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‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ Recap: Like Mama Made

By / 12.12.13

padma french guy and papa doc

Last time, on Top Chef: Restaurant Wars, featuring future Washington Redskins owner David Chang. Nicholas won, and everyone cheered because Sara was sent packing before she could go full-Josie.

This week, on Top Chef: The chefs make food that takes them back home. Everyone reminisces about their hatred for Sara and her stupid hair, probably. What follows are the random thoughts that came to mind last night as I watched the show.

-The chefs sit around discussing the last challenge, while Travis enjoys some bro time with his fellow bros. None of them treat him like crap because he’s gay, which is notable because the world is filled with terrible people.

-Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys is hanging out in the Top Chef kitchen, either to judge the Quickfire or to make time with Padma.

-Coffee will be the theme of this Quickfire, and oh good, they found a sponsor.

terrible coffee

-It’s that place that makes crappy donuts, worse bagels and coffee for people that don’t like the taste of coffee. Sorry, New England. Everyone hates you.

-Nina brags that on a regular day she can drink 15 espressos by herself. I can’t tell if that’s more or less weird than sharing 15 espressos with another person. Bravo isn’t letting us vote on this, for some reason.

-The cheftestants get half an hour to cook food with coffee. That’s it. Nice and straight-forward. The winner gets immunity and $10,000 from this guy.

-All of Stephanie’s possessions are old and sad looking, so she’d use the money to buy a lot of stuff. Stuff is the best.

-Shirley is making a coffee crusted filet because this is an episode of Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill from 2005. Might want to apply some tea tree oil on that burn, Shirley.

-Stephanie says she’s making a coffee crepe with bacon and sweet potatoes. She is racked with self-doubt, which is a very good look for her. She’s also crisping up a pan of cubed bacon, which doesn’t hurt.

-Other people are cooking other things, but we’ll get to that later. Right now we’re busy hearing the story of Carlos walking up to a strange woman and telling her that she will be his wife. That night could have gone one of two ways for her, so I’m glad to hear that 20 years later they are happily married and that she isn’t locked in his crawlspace.

-Brian is still riding high on his consecutive Quickfire wins, so he’s making coffee risotto. Let’s sit back and watch him fail. Because the risotto curse is real. It’s the anti-scallop! He doesn’t care. He’s letting his balls hang out there. His words, not mine.

-Justin made Alaskan sockeye salmon with coffee ponzu and coffee roasted eringi mushrooms.

-Carrie ran out of time in her attempt to make a stuffed crepe, so she’s left with coffee custard with candied coffee beans and cocoa nibs.

-Brian’s coffee risotto with andouille and sugar snap peas are next. He’s sweating a lot. Stirring is hard.

-Carlos has a coffee and macadamia sponge cake with mascarpone coffee sauce. Nina and Nicholas whisper about his dish. He’s making dessert! What does it mean? Carlos might be the biggest threat to Nina and Nicholas right now. If he can pull off a successful dessert in 30 minutes they may be in some trouble come finale time.

-Nicholas is excited to serve his roasted sockeye salmon with hazelnut coffee caramel and hon-shimeji mushrooms. The Top Chef kitchen has an excellent selection of mushrooms today.

-Shirley’s stupid coffee crusted steak is up next. She likes her coffee creamy, so she made a creamy garlic puree. Just wait, garlic lattes are about to become the new pumpkin lattes.

-Stephanie’s sweet potato and goat cheese coffee crepe with ham and bacon coffee jam looks…ambitious? It’s going for the sweet/salty/creamy/bitter thing. If it works she might win, if not, more self-doubt! Both judges say it’s “interesting” before they start prodding it with a fork to see what else she may have snuck in there. Stephanie could use a Xanax. Bar, not football.

stephanie nail biter

-Hubert is ready with the results. Brian and Nicholas are your big losers.

-Shirley, Carrie and Stephanie are on top. Stephanie nods like she expected the famous french chef to yell at her for ruining crepes forever.

-Shirley wins for her creativity. She made coffee rubbed steak. Get the f*ck out of here, Hubert. I’m going to pronounce your name with a hard “t” out of spite from now on. Shirley gets ten grand for her new air conditioner, plus immunity.

-Padma introduces the theme for the Elimination challenge, as well as the special guest, Anthony Mackie. He was Papa Doc in Eight Mile. The one Eminem made feel bad for having parents who love each other. Remind me who the bad guy was in that movie.

-The chefs are tasked with making the one dish they want to eat when they go home. We may be about to test my “What if Carlos made his mother’s pozole every week?” hypothesis.

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