‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ Recap: Po’ Boy Smackdown

By: 01.16.14  •  16 Comments
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Last week on, Top Chef: Nicholas screwed up with immunity and everyone questioned his decision to not give up said immunity, which was dumb. Stephanie is gone forever. Let’s move on.

This week, on Top Chef: Roy Choi, Jon Favreau (actor/director, not Obama speech writer) and po’ boys, finally. What follows are the random thoughts that came to mind last night as I watched the show.

-The teasers tell us that Nina might screw up her pasta, and Nicholas definitely gets all pissy with Carlos again. DON’T TOUCH MY POT. Whoa, ease up. You’re in New Orleans. I think you can get more pot.

-We pick things up with everyone crying in the stew room. Well not Nicholas, but everyone who is devastated by his callous refusal to quit or something. The survivor’s guilt will set in, then he’ll turn to the pot.

-The next morning and the chefs are making themselves coffee. They only show this because there are bags of terrible Dunkin Donuts ground coffee all over the counter, yet they’re making their coffee in a Keurig. Oh, but not to worry, there’s a giant basket overflowing with Dunkin Donuts K-cups.

-So everyone is sitting around not drinking their coffee and d, discussing potential challenges. Carlos is hoping for Mexican food. Nina is hoping they have to cook something in a banana leaf. Nicholas is hoping that they will all shut up and go away so that he can win and go home and never speak to any of them again.

-Roy Choi is hanging out in the kitchen, being all cool and food truckerish. He tells the chefs that he wants them to use the po’ boy as a medium the same way he and his “crew” used the tortilla to totally change the face of street food forever and oh god I just want your sweet bulgogi, you son of a bitch.

-“What’s a po’ boy?” -Carlos in about thirty seconds, I’m guessing.

-Immunity is on the line once again, so whoever wins is in the top four no matter how badly the screw up the elimination challenge. Will you ever learn, producers?

-Everyone is taking Roy’s challenge to heart by making a po’ boy that reflects their cultural heritage. It’s going to be so great when he hates them.

-Nicholas made a New England inspired fried shrimp po’ boy, which sounds a lot more like a New Orleans inspired dish.

-Shirley is up next with a catfish po’ boy. It’s thin, it’s loaded with fresh herbs, and yep, that’s a banh mi, Shirley.

-Nina’s fried mahi po’ boy with mojo aioli is a bit of a mess to look at. Also, why fry mahi? Grill it or pick another fish.

-Brian’s Korean inspired po’ boy is made with fried lobster, pickled Napa cabbage and a gochujang aioli. Winner winner.

-Carlos made a po’ boy “al pastor.” No. Bad Carlos. Do not put pineapple on french bread.

-Roy tells Carlos that he’s very particular about his al pastor, being from LA. Hey, Roy. Carlos is from f*cking Mexico. God damn, LA people can be the worst. On the other hand, If Carlos told his mother he was making her al pastor recipe in 20 minutes she’d probably smack him with a large wooden spoon.

-“I’m gonna start popping on the real.” Nobody will blame me if I fast-forward to some point in time where he’s not talking anymore, right?

-“Y’all fucked this shit up. If you were in my kitchen this would be the point where we’d go in the walk-in and we’d start straight talkin’.” If they all tackle him at once nobody will be able to stop them.

-Carlos’s taco lacked the al pastor flavor that Roy holds so close to his heart. Nicholas used a heavy hand with the salt. Brian needed more gochujang. Roy liked all of Shirley’s flavors, but thought it was “pedestrian.” Nina’s sandwich simply didn’t “pop.” At least he knows they all hate him right now. Shirley’s pedestrian (and perfectly cooked) catfish gets the win.

-Jon Favreau is here to save everyone from Roy Choi. He’s directing a film about a chef who starts a food truck, so he turned to Roy for help. Roy probably told him it was a sh*tty idea and that it wasn’t true to his heritage.

-The chefs will cook a dish that represents a turning point in their career. Fortunately they won’t have to cook it in a food truck.

-But first, they’re going on a food truck tour of New Orleans. Food porn, ahead!

-Barbecued oysters, grilled shrimp, and no more Roy Choi. The chefs can relax.

-Shirley credits the show with helping her rediscover why she loves to cook. Brian credits the 24 hours he spent in lockup following a DUI. And something about rediscovering his passion with a mentor after he’d hit bottom and so on and so forth.

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