‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ Recap: Rebuilding New Orleans

this is food

Last time, on Top Chef: “We’re cooking in a swamp?” “Bro!” “These people are really talented.” “But I’ve never cooked alligator :(” “Go home, Ramon.”

So what’s up this week? Creole quickfire? Etouffe elimination? Probably!  What follows are the random thoughts that came to mind last night as I watched the show.

– We pick things up right where last week left off, with way too many chefs talking among themselves in one room. The lady from last week is STILL crying. It’s been a week, lady. I have no idea how television works.

– And we’re going right into a quickfire challenge. It’s gumbo. GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO. Who wouldn’t be excited about a gumbo quickfire?

gumbo

– To be fair, this guy is never excited about anything. I don’t know his name yet, so I’m just going to call him “my favorite” for now.

– The good news is that the evil producers are not making them serve gumbo in 30 minutes. They get to cook back at the house, then finish up at the Top Chef kitchen in the morning. The catch is, Emeril will taint three of their roux with his bodily fluids. But which roux? And which bodily fluid? That’s for Emeril to know, and Padma to find out.

– The guest judge is Leah Chase. Everyone claps. I nod quietly, so that my dogs don’t suspect the horrible truth. I’m not entirely sure who that is.

oh you so fancy

– He probably doesn’t even know who Lean Chase is. My damn head. It is shaking.

– Back to the house, where everyone suddenly has their own crock pot. Is somebody going to tell me who manufactures those, or am I supposed to just guess?

– Carrie from Iowa is married to a guy from Trinidad, so her gumbo will have an island inspiration, with a corn topping. Sure, why not?

– Meanwhile, the guy who doesn’t know how to make gumbo is making an Italian/Asian gumbo because why wouldn’t that work? I mean, they’re supposed to make this gumbo a reflection of themselves, so almost everyone’s gumbo is going to sound incredibly stupid.

– It turns out that Leah Chase is a very sweet old woman, which we all knew already.  She’s famous, guys.

– Shirley presents her gumbo, which is a fusion of Chinese, Mexican and Italian because decisions are hard.

pork belly mess

– If she had just found a way to incorporate miso and escargot she would have had the bingo.

– Basically one guy made gumbo, and the rest made gumbo-inspired nonsense. But that’s the challenge.

– “It’s bullsh*t!” -Jason, the huge douchebag from the first episode, reacting to that sweet old lady’s criticism. Sorry Jason, everyone hates you. It takes literally 30 seconds for people to realize how terrible you are.

– Carrie’s green corn gumbo won!  She might be a dark horse. Also, dark horse will be the theme ingredient for the elimination.

– Susan Spicer is here to talk about the actual elimination challenge. It’s food trucks.

top chef nola food truck challenge

– Because Bravo is hip and with it.

– The cheftestants will be cooking for volunteers at Habitat For Humanity work sites. Ms. Chase (she’s too old and nice to call by her given name) is recalling the aftermath of Katrina, when she rebuilt from scratch. People told her she should quit. Cheftestants cry. Then they laugh when she says, “The Pope quit.” Nothing like a good papal burn to bring people back from a bad place.

– Padma splits the teams into two groups of four, and two groups of five. In case you forgot just how many people were on this f*cking show.

– So far we have a taco truck, a “surf” truck, a Mediterranean truck and a Miami/Caribbean truck, where everyone is bonding over their shared disdain for everything Bene tries to say.

lol bene

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