By Kate Steadman, Spencer Ackerman and Kriston Capps
We’ve reached the crucible phase. At this point, opinions have hardened about each of our cheftestants. Who deserves to be here and who doesn’t. Who’s been robbed and who skated. Who’s an obnoxious, insufferable ostentatious European and who’s a salt-of-the-earth, gorgeously tattooed — we’re getting ahead of ourselves. In previous iterations of the Only Cooking Competition Show that matters, the wheat and the chaff have been irrevocably distinguished, with only Season 2 an anomaly. Will anyone be choked tonight? We can only wish. In any event, our bellies are filled with delicious Brazilian stew (an Ezra Klein banger), fried plantains (from Ben Adler), an unseasonal ginger-filled salad (Ackerman), fresh baked bread (Matthew Ficke), blueberry pie (Mandy Simon) and fresh dark-chocolate cupcakes (Kay Steiger). Knives out.
Kriston: Long knives drawn
10:06 PM Previously, superior season 5 chefs beat up on middleweights
Kate: a feature in food &wine, which gail simmmons apparently does not actually write for.
10:07 PM kriston thinks that was off the record
Kriston: Hi Kate
Spencer: Fabio gets to bring his Sidekick to the competition?
10:08 PM Kriston: Everyone gets Sidekicks for the competition, I think
Kate: and his sick mom, he has to win it for
Spencer: I find it weird how they’ve introduced this Fabio-as-family-competitor subplot
Kriston: The District could use a hamburger shack
Fewer upscale hamburger joints
Spencer: that was Eugene’s sympathy-inducing plot device, alas
Kate: Ben predicts that this means Fabio willbe gone.
Kriston: Carla says she is underestimated
10:09 PM I think she is correctly estimated
Spencer: ERIC RIPERT
Kriston: HI ERIC
Kate: Ezra, not a fan of Padma’s top
he is so SCARY
what is wrong with his face
it’s called perfectness
Kriston: mm sardines
Kate: ok, a fish filleting tournament
Spencer: NOT perfection. that’s for mere mortals
10:10 PM Kate: heh
Spencer: Fish-cleaning QF. Sardines to Ripert specifications. Something new under the QF sun
Kate: Josea expalins to us how DANGEROUS it is to fillet fish
Kriston: Josea (sp?) needs to make this happen
If you run a seafood restaurant, you know how to make small fish
10:11 PM Kate: Leah says, “I should just go home right now”
Please, please do.
Kriston: Leah says [BLEEP] it
Spencer: Leah, you can’t give up! Don’t break the oath like Mercyful Fate
Carla is extra Star Wars cantina in this episode
God, Eric Ripert is so sensual with his sardines
10:12 PM SWOOOOOOON
Leah did the best job?
Kate: Now we fillet arctic char.
Spencer: Arctic char. Filet eeet.
10:13 PM Kate: Which actually, is quite beautiful
Kriston: “I give up” is not an answer
Spencer: Leah, giving up after the win?
Kriston: If a chef gives up on my meal I am not leaving tip
Kate: I gave up, pouty face
I was over it, she says
Kriston: That was some pouty lip
Spencer: This reflects very badly on the Jewish People
10:14 PM Kate: Leah, once again confirming her 15 year old girl tood
Spencer: The Scandinavian is saying Fuck It as well???
just plain arrogant
Kriston: Josea Knows Char
Spencer: Hosea’s filet looks ‘beutifoool’
FRESH WATER EEL
10:15 PM Kate: Hosea, finally getting his chance to fight Stefan
Spencer: shades of Brian ‘asshat’ from season 3
Kate: whip that eel
Kriston: Shock me like an electric eel
Kate: Apparently this is “what they do in Germany”
Spencer: Nailing the eel — good idea
10:16 PM Kriston: I don’t understand how someone who runs a seafood restaurant has never been interested enough in eel to experiment with it.
Spencer: ‘Your station ees vur’ cleeeen’
End scene one.
Kriston: Since when has cleanliness at the station counted for anything?10:20 PM Will Josea and Leah go home . . . together?
10:21 PM Spencer: Ah, shades of the infamous Season 1 Fake Quickfire
where Miguel takes ‘Grandmaster of The Snacks’
10:22 PM mmmm cooking at Le Bernadin
Hosea did that condescending pectoral-tap to Stefan
Kriston: Will they eat a meal, or will they be faced with a challenge?
