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All We Can Eat
Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 11/29/2012

‘Top Chef Seattle,’ Ep. 4: Happy daze

Happy Thursday morning, food lovers! Last night’s episode of “Top Chef Seattle” opened with a low-level cat fight in the Stew Room: John talks about now-eliminated Kuniko’s failed potato pave, irking CJ and Josh (who I can’t take seriously because of his waxy mustache), both of whom seem overly sensitive to John’s mere existence. Luckily, we get to see Stefan and Kristen flirt (shudder) while Stefan gives her a foot rub (double-shudder).

Let’s moooooove to the Quickfire where the cheftestants have an hour to make a dish using their favorite cut of a cow. . . that they have to butcher on their own.

Guest judge is Naomi Pomeroy (chef-owner, Beast). Dishes deemed not-so-great? Lizzie’s shank with roasted turnips; Eliza’s flank steak with asparagus and cherries; and Tyler’s bottom round crudo. Naomi’s favorites were CJ’s tartare, John’s oxtail gnocchi and Josh’s meatball with polenta. The Quickfire winner is John, who gets immunity in the Elimination Challenge. The winner for most annoyed look at John’s victory is CJ.

This week’s Elimination Challenge takes place at Canlis, first opened in 1950 and now run by brothers Brian and Mark Canlis. The chefs are told they must “travel back in time” and re-create the dishes from the restaurant’s very first menu. The winner will get $10,000. On the flip side, two chefs will get booted.

They stand around a table to review the 1950 menu and begin to claim which dishes they want to make. Stefan takes the lead in helping assign and organize. John decides to expedite because he has immunity and won’t have to worry too much about his food, even though (spoiler alert) the judges end up liking what he cooked.

The next day, they cook at Canlis. The Brothers Canlis and Naomi join Tom, Padma, Emeril and Hugh at the dinner table. Put on your bobby socks and poodle skirts and pull up a chair to enjoy these delectable treats:

Tyler: crab cocktail

Lizzie: marinated herring

Josh: French onion soup

John: steamed clam bordelaise

Chrissy: Canlis special salad

Brooke: seafood salad a la Louis

Sheldon: Hawaiian mahi mahi

Carla: whole milk-fed squab

Micah: mixed vegetables

Stefan: calf’s liver with fried onions

Bart: double-cut New York steak

Josie: baked potato

CJ: lamb kebab with rice pilaf

Kristen: French mushrooms

Danyele: vanilla ice cream, royal Hawaiian supreme

Eliza: mint sherbet, frozen Hawaiian parfait

The judges ate and deliberated, followed by Padma calling Lizzie, Kristen, Tyler and Stefan to Judges’ Table. Hugh raved about Tyler’s crab, telling him it was perfectly cooked. Ty looks like he might cry tears of joy, having been so frustrated with his poor performance in the previous challenge. Tom really liked Lizzie’s herring dish, with a Saltine cracker to accompany it, and he and Padma praised Kristen’s mushrooms and fried onions (for Stefan’s liver). Emeril stroked Stefan’s ego on the liver. Hugh announces the winner, and it’s Kristen. Sauteing mushrooms and deep-frying onions earned her $10,000. Forget Powerball, get me in on some “Top Chef” cash action. I can do that, fer cryin’ out loud!

Carla, Chrissy, CJ and Josh mope their way to Judges’ Table next. Tom tells Josh his soup was cold and so salty it was on the verge of being inedible. Despite taking the biggest risk by tackling the only dish that is still on the menu today from the ’50s, Chrissy was hammered for her overdressed and soggy salad. Carla’s squab was too bony and not prepared or cooked properly. She is chastised for not checking her dishes before they go out and for not tasting the birds at all. CJ looks surprised to hear his lamb kebab was underseasoned and mealy — he sous-vided the meat; Tom questions if that would’ve been an option in the ’50s. (Survey says? BBBBBZZZZTTTTT)

Which two chefs are going home? Chrissy (nooooooo!) and Carla (whew!). Or are they? What the chefs don’t know for sure, but speculated about earlier in the show, was whether the Last Chance Kitchen would be a factor this season. It is, folks. It is. Those battles take place on Bravo’s Web site.You can watch to see who among the eliminated chefs ends up battling his or her way back onto the show. And not just back into the competition near the end, but the finale — whatWHAT?!

Up Next Week: The worst grits Hugh has ever tasted; Tom in a hoodie all sad and angry at a poor showing in a challenge; Gail chewing out six chefs at Judges’ Table. Looks like a $#*%show, alright.

Further reading:

* ‘Top Chef Seattle,’ Ep. 3: Buttering up

* ‘Top Chef Seattle,’ Ep. 2: Fish on high

* ‘Top Chef Seattle,’ Ep. 1: Egged on & off

By Carol Blymire  |  10:50 AM ET, 11/29/2012

 
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