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‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ Recap: Maui Wowie

By / 01.30.14

oh good spam

Last week on Top Chef: Carlos got screwed, allowing Nicholas to continue on.

This week on Top Chef: “Maui Wowie?” If the producers throw a Super Bowl party it will be nothing but each of them making weed jokes about Washington and Colorado. What follows are the random thoughts that came to mind last night as I watched the show.

-Did Shirley just say this was the quarterfinal? I was promised a double elimination. Make this show end after a reasonable number of episodes, you monsters.

-Shirley clearly came to Hawaii with a lot of confidence. She found herself and is ready to kick ass cooking her food. Nicholas is also there. He’s talking about how much harder the show was than he expected. I wonder how long it will take to second guess the first decision he makes.

-The chefs arrive at some sort of day-time luau. They are the guests of honor, but chef Sam Choy is there also. Then another guest of honor shows up. It’s Louis, who took down Carlos for his 68th straight win on Last Chance Kitchen. You may not remember much about Louis because he was eliminated so long ago. Me too!

-And of course they’re starting off with a Spam themed quickfire. The chefs look mystified as if they never expected to be cooking Spam on their trip to Hawaii. Viewers rate this challenge a 7 on the 1-10 toughness scale. 1 being easy, and 10 being who the f*ck knows, it’s all subjective nonsense.

-Everyone rushes to put on their chefs coats, because you can’t cook without one of those on. You’ll offend the culinary gods.

-“For some reason I didn’t think to do any research on Spam before I came to Hawaii.” -Nicholas, who probably won’t win anyway.

-The chefs won’t stop asking the chefs about what they’re making and how they’re making it. Louis should throw a knife at the person who asked him to explain what a torchon is.

-Nicholas figures he can’t be accused of under-seasoning Spam. Hopefully he overcompensated and went way too heavy on the salt.

-Shirley is up first with a deconstructed Spam musubi with spam-infused rice, nori, basil and cucumber slaw.

-Louis took things a bit further. His spam mouse with garlic, chives, scallions, snap peas, beech mushrooms and togarashi looks pretty special. Padma says it’s very silky in her mouth which is one of those things every guy wants to hear Padma say at least once.

-Nicholas is serving spam broth with pancetta, seaweed, dried shrimp, clam juice and quail egg. It sounds so beautiful I want to cry. It’s also kind of terrifying.

-Nina made a breadfruit and teriyaki spam croquette with sour orange and mango slaw. That’s what you do with a bad ingredient. Chop it up, mix it with complementary flavors and fry it ’til it tastes good.

-Nicholas won a quickfire. Hooray for him. He kind of wishes it came with immunity, which would free him up to tank again.

-The elimination challenge is to highlight the so-called “canoe crops.” These are ingredients brought in by men in loincloths on boats that look incredibly difficult to maneuver, even if they did have pants.

-And here’s the twist, it IS  double elimination challenge. Maybe now the finale will be a multi-hour affair stretched out over two weeks? Hopefully not.

-They get to work in the kitchen, and oops, Nina spent the last ten minutes portioning out Nick’s fish instead of her own. If Nina were Carlos Nick would be berating her with a spatula held high.

-Nicholas says he doesn’t want to go to the finale cooking what’s now her fish. Nina is sticking with it, and now three people are cooking opah. Shirley is cooking pork, so she’ll probably win. Because pork.

-The chefs finish their prep, the rest of the work will be done at an outdoor kitchen. I’m sure everything will go smoothly from there.

-Tom comes through to freak everybody out. Nicholas tries to trade his 10k for immunity. No dice, says Tom. Is Nicholas slow-playing, or does he really have zero confidence?

-Oh look, it’s raining. Holding the most important event of the season in an area exposed to the elements is so NFL of you, Top Chef. Only snow makes football better while rain makes food worse.

-Oh god, Padma’s boobs. And Gail’s belly! Gail looks way more pregnant in Hawaii.

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