Top Chef: Seattle, Episode 13 Recap

Round 1: Quickfire Challenge

Surprise! We’re on a boat to Alaska. Everyone is happy, happy, joy, joy except for Brooke, who’s afraid of big bad boats. (I get ya, Brooke. I watched Titanic, too.) Padma is joined by the steamy host of Top Chef: Masters, Curtis Stone. They both want the five remaining piggies – er, chefs – to create a one-bite dish highlighting iceberg lettuce. Iceberg…. get it? Yeah, I didn’t think it was a funny joke, either. All five do pretty well, except Sheldon’s Vietnamese iceberg wrap impresses just a little bit more with its sweet and salty combination. He wins. He gets an advantage at the real challenge.

Round 2: The Elimination

La-dee-da, la-dee-da, Sheldon and Lizzie get manicures before they have to fight in the kitchen. “I actually love getting manicures,” says Sheldon. “I hope I don’t get judged on my masculinity.” No worries, Shelly. We  got yo back. During a fun dinner at Qsine, the restaurant inside the Celebrity Cruise ship, Padma and Mr. Stone crash the party with bad news. These happy birds have to re-imagine surf ‘n’ turf and make this boring concept into something playful and fun. Because Sheldon won the quickfire, he gets to choose his protein first. “The gears in Stefan’s head are going crazy right now,” says Sheldon.

Instead of taking advantage of his advantage, Sheldon wastes his precious award and picks beef and lobster as his two ingredients. Facepalm. Stefan is giddy with pleasure, and he dives for the pork belly and eel, which he decides to make ravioli out of. Lizzie starts butchering the bejeebus out of a little suckling pig, and Josh goes in for the other pork belly and scallops. Brooke makes the riskiest move of all by choosing frog legs and mussels. You go, girl!

During prep, this depression conversation played out:

“How are you making your dish playful?” says Brooke.

“I’m not,” says Sheldon.

Oh, mother chicken nugget, Sheldon. Are you serious?! Sheldon decides to make his beef and lobster more traditional surf ‘n’ turf, while Josh blends all his scallops and makes it look like scrambled eggs. “Really? Josh is making breakfast?” exclaims Stefan. It’s true. That boy always makes breakfast food. Remember him making breakfast sushi last week?

At least Josh’s scrambled scallop eggs and pork belly manage to impress the judges. So does Brooke’s dish, with the frog legs and mussels on a bed of fennel puree. Sheldon makes a Korean BBQ filet mignon with kimchi and tempura lobster, but the tempura part fails miserably. The lobster is soggy and wet. “I’m frustrated,” he says. “It’s definitely not my best work, and it sucks when it’s so close to the finale.”

Though you think Sheldon would be the one going home, he manages to scrape by. All the American judges were appalled by Stefan’s crunchy beef (Curtis Stone said it was a cultural thing) and greasy sauce. Ack. I’m going miss my favorite inappropriate-joke-telling foreigner. Goodbye, Stefan. And congratulates, Brooke, for winning this challenge. You just won yourself another cruise.

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