10:23 PM Spencer: I’m sorry, that snapper looks like a tofu slab
Kriston: That dish doesn’t look like perfectness
Spencer: That shirt Fabio is wearing is a cliche of a shirt that an Italian street-harasser would wear
Kate: Like, I want to give him a hug
10:24 PM Kriston: Jamie: bored. <3
Spencer: The escolar looks winning
Kriston: HELL YES
Kate: OH MAN
ERIC says first job in DC
Kriston: Carla represents for the District Of
Kate: black garlic?
10:25 PM There is a huge surplus of fish in this menu
Spencer: strangely Eric Ripert doesn’t pimp his West End restaurant in Foggy Bottom, which Mandy took me to for my birthday dinner and The Perfectness was in attendance
Kate: is the challenge that they keep getting fed fillets? eating contest?
Spencer: And Out Comes The Knifeblock. Hosea: “Looks Like There’s No Dessert.”
Kriston: Recreate the six-course menu: ouch
10:26 PM Spencer: “I already figured out the ingredients. That’s the funny part!”
Kriston: Stefan is a dick, but he’s an MVP
Kate: in terms of dickish reality stars, I find him pretty mild.
10:27 PM Spencer: Leah is going to win with the mahi mahi. You heard it here. Exactly at her skill level.
End scene 2.
Kriston has brought a sparkling Shiraz. I’ve never heard of anything like that. It reminds me of drinking sparkling Kedem grape juice on Purim when I was pre-alcohol age
Kriston: I say Jaime has the biggest task in front of her. If she can pull it off, she takes this
Fabio says he’s comfortable
10:32 PM Spencer: Will people suffer from showing initiative with the recipes on this challenge? The idea of having to cook like Eric Ripert strikes me as a poor challenge
Kriston: How hard can it be to braise celery? The sauce sounds like the challenge, not the celery
Kate: ok Stefan, there is obviously something more to that dish
Spencer: Leah knows this mahi mahi
Kate: Leah was the lead fish cook, but can’t fillet?
Kriston: Realistically, mahi mahi with a miso sauce is something anyone in this chat room could accomplish
Kate: Kay points out, Leah does the typical girl thing of dissing everything she does but performing fine..
Spencer: Kay observes that Leah is doing “the girl thing” — insincerely talking down her skils
10:33 PM Kriston: I get tired of Hosea talking so much smack toward Stefan, then confiding that he never learned how to cook
Kate: I’m not sure it’s insincere
Spencer: Fabio points out the futility of trying to cook like Eric Ripert. Why do a facsimile? A good chef offers a take on a dish, not rote repetition
10:34 PM Kriston: That is quite a lot of butter she is adding to the miso.
Kate: Rippert is not human.
Spencer: Leah’s broth: too intense. Carla’s dish: ‘very close.’ Stefan’s asparagus: raw
Kate: first of all, he is clearly an alien
Kriston: Having Eric say that your fish is “okay” must feel good.
10:35 PM Kate: second, he’s too nice to be such a famous chef.
Spencer: Eric Ripert has been replaced by a Skrull
Kriston: Top Chef Invasion
Spencer: ‘I joos wan to weesh you the best of look tonight’
Kate: Jamie, very whiny this episode
10:36 PM Kriston: The smart move for Jamie is to do her take on this dish.
10:37 PM Kate: Fabio browned it too much but otherwise they say a great interpretation
Spencer: Oh, Fabio must *suck*! He was unable to perfectly replicate Eric Ripert’s dish after eating it once. GO HOME
Kriston: Leah can’t hack mahi mahi?
Kate: Ezra says they’re suggesting Leah will win or go home
Spencer: Uh oh, Leah is freaking out over her doneness. This is going down in flames!
10:38 PM Kate: this is an incredibly hard challenge; I’d be happy to sent home over it
Spencer: Agreed — also, Toby Young, button your fucking shirt. “Whenever I’ve gone to the Carribean”
10:39 PM Kate: kind of like those new carnival cruise ads, you know, they say “tired of wearing pants?”
toby young says, hell yes. and buttons!
that surprises me that they use a blender for the hollandaise
Spencer: Stefan’s sauce “not as light” — Eric likes the lobster. Appears to be the dish to beat
10:40 PM Kriston: Toby Young says, “If I didn’t know it was supposed to be like [Eric’s dish], I would be very happy with this.” There is a conceptual problem with this challenge
Kate: Carla, so very zen today
Spencer: Carla’s plate looks better than Eric Ripert’s
Kate: go DC!!!!
