We’re down to two. Brooke has won the most challenges, and Kristen is back after winning Last Chance Kitchen. I love both of them and will only be rooting for great dishes and LOL-worthy moments. Everyone is gathered in a stadium like setting.
Brooke seems unnerved by the crowd. Cooking in an arena is basically her second biggest fear after cooking in a helicopter hovering over a boat floating in shark infested waters.
The chefs will be serving five dishes to the assembled crowd of 160 something or other, plus the four judges. Each chef has a team of three sous chefs at their disposal. Oh, and apparently the first one to three wins because Bravo can’t stop screwing up this show.
Team Brooke: CJ, Stefan and Kuniko
Brooke’s team is loaded with talent. CJ is inventive and at times brilliant, while Kuniko displayed brilliant knife work in her short time on the show. Stefan can be a workhorse in the kitchen, or he could distract Kristen by waving his genitalia at her.
Team Kristen: Sheldon, Lizzie and Josh
Kristen’s team features the three most recently eliminated eliminated chefs. Lots of camraderie there and not even a little bit of jealousy. Nope. Get that out of your head.
Padma tells us that the chefs picked their sous chefs, which explains why Mr. Most Hated, the screechy Italian lady and Josie “The Worst” Smith-Malave are nowhere to be seen or heard. Naturally we weren’t filled in on the selection process, but we can assume that at some point Kristen did indeed pass on Stefan. She doesn’t like you like that, man.
Brooke announces that she’s going to make fried chicken for her third course. Hey, getting vindication for an earlier mistake is great, but frying chicken in the finals is a terrible idea that will result in her untimely death. No pressure.
All nine previous champions are in the house. HI, PAUL LET’S HANG OUT SOMETIME!
Round one: Kristen’s chicken mouse versus Brooke’s pig ear salad
Everybody in the audience seems super excited to watch the chefs brine shit. Seriously, how long are they expected to sit here? Was all of the prep done in advance? None of this makes sense.
Meanwhile, CJ is scorching Brooke’s poor curly pig ears. Saboteur!
The crowd is counting down the seconds on the clock as the first course is completed. It’s like watching the Royal Rumble only Koko B. Ware doesn’t come running into the kitchen.
Kristen presents the judges with a chicken liver mousse with frisee, chicory, hazelnuts and somethin. The judges love the texture and flavor of the mousse, although it was buried under stupid salad stuff.
Brooke’s soft boiled egg and pig ear salad looks awesome. Emeril says his bits of pig ear overcooked. Everyone else seems pretty pleased.
Kristen wins round one.
Padma says that Brooke needs to catch up. Good stuff, Padsy. Keep coming strong with that analysis.
So what happens if Kristen were to skunk Brooke with three straight wins? We would never get to see the last two courses. Haha, that will never happen. That’s the second rule of reality television after “Don’t come here to make friends.”
Round two: Dueling scallops
Brooke’s scallop will be seared, Kristen’s will be raw. Pretty good choices considering that those are the only two ways anyone serves scallops.
Stefan says he’s picked baby blue.
“For the baby’s bedroom.”
It would be creepy if he weren’t so loveable. Oh wait, he’s not loveable at all. He’s just super creepy.
We barely have time to get even a brief glimpse of how the chefs are constructing their intricate dishes, so yeah, why not go to a retrospective on Brooke’s journey. That’s way more interesting and relevant than the food. This fucking show, man.
Back to the cooking, and Brooke is plating her second dish. She asks CJ if they all have the Meyer lemon and juniper. “Yeah. Oh wait, no.” Is it too late for Brooke to trade CJ for Josie and a dishwasher to be named later?
Brooke’s son is asleep. You can’t really blame him. The poor kid has been at the table for six hours and he’s still waiting for his second course. CAN A TODDLER GET AN AMUSE BOUCHE?
Kristen asks Brooke to save her a scallop to try. “Awww.” Then voice-over Kristen kind of bashes Brooke for making the beautiful scallop with a whole bunch of other flavors. Dagger.
And to be fair, Brooke’s seared scallop has a lot going on. Shit, she can’t even remember all of the components. There’s brandade, mustard seed and the romenesko that she forgot about.
