Top Chef – Recap & Review – Pike Place Pickle

photo: bravo

photo: bravo

Top Chef
Pike Place Pickle

Original Air Date: Dec 5, 2012

Ryan O – Associate Staff Writer

The cheftestants head to Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market. You know it. It’s the place where they throw around fish. We don’t actually see any fish being thrown.

Another thing we don’t see? Good food. Related to that, something happens that might be unprecedented, too.


The cheftestants are at Pike Place Market with local chef and guest judge, Daisley Gordon. (He’s a dude, which I know I wouldn’t have guessed from “Daisley.”)

The chefstestants divide into teams of two. Josh and John end up on the same team. John has his glasses on his forehead again.

Padma tells them they must make breakfast to go for the Pike Place Market vendors. Then, Padma adds with a huge smile and a genuine twinkle in her eye, “On a stick!” You can practically see the cheftestants pooping bricks.

They have an hour to set up their kitchen and cook. The winning team will be safe from elimination.

They have $500 to shop at Sur la Table to get whatever they need to cook.

How cute is Lizzie’s accent? No need to answer because I already know that it’s completely cute and charming.

Here’s what the teams made.

John and Josh: Chilaquiles: tortilla, salsa, quail egg, avocado-heirloom tomato relish
Padma and Daisley both enjoy it.

Eliza and Josie: Ricotta, raspberry, and sausage pancake with jalapeno maple syrup
Daisley says it has both a breakfast and dessert feel to it.

Micah and Kristen: Bacon and cinnamon waffle, pecan maple syrup, boysenberry and strawberry jam

CJ and Tyler: Salmon and cream cheese crepe and something something else that I can’t read because Bravo put a graphic over the description of what they made.

Bart and Sheldon: Green forest breakfast sandwich: eggs, cheese, pancetta, bacon, and spinach

Danyele and Lizzie: Summer berries with crispy pancetta

Brooke and Stefan: Croque monsieur: pressed ham and cheese sandwich with toasted fig

Bottom 2

Danyele and Lizzie: They didn’t produce much in the hour. It was just fruit on a stick. It wasn’t a meal.

Josie and Eliza: Daisley didn’t care for the pancake and the raspberry syrup was too sweet.

Top 2

Sheldon and Bart: The sandwich was well-executed and easy-to-eat and it tasted delicious.

Josh and John: Daisley liked the sausage, it was well-seasoned, and a nice riff on the breakfast taco.

Sheldon and Bart win!

Elimination Challenge

For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants will be staying in the same teams of two. Teams draw knives that have an ingredient on it that they must use in their dish. The winners will get $10,000.

They have two hours. Teams head into the market to get ingredients for the first hour. Then they have an hour to cook.

John and Josh are doing their best to tolerate each other and work together. They seem to be not voicing their concerns with what they’re making.

Lizzie wanted to make something savory with their ingredient, coconut curry chocolate, but Danyele is insisting on a dessert. Based on last week, Danyele does seem to be competent at desserts, so that might work.

At the table for lunch are the artisans who make the ingredients they had to use. Also at the table are Padma, Tom, Gail, Hugh, and Daisley.

Josh and John, truffle popcorn: Pan-seared pork tenderloin with truffle popcorn grits

Micah and Kristen, cheese curds: Cheese curds three ways: bechamel, raw, and fried

Stefan and Brooke, rose petal jelly: Rose petal glazed muscovy duck with braised cabbage

Sheldon and Bart, candied salmon: Candied salmon with sweet and sour salad

Stefan and Brooke’s duck is tough and their sauce is too sweet. Hugh thinks John and Josh’s grits suck. Tom says whoever cooked the meat screwed up and the sauce is a gloppy mess. Micah and Kristen’s cheese curd is overwhelmed by everything on the plate. Tom says he didn’t get enough candied salmon on Sheldon and Bart’s dish but people tend to like the dish.

CJ says he could think of a lot of dishes that would be good uses for pickles but he can see in his mind Tom saying, “What’s wrong with a perfect burger? That’s a great accompaniment for a pickle.” The dude might be too deep in his own head.

Eliza feels like Josie is the boss of their team. Josie is a little disappointed in Eliza’s broth.

Josie and Eliza, cardamom bitters: Curry cardamom broth with Manila clams and seared white king salmon

Lizzie and Danyele, coconut curry chocolate: Coconut curry chocolate mousse tart

CJ and Tyler, spicy dill pickles: Pork crumpet burger with spicy dill pickles

People roundly criticize CJ and Tyler for using a crumpet for the bun. It’s disintegrating. It does seem like a pretty bad idea. Tom: “You couldn’t think of something better to do with pickles than put them on a burger? How friggin’ original!” See, CJ overthought it. Gail thinks Eliza and Josie’s broth has a lot of nice cardamom flavor but it’s really salty and she and Padma have some sand in their portions. Gail says the flavor in Lizzie and Danyele’s tart were so overpowering that it was one of her least favorite dishes.

Tom says he doesn’t have a favorite among the dishes: “They’re all so bad.” Tom is against awarding anyone the prize for winning the challenge. Padma goes so far as to apologize to the artisans for the meal.

Tom actually goes to see the chefs as they’re waiting for Judges Table and tells them how disappointed everyone was. He says the food was pretty bad and he takes the $10,000 off the table. Also, he says an entire team will be sent home.

Judges Table

Top 3

There are no teams in the top.

Bottom 3

John and Josh, Tyler and CJ, and Stefan and Brooke.

They all say they were sort of stymied by their ingredient. Gail counters that might’ve been true but the food they ended up making didn’t taste good.

The cabbage on Brooke and Stefa’sn dish totally overwhelmed everything else.

Josh (kind of reluctantly) throws John under the bus for slicing the pork into medallions and then cooking them. It’s not how he would’ve done it. John just readjusts the glasses on his forehead. Tom said the dish looked like the dish was made by someone who had to feed their family but really hates cooking.

CJ and Tyler say they liked their burger. Hugh says it was not a good burger — it was soggy and overcooked. CJ mentions how he expected Tom to say they should’ve made a burger. Gail says this is Top Chef. They’re expected to be creative. As they’re leaving, CJ asks what they thought of Lizzie and Danyele’s tart because he thought it was awful. Hugh says, “Uh oh, because your burger was even worse.” Point, Hugh.

CJ and Tyler are out.

Last Chance Kitchen

CJ and Tyler are in the Last Chance Kitchen against Kuniko. They will be working together and the challenge is to make a dessert. They have 30 minutes.

CJ is working on hay ice cream. Yes. Hay ice cream. You know, when I see horses and cows eating, I’m always thinking, that looks tasty but I really wish I could have that in ice cream form. He toasts some hay in the oven and then steeps it in the dairy. Because they only have 30 minutes, he has to use liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream instead of the traditional way of freezing but I don’t think that will affect the flavor.

Kuniko: Frozen banana with fruit compote and lemon curd

Tom calls it very nice.

CJ and Tyler: Hay ice cream with cherry fritter, cherries, and arugula

Arugula? Seems like a bad call in a dessert.

Tom says the fritters were good — the batter was light and crispy.

Tom declares CJ and Tyler the winner. BOOO.

What did you find to be tasty in this episode? Did you think anything was overdone? Give us your Two Cents below!

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2 Responses to Top Chef – Recap & Review – Pike Place Pickle

  1. Anu says:

    Wow that looked some really bad food.

    I’m starting to think they’re picking the better contestants to lose in these rounds, so they have better viewership for Last chance kitchen. :eyeroll:

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