Top Chef Seattle, Episode 2: You Again?

“The title of Top Chef will be mine. Oh yes, it will,” says Stephan.

The second episode of Top Chef Seattle brought the newest round of cheftestants into the storied Top Chef Kitchen, at last. Micah immediately went on the offensive, giving his fellow competitors something he referred to as the waterfall look. I’m not sure what that is, but does it mean he was crying? Anyway, their elation at finally setting foot in TCK was short-lived when they saw that they were going to be judged by former cast members Josie (season 2), CJ (season 3), and Stephan (season 5), all of whom are nice, although Stephan’s reputation from season 5 doesn’t always make that clear.

The QFC entails breaking off into groups of three to create a dish that highlights a local seafood. They have just 20 minutes to pull it off, and choices include crab, mussels, crawfish, razorfish clams, geoduck, and more. Turns out, though, that everyone seems to want the geoduck (which, IMO, has become far too ubiquitous). Let’s break it down…

Blue Team: Sheldon, Kuniko, and John create a geoduck sashimi with the coveted geoduck ,and dress it with ponzu, apple, and cucumber. The judges say it’s great but could use a bit of salt.

Yellow Team: Josh, Eliza, and Danyele serve a razor clam and grilled corn chowder with Fresno chile and grilled lime. The judges like the grilled lime, but call the dish under-salted.

Lizzie tries to explain to Carla that she does not, in fact, have a barrette she can borrow for her bangs.

Gray Team: Bart, Jeffrey, and Brooke make crawfish with pickled red chile, fennel, and crawfish cream. The judges like it, but call it a little bit “old school.”

Green Team: Kristen, Mica, and Tyler present a study in contrasts, with a fried and sashimi geoduck with radish, bok choy salad, and yuzu chili vinaigrette. It’s a hit, except that the sashimi isn’t shimi’d enough. Or, thin enough for those of you who can’t crack my code.

Orange Team: Carla, Chrissy, and Lizzie prepare an oven-roasted crawfish with fennel and herb salad. Lizzie thinks it’s messy, and the judges think it needs more acid (which, it would appear, that Carla took before entering TCK. I kid!).

Least Favorite Dish: The Yellow Team’s razor clam soup. It’s “weak” and “underseasoned.”

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Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand ‘Cause He’s Sure

I'll just let this ensemble speak for itself.

This latest episode of  Top Chef Texas raises a lot of questions. Does Sarah have confidence or not? One minute she’s boo-hooing her chances and the next she’s effortlessly cranking out enough pasta to feed a small army, Will Paul and Lindsay quit fannying about with  fish and cook something else? Is Padma running out ridiculous poses? We’re playing a confidence game on this week’s episode of Top Chef: Texas with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem.

Ed, what is happening here?

It’s tough to figure out Sarah’s confidence level. It might just be that she’s very expressive (for example: Sarah crying in Episodes 2, 4, 7, 11, 12, 16, 17, and 21). She should be confident cranking out pasta, it’s one of the main items on Spiaggia’s menu. I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that all we get is pasta, risotto, and soup. Lindsay is no better with her Halibut obsession. It’s Top Chef Ya’ll! Let’s get creative and push boundaries! Speaking of pushing boundaries, Takashi pushed Paul with the geoduck clam. It’s one of my favorite proteins, more on this later.

Poor Bev misses out on the challenge of a lifetime! I mean, she’d have been in paradise! I feel bad she’s gone. I’m probably the only person in the world who feels this way, though.

Looks like we’ve found something else to agree on besides sustainably sourced meats. I truly believe you might be the only one that feels this way about Bev.

As I mentioned earlier, Sarah has a very defeatist attitude, it seems. She makes herself out to be the underdog and it almost feels like we’re getting set up to see her pack her knives, what with all the flashback photos. But is all this a con? Is she really teeming with confidence? Is she game-playing here?

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