Man, I could watch Emeril shove food in his mouth all night.
Tom likes the combination of 19 different flavors. Emeril stops chewing just in time to gush over it. Brooke might be evening things up.
Kristen didn’t complicate her scallop at all. Her food isn’t simple, it’s understated and sexy as fuck. The judges like it, but is it enough to take a 2-0 lead? I’m guessing the producers say no.
Round two goes to Brooke.
The chefs have 34 minutes to put out their next dish. There is no way Padma isn’t making this up as she goes. Or maybe she has theater tickets. She seems like the kind of person that is always rushing off to the theater.
Round three: Anything Goes
It’s chef’s choice, and Brooke is trying to redeem herself for the fried chicken fail that would have gotten her sent home if the judges hadn’t drank so much red wine and vodka that they were forced to defer to the reasonably sober network suits. I’m not sure exactly what she’s making, but it will include crispy chicken wings tossed in something. Not to get ahead of myself, but Brooke wins round three.
NEVER MIND! Because Kristen is serving crispy bone marrow. God I fucking love bone marrow. I will never need a transplant because I eat that shit every time I see it on a menu. That’s how the body works, right?
It’s time for Kristen’s retrospective along with an interview with friends and family. None of them took the opportunity to say mean things about Josie, so I’ll go ahead and do it. You suck, Josie.
Oh god, they just showed her. I said her name too many times and she appeared.
Nobody expected Brooke to serve sticky messy chicken wings. Some in the audience call ballsy, but Tom doesn’t think the dish comes together as a whole.
Kristen’s bone marrow and stewed mushrooms get mixed reviews. Padma says she wishes it was hot.
Round three goes to Kristen
Brooke is probably going to stay away from fried chicken for a few weeks. If her husband picks up Honey’s Kettle on his way home one night she might shove a drumstick down his throat. Then she’ll see the biscuits and all will be forgiven. What I’m saying is that Honey’s Kettle is one of the best reasons to live in LA and I’m hungry.
At some point Ilan Hall got really excited and smashed one of the centerpieces. Chill out, chef.
Round Four: Red Snapper-off
It’s weird how some of the rounds have a theme ingredient and others are totally random. Maybe the fifth round will be Chopped. It wouldn’t make any sense, which is perfect for Top Chef.
This is Kristen’s go-to dish, so she’s super confident. What she doesn’t know is that she’s going to lose because there are still fifteen minutes left in the show.
Brooke’s red snapper will be paired with pork cheek because she loves me and this is how she chooses to communicate her powerful feelings.
Padma goes to sit at a table with all of the past winners. She asks Ilan what it was like seeing himself on television all of those years ago. He says he looked really fat and oily. “Nothing has changed then.” Daaaaamn, Padma. She must have had a really strong attachment to that centerpiece.
Brooke is confident in her dish as well. She is pairing a lot of atypical flavors together, which is kind of her thing, and exactly what the judges are looking for at this point in the competition.
Emeril really has awful table manners. He leans in to every bite and opens his mouth like a fucking monkfish. It’s endearing, because he’s just like me. Meanwhile, Tom eats like a schoolmarm.
The judges love Brooke’s dish, and the previous champions agree. Kristen’s dish was also well-received, but there’s no chance she’s winning this one.
Hmmm…we’re down to seven minutes left in the hour and they’re going to commercial. Holy shit, that’s not good, Brooke. You are going to lose and now we’ll never find out if the fifth round included a Chopped mystery basket.
Yep, it’s over. Kristen wins 3-1.
No fifth course will be needed. What a disaster. Not because Kristen won (Kristen is awesome) but because we don’t get a fifth course. Whose idea was this? Just let them cook their fucking dishes then tell us who won. Damn it, Bravo.
Next week on Top Chef: Nothing. It’s OVER. There will be no more professional cooking until next month’s Top Chef combine. Note: I would watch the shit out of a Top Chef combine, as long as it’s not in Indianapolis.
To those who don’t watch Top Chef and couldn’t understand why I insisted on talking about it at KSK, I am sorry and your long nightmare is over. But hey, you just read the whole post, so maybe you secretly love it!