Top Chef Recap: Episode 12 – Cursed is the Cheesemaker
I hope all you haters are happy with this fully-clothed Padma picture. For those of you who are fans of the previous photo gallery, here’s a very NSFW link.
Moving on, Tony Bourdain says this was the best Top Chef episode of the year, and I’m inclined to agree, because if I didn’t, I think he would yell at me. Seriously though, there were some awesome dishes from every cheftestant, except of course for that Jamaican cheesemaker, who set a Top Chef record by serving raw fish and raw chicken in the same episode.
The episode started at Le Cirque, where Sirlio Maccione stepped in to guest judge the cheftestants’ attempts to replicate a classic Le Cirque dish, halibut wrapped in thin strands of potato (I’m sure there is a much fancier description). They all did surprisingly well, except of course, for the aforementioned Sara, who forgot to cook hers. Maccione turned out to be the most honest judge yet, admitting that he wanted to award the quickfire to Casey just because he’d like to bone her, but instead Hung took the prize.
For the final elimination challenge, a whole bunch of fancy-pants chefs came in to judge what each cheftestant could do with the supposed most important ingredients ever: a chicken, potatoes and onions. Of course, they also got to head out to the yuppie paradise of the Union Square Greenmarket and buy all kinds of trendy leafy stuff to throw in there.
It one again came down to Hung vs. Casey, and the show is making a point to emphasize that Hung is amazingly talented technically, but maybe not the most inspired and creative chef, and vice-versa for Casey.
Hung’s sous vide butter poached chicken wins, even though they thought his pommes dauphin were too doughy. (NB: I am unfamiliar with these pommes dauphin as I don’t regularly eat at places like Le Cirque, but they look amazing, so look for my attempt at them soon).
Anyway, Brian coasted in the middle with a weird-looking shepherds pie, Dale tried to get crazy fancy and screwed up, and Sara of course can’t cook, so she finally gets sent home. Nice prediction, JoeHoya.
Next week is the “finale,” and judging by the way Bravo has dragged out this season, it will probably last seven episodes. They’ve set it up nicely for any of the contestants to win. They each have the gutsy, underdog vibe – will it be Casey, the first woman Top Chef, or hardworking immigrant Hung? Or goofy gay guy Dale? Of course, this is America, so straight white male Brian might still have a shot.
Now, none of this really matters, because the real question is, what are we going to do next month without Padma bursting into our lives once a week? Seriously, let me know if you have any ideas.