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Top Chef: Seattle, Episode 5 Recap

Round 1: Quickfire Challenge

It’s really, really early in the morning, and all the cheftestants are standing inside Pike Place Market, “the soul of Seattle.” Padma, in ugly crotch-riding striped pants, is standing with guest judge Daisley Gordon, and she tells the chefs to divide into teams of two. They have to make breakfast for the market workers, and – get this – it has to be on a stick. Welcome to the State Fair, everyone. Well, whatdyaknow, Josh Valentine and John Tesar scooch close to each other, which makes them on the same TEAM. I smell a disaster.

The two Texas men end up doing just fine with their breakfast tacos on a stick, but the Knight (Bart) and Maui Asian (Sheldon) win immunity this time with their green forest breakfast sandwiches made on a panini grill. Good job, boys.

Round 2: Elimination Challenge

The teams have to stay together for the elimination round. Everyone, except Bart and Sheldon, are s*&tting in their pants. Josie and Eliza hate each other’s guts so much, this episode could get really ugly. Then Padma tells her kiddos that each team has to highlight a specific market ingredient and impress the person who made the ingredient. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Bart and Sheldon: Salmon Candy
  • Danyele and Lizzie: Coconut Curry Chocolate
  • John and Joshua: Truffled Popcorn
  • Eliza and Josie: Cardamom Bitters (sucks for them)
  • Brooke and Stefan: Rose Petal Jelly (double sucks)
  • CJ and Tyler: Spicy Dill Pickles
  • Kristen and Micah: Cheese Curds

John decides he wants to make grits with the truffled popcorn, so he and Josh the Ticking Bomb start cooking. But both of them are like “yeah, that’s good, that’s good,” when really they both hate whatever the other person is doing. “Josh is just tolerating me,” says Tesar. “And if I piss him off, he’s going to explode on me.”

Meanwhile, Josie and Eliza are doing the same thing as the Josh/John couple, and CJ and crazy-eyes Tyler decide to make a burger. With dill pickles. Because that is so original. The burger buns end up looking like Play-Doh, and the judges hate how spongy it is. Basically, they hate everything they taste during this round. To sum up the meal, let me rephrase everything in layman’s terms.

The pork crumpet burger sucks, the grits and pork medallions sucks, the duck sucks (Josie/Eliza), the cheese curd dish sucks, the salmon candy sucks, and the coconut curry chocolate tart also, you guessed it, sucks (Danyele/Lizzie).

Little Tom Colicchio fumes in his gray hoodie, his piercing blue eyes burning with the fury of a thousand suns. “I don’t have a favorite. They’re all so bad.”

This is the part when my gchatting buddy, Matthew Shelley, pings me the following message: “Why are John’s glasses not on his forehead? Something’s wrong.” ‘Cause at this point, Tesar looks pretty down in the dumps. He’s taken a big blow to his ego for those thickity thick grits. And even after a good night’s sleep, Tesar looks worse for the wear standing in front of the judge’s table with his good pal, Josh. They’re in the bottom three, along with CJ/Tyler and Brooke/Stefan.

The judges decide the burger was the worst thing they could’ve possibly eaten, and the burger guys have gotta go. But CJ, always the gentleman, decides to throw in a little punch to the ladies.

“That thing (referring to Danyele and Lizzie’s tart) was an abhorrence, I thought,” says CJ.

“Uh oh, ’cause that burger was even worse,” retorts Hughy.

“S*&t,” says CJ.

Of course, we’ll see CJ again. The show has added Last Chance Kitchen, the web show that gives losing chefs a chance to get back on the show.