BRAVO really needs to consider renaming this episode. Top Chef: Seattle is starting to become The John Tesar Show. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Tesar makes for excellent television. Hopefully, Tesar will keep calling himself “the most hated chef in Dallas” in the rest of the episodes, just to keep the trend going. (“Let’s make him a shirt or something,” said Desiree, my gchat partner last night.) If we do, Des, he’s going to wear that shirt every single day. And it’ll smell like fish.
Round 1: QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE
The 15 contestants are finally in Seattle, and Tesar’s glasses are back on his forehead, right where they belong. All is right in Tesar Land. But, wait, why is Padma with three old Top Chef alums (Josie from Season 2, CJ from Season 3, and Stefan from Season 5)? These oldies are going to judge the newbies, who’ve split up into five groups of three. Tesar, the smartypants, pairs up with the AZNs: Quiet Asian (Kuniko) and Maui Asian (Simeon). He assumes Quiet Asian, because she is Japanese, has good knife skills. Lucky for John, stereotyping works in his favor. The three of them make sweet music together and create a geoduck sashimi with ponzu, apple, and cucumber. Meanwhile, the all ladies group (Lizzie, Carla, and Chrissy) are yackin’ each other’s ears off. Crazy Italian Carla, who shall henceforth be known as “Big MAMA,” needs go back to the Real Housewives of Italy. Desiree is not a fan.
Jump for the party.
The blue team wows the judges’ pants off, and JTesar wins immunity. A goofy smile is plastered all over his face. Two seconds later, I swear his lips quiver when Padma tells the contestants that the three alums are going to join the fray and compete alongside them. Josh Valentine unleashes his anger. “None of them were able to seal the deal. I hate them all.” Ouch, watch that fire, Josh.
Round 2: SPACE NEEDLE TIME
The 18 contestants are now inside the Seattle Space Needle, which Desiree observes is “just like our Reunion Tower.” The teams have to make a dish using regional ingredients for the judges and legendary chef Tom Douglas in the time it takes for the Space Needle to go around once.
The blue team kicks sass again, even though Kuniko burns the first batch of chili oil. Her chili oil-poached cod makes her the winner of episode 2, despite Simeon’s fine dashi and Tesar nailing those vegetables. Red team (or “Team Failure,” as Desiree likes to call them) tried to make a roasted quail with confit spot prawn, but Stefan the Scary One failed. “It’s the only breast I’m going to be touching in six weeks,” he said. If that’s the case, Stefan, why’d you overcook them? Gray team also ends up in the bottom two with the red team, but cute Jeffrey gets the boot. Now he has to go and tell his fiancé why he’s back so early.
Des and I are sad. I was just about about to become a Jeffrey Jew fan until they kicked him off.
Best line(s): “When I’m cooking, I like to look good.” “I want to be a James Beard, and I want to have a nice ass.” -Carla
Best red hat: Maui Asian (Simeon)’s. Desiree says it looks like the ones from The Life Aquatic.
Biggest attention hogger: JTesar all the way.