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.”

Continue Reading