If you’re reading this, then you already know. Even if you were among the half-million folks in and around Philadelphia without power, news of our hometown hero bringing home the hardware was all but unavoidable last night. While Nick was up in New York with runner-up Nina waiting for shotskis, his TV buddy Jason Cichonski hosted a viewing party down here at recently opened Gaslight in Old City. And the rest of us watched it all play out on Twitter with the TV on in the background.
I know this entire thing played out months ago, but I can’t help being resentful of these cheftestant jerks gallivanting (yes, gallivanting) around Maui like extras from the cast of Lost. I suppose they deserve it after weeks of psychological torture and sequestration, but still. It’s fucking cold here in Philadelphia and I am a spiteful man.
Nickgate? Elmigeddon? The Great Immunity Debate? Call it what you will, the cheftestants put the whole ugly thing to bed during a single K-Cup’s worth of DUNKIN’ DONUTS coffee, then moved straight onto the Quickfire, announced by so-hot-right-now-best-selling chef, Roy Choi. Mr. Choi, dressed in his L.A. best, gives a quick diatribe about cooking with soul and how awesome he is and then tells the cheftestants to make a po’ boy that exemplifies each ones’ personality.
Author’s Note: If last week was any indication, this whole recapping thing sometimes takes a village. And since none of you readers take the time to comment these days (or maybe nobody’s reading this?), I thought it would be a good idea to bring some feedback into the recap itself. To that end, I’ve enlisted the help of the Evster this week, a true American TV recapping hero, and the person responsible for making this the longest Top Chef recap in the history of Foobooz Top Chef Recaps.
Well, that sucked.
I’m not talking about my disappearance last week, although the Yeti hair did make it hard to sleep. This week’s episode was even harder to watch–even after half a bottle of wine and a generously poured Dad’s Hat rye on the rocks (full disclosure: red wine and whiskey both tend to make me grumpy).
Everything starts out fine. Nick’s sporting his sweet striped hoodie and “come at me, Carlos” face during breakfast. There’s a nice shot of PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE. And our hometown hero’s got a 1 in 6 chance of taking home the hardware.
Editor’s Note: This week’s recap is brought to you courtesy of guest recapper Kevin McKenzie who has stepped in at the last minute after last night’s episode proved too much for Fidel Gastro to handle. From what we understand, he is currently in seclusion with nothing for company but a life-size Padma Lakshmi doll made of pillows and Yeti hair and is subsisting on a diet of beef jerky and Southern Comfort (which, truth be told, is little changed from his normal daily diet). We have every confidence that he’ll be back next week, but for now, please enjoy Kevin’s attempt at channeling Senor Gastro as he brings us up-to-date on the doings in New Orleans.
After bidding farewell to the cafeteria ladies of LSU and sending
Zac Brown Justin off to battle Louis in Last Chance Kitchen, we are now down to the Savory Seven. This week sees the return of the perfectly coiffed John Besh as he challenges the cheftestants to create their own version of a crawfish étouffée (it’s Top Chef: New Orleans; if you don’t know what that dish is at this point in the season, I can’t help you).
So let’s see how they did, shall we?
Back to school. Back to school. To prove to Tom, that I’m no fool…
But first, Questlove. If you don’t already know, Questlove is the coolest person in the world. Seriously, the old man who doesn’t always drink (shit) beer has nothing on him. He let me judge a cooking competition once, and everybody says that this famous guy or that famous gal is super humble and blah blah blah, but unless they’re talking about Questlove, they’re a bunch of filthy liars. And you shouldn’t lie around Christmas time, because lies make baby Jesus cry. It may also net you a lump of coal in your stocking.
The wind in our sails is at full gale force! Philadelphia is riding high! Additional assorted sailing metaphors to describe Dr. Elmi’s momentum and our enthusiasm for his win last week! The other cheftestants? Whatevs.
But let’s not get ourselves too excited. Although Shirley has all but disappeared from the top and Nina stopped making gnocchi, there’s still a gauntlet of six capable and/or lucky cheftestants to get through before Padma announces Nick as the winner.
Welcome back, dear readers. We’ve finally made it to Restaurant Wars and we’ve got a decent pool of cooks on whom to gamble. We’re also fully committed to this season now, so we need to see it through. Thankfully, Dr. Elmi is still alive and/or kicking, as are two of my other favorites–Brian Huskey and Carlos Gaytan.
In order to give the chefs ample time to let their egos run wild, Bravo skips the Quickfire (again!). And we were really hoping that the cheftestants would have to cook something with PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE on the engine of a TOYOTA RAV4 that was inspired by one of the new features available with the 2014 model. While blindfolded. And drunk on Terlato wine. With the winner getting their own line of Healthy Choice Top Chef Inspired Microwave Meals.
No such luck.
Poetic license is a beautiful thing, dear readers. What happened this week? You’ll have to listen to my powerful, inspiring, epic spoken-word recap to find out…