Top Chef features a surprisingly remorseful Josie sniffling about Kristen’s decision to take one for the team and get cut by the judges. It’s the first time all season that Josie, whose time management skills led to Kristen’s exist, actually started to acknowledge her failures. But was this a learning experience for the abrasive and obnoxiously loud chef? We will see.
The quickfire challenge had the remaining six preparing sushi for Katsuya Uechi, with the winner taking home $5,000. Since Brooke claimed that she and her husband ate and prepare sushi quite frequently, I thought her Octopus with yuzu and grated wasabi would win over Uechi. Although she did impress the chef, the prize went to Stefan for his yellowtail with green shiitake and raw lobster with seaweed and unagi.
This week’s elimination challenge was a killer – cook fried chicken for Ma Peche owner David Chang, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Michelle Bernstein, and Animal co-owners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook. When Brooke Williamson brought out her chicken breast dish, Dotolo and Shook claimed they applied for a job with Brooke, but she never hired them! That coincidence was actually a rather bad omen for Brooke.
Contestant Joshua Valentine, whose love for meats has been well documented this season, is giddy beyond belief with the elimination challenge, as he decides to cook his spin on his grandfather’s fried chicken. Valentine’s smoked fried chicken, along with Sheldon Simeon’s fried chicken two ways, and Lizzie Binder’s chicken with peach cabbage slaw, won the chefs over. The winner of the challenge was Valentine, who nabbed his first solo victory of the season.
Josie’s management skills continued to do her wrong, as her chicken with hot sauce and cayenne concoction was among the bottom three dishes. Stefan had the audacity to make chicken cordon bleu, and during the judges round Padma Lakshmi was visibly upset with Stefan’s excuse that fried chicken was not a delicacy in Germany. Wolfgang Puck chimed in and added his love for fried chicken started in his childhood years in Austria. Brooke’s chicken breast concept was also poorly received by the judges.
Tom Colicchio, unafraid to mask his season long frustration with Josie’s excuses, also looked visibly annoyed with the chef. After spending her fair share of time on the Top Chef chopping block, it was Josie who finally got the boot. Her behavior didn’t win her a ton of friends on the program, and after her elimination Josh sarcastically remarked that the “Josie show” is canceled.
But is The Josie Show really gone for good? She faces Kristen this week on Last Chance Kitchen, and although I hate giving out spoiler alerts, let’s just say karma is a piece of salmon that’s accidentally dropped on the floor!
Top Chef fans also have the power to save one of their favorite eliminated chefs from either the program and Last Chance Kitchen. A head to head Twitter vote features the recently eliminated chef from Last Chance Kitchen vs. the previous week’s highest vote getter. This week’s Twitter matchup is #savechefkuniko or #savechefcj . My vote goes to Kuniko, who exited the competition way too soon.
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So who will win Top Chef? Does Sheldon have a shot to win it all thanks to his overall consistency, or will the winner of Last Chance Kitchen rise like the phoenix and take the crown? Tell us what you think!
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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi