We were down to six chefs at the beginning of this week’s Top Chef, but rather than savor to the last drop the few that are left, the show made like one of my (many) lovers and just tried to get things over with as quickly as possible. A double elimination episode! I’m not trying to brag, but the sixth-ranked chef in last week’s rankings was the first to go. Hey, I never said this was hard.
The first challenge involved a trip on a real-life shrimpin’ boat, which disappointingly didn’t involve Casey confusing the Surgeon General for a boat captain this time. What? I just assumed because of the little hat. Instead, the drama was all about Shirley’s motion sickness and Brooke’s “phobia” of vomit. Hmm, you know, Brooke, I’m not sure avoiding a gross thing qualifies as a “phobia.” Hey, come back, stop being so turdophobic! I was born this way! Also, it just me, or are the producers trying to squeeze an incredible amount of drama from the idea of boats this season? It’s just a boat, man. Perfectly cromulent manner of conveyance.
Anyway, the contestants, our poor dunking booth clowns, went straight from the “stew room” after last week’s episode to the boat for an immediate elimination (if the editing was to be believed). Harsh, man.
After that, the show welcomed guest judge Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cronut (that’s the cross between a potato croquette and a coconut that’s taking the New York art world by storm). He was there to judge a challenge that was all about trying to invent “creative combinations” for a brunch dish. Which was held, for some reason, on silly hat day. Frankenbrunch and Silly Hats! How was the episode not named that?
Anyway, I think the challenge was supposed to test the ability to combine sweet and savory (you know, like brunch), but instead, half the contestants took it as an opportunity to combine fish with eggs. Gross, guys. Additionally, the word “creativity” was thrown around until it lost all meaning, and as Bangles, unlikely voice of reason though he may be, pointed out, creativity is rarely achieved by telling someone “be creative!” Thus, no one came close to inventing the next cronut. As Brooke said, the cronut wasn’t built in a day. It was through trial, error, and staggering loss of life.