Kriston: Carla lands her dish
10:41 PM Hosea’s fish looks like poached eggs
Kate: hosea’s dish, barftastic
Spencer: Hosea’s fish looks like a rock — dear lord
Kate: could it finally be his time?
Kriston: “vomit covered” say Ben and Kay, simultaneously
10:42 PM Spencer: too much za’atar — looks oversauced, and underflavored. From the seafood chef
Kate: Kay says, actually Jamie knows how to cook scallops.
not necessarily fish
Kriston: Hosea’s best hope is that Jaime’s dish is as hopeless as she sounds
10:43 PM Kate: Ezra calls jamie as out
Spencer: Eric Ripert just said “hardcore”! Time for the mosh part
Kate: fish is well cooked; mushy grey celery FAIL
End scene 3.
two IFA views on this challenge: great because of the paucity of product placement
intellectually problematic because of the mimicry aspect
10:45 PM now we are debating.
10:49 PM Spencer: So: judges’ table. Prediction time. Six votes for Carla FTW; Five voted Stefan FTW. For the loss? Four votes Jamie; Five voted Hosea; no votes Leah.
No Fabio, either.
10:50 PM Called to judges’ table: Fabio, Carla, Stefan
Kriston: What a dress, Padme
Spencer: Great look Carla just shot Stefan.
10:52 PM Kriston: Carla showing off some technical chops we don’t usually see
Spencer: So Eric Ripert points out that Carla excels by improvisation and interpretation
Kate: Carla’s sauce had a swagger, according to Toby oung
Spencer: PABLO ESCOLAR???
Kate: stefan the winner, AGAIN
Spencer: this man needs to be hunted down by LTC Jerry Boykin, real talk
Kriston: Justice for Carla
10:53 PM Kate: oh man, flight with Ripert to Food and Wine Festival
Kriston: I’d take the Super Bowl tickets myself. But Stefan just won some real treasure
Spencer: Stefan is the most dominant TC competitor since Hung
Kate: Stefan’s strength is winning the quickfires, so always being well placed for the main challenge
Spencer: so much for my Leah prediction
10:54 PM Hosea actually has a good, dignified answer to the awful are-you-surprised-to-be-here question
Kate: he’s technically good but also incredibly strategic
Kriston: Major problem: Hosea didn’t coook the monkfish correctly
Kate: monkfish needs to rest. it is a very quiet fish.
Kriston: but he knows the mistakes he made
10:55 PM Kate: har har
Kriston: Leah: “I didn’t want to make it worse than it already was”
Spencer: This is unfair. The dish Leah had to make, by all accounts is “subtle” and “subtle” from Eric Ripert means impossibly intricate. She has nothing to be ashamed of
10:56 PM Kate: she is bringing up everything you shouldn’t
Kriston: Not acquitting herself well.
10:57 PM Spencer: “Rogue element”… “metallic aftertaste.” I don’t trust this man
Ben Miller observes: Leah is the weakest chef remaining
10:58 PM Kate: although Hosea hasn’t made anything oustanding for a few weeks.
I think he’s barely above leah
Kriston: Jaime is much stronger than the others. But that isn’t supposed to count when they come to the judges’ table
10:59 PM agreed.
Spencer: your skin is black metallllllllllllic
End scene 4.
“Each of you made a mistake, either in observation or execution” — Colicchio
11:03 PM OK, so oversalted celery — is Jaime supposed to leave it off the dish?
JAIME ELIMINATED! SHOCKHORROR
“Team Rainbow is done”
Kriston: This is the wrong conclusion.
Kate: my abstention did not help her luck.
11:04 PM from voting for the loser, that is.
what’s happening with the liighting in the next episode?
Spencer: She strikes me as this year’s Josie — technically excellent, lots of good ideas, but never up to her full potential
Kate: ok I’m out
Kate has left
Kriston: Night night.
Kriston has left