Recap: 'Top Chef: Seattle,' Episode 8
Ten chefs remained heading into this episode, in which we saw some oyster preparations, met some roller derby girls (and an angry, possibly drunk Josie), and saw probably the most gourmet jalapeno popper ever created.
After waking up, the chefs were notified via a well-placed note that they needed to head to Taylor Shellfish Farms in Bow, Washington, to “harvest” something, which turned out to be Samish Bay oysters. They grabbed a bunch right off the flats (as Josie got stuck in quicksand), ate a few, then headed back to meet up with Padma and Emeril. The challenge: five chefs needed to prepare a hot preparation, five a cold. The winner would receive $5,000, and they had 25 minutes.
Emeril was satisfied with the offerings, but a few didn’t impress. The butter and cream that topped Bart’s champagne oysters made them too rich. The chorizo cream on Josie’s wood-roasted oysters was broken and unappealing, and John’s garlic butter-poached oysters with garlic-Parmesan foam “had no pop,” according to Emeril. He liked the currant juice in Lizzie’s, though, Micah’s fried oysters with arugula, lemon, and hot sauce “really popped,” (Emeril likes that verb), and Brooke’s salsa verde, cilantro, and horseradish still let the oyster shine. Micah won, once again proving that frying oysters is always a good decision.
As Padma introduced the main challenge, the Rat City Roller Girls roller derby team rolled out, skates and all, and the chefs were told that they’d be preparing the food for their season wrap party the following night. They needed to choose a partner, and each team was challenged to prepare a dish inspired by the roller girls’ nicknames: Teriyaki Terror, Jalapeno Business, Eddie Shredder, Kutta Rump, and Tempura Tantrum (rather out of the box nicknames, apparently). They were given 2 ½ hours to cook for 100 people.
Here were the final dishes:
Micah and Lizzie (Jalapeno): Crab-stuffed jalapeno with avocado cream, onion, and pepper relish
Bart and Josie (Teriyaki): Steak Teriyaki with forbidden rice, beet blood, and green papaya salad
Stefan and Kristen (Shredder): Corn puree, chicken, liver, and sunny-side up egg
John and Brooke (Rump): Thai beef with lobster jasmine rice and Thai slaw
Sheldon and Josh (Tempura): Tempura yuzu curd with shiso, Fresno chili, sweet potato, and vanilla
Here are the chefs whose dishes were on the top:
John and Brooke: The lobster and beef were cooked perfectly, and everything was delicious, according to Emeril.
Micah and Lizzie: The jalapeno was hot and delicious, and didn’t overpower the crab.
The winning team was Brooke and John, who turned out to be a very compatible pair.
And on the bottom:
Bart and Josie: Tom asked if the chefs tasted the dish, because it was clearly underseasoned (and he makes it point to tell them, again, that putting salted food on top of unsalted food does not a well-seasoned dish make. Emeril thought it was a “mish mosh,” and Hugh considered the rice “really boring porridge.”
Sheldon and Josh: It worked conceptually, but the tempura coating was mushy and executed improperly. Tom called it “disastrous.”
In the end, Bart got the axe for consistently undersalting his food. Josie got in under the wire this time, but she seems poised to not be sticking around for too much longer.