Top Chef – Recap & Review – Glacial Gourmand

photo: bravo

photo: bravo

Top Chef
Glacial Gourmand

Original Air Date: Feb 13, 2013

Ryan O – Staff Writer
ryano@thetwocentscorp.com

Remember at the end of last season? All of the shenanigans? Food in blocks of ice? Skiing and shooting? They start down that road in this episode but pull back. It gives the episode enough fun but still lets cooking in a regular kitchen under normal circumstances dictate who will cook in the finale.

We also get the last Last Chance Kitchen? Who was eliminated and wound up cooking against Kristen and the winner of Save a Chef? Keep reading!

Brooke, Sheldon, and Josh get a note at breakfast directing them to dress warmly and go to Eaglescrest. They drive to a ski area and see a helicopter in the parking lot. Brooke freaks out a little since that combines a number of fears — heights, loss of control, and tight spaces. They take off and she’s a mess. It’s a gorgeous view and she seems to recover enough to enjoy the truly spectacular Alaskan scenery. They land on a glacier. Then, they get on dog sleds and ride them to meet Padma and Tom.

Quickfire

They have 30 minutes to create a dish with whatever they find in the camp, which is a camp for dog sled teams training for the Iditarod.

Here’s what they made.

Brooke: Pan-roasted halibut, panzanella salad with red currant and beet vinaigrette.

Josh: Cornmeal cake with Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon.

Sheldon: Pan-roasted halibut with tomato sauce, sesame bok choy, and pickled radish.

Tom really liked Brooke’s dish, especially the crunch from the croutons in the salad. He thought the eggs weren’t mixed enough, so you could see whites and yolks in the scrambled eggs. Sheldon perfectly cooked the halibut but his sauce was a bit one-note.

Brooke wins. I could be wrong but I don’t think she won anything for winning this Quickfire.

They get back in the helicopter and fly back down the mountain. Padma drives them back to where they’re staying and Emeril and guest judge Roy Choi are cooking for them.

As they eat, Roy tells a really moving story about how he was watching TV and seeing Emeril make short ribs. That was the moment where Roy realized he wanted to leave his scumbag life (his words) and be a chef.

Elimination Challenge

The challenge is to make a dish that represents the moment when they realize they wanted to be chefs. They’ll be serving dinner at the Governor’s mansion.

Josh gets a call from his pregnant wife that her water broke and she’s heading to the hospital. Josh is a little sad she has to go through it without her.

Brooke is a little stuck in her head and isn’t sure what she wants to make. Sheldon is making red snapper. Josh is making foie gras.

That night, we see Josh videocalling with his wife and newborn daughter.

So, Padma, Tom, Gail, and Emeril are there along with Wolfgang, Roy Choi, and Governor and First Lady Sean and Sandy Parnell.

Sheldon: Pan-roasted rockfish, spot prawns, baby vegetables, and dashi.

Tom says the fish and prawns are cooked perfectly have a nice flavor. Roy says the dish is a bit too salty and everyone agrees.

Brooke: Braised chicken, grilled quail with carrot barley and pickled vegetables.

Wolfgang says his quail is a little overcooked and Tom agrees. Other than that, everyone has nothing but praise for the dish.

Josh: Foie gra three ways: torchon (foie gras cooked in a specific vessel), pan-seared, and profiterole (in a cream puff pastry)

Gail liked the profiterole but thought the torchon wasn’t set. Tom says you can’t make foie gras torchon in one day. Wolfgang liked the pan-seared one.

Judges Table

Josh wanted to push it. Tom points out you just can’t do torchon in a day. Emeril liked the cornbread. Gail liked the apricot.

Wolfgang says the quail was a little overcooked. Roy liked how layered it was. Tom thought it all worked well together.

Wolfgang says Sheldon screwed up the broth. Gail says it was too salty. Wolfgang says the fish and prawn were cooked excellently.

Brooke wins!

Josh and Sheldon leave so the judges can decide.

Tom says there were two major mistakes. Sheldon made a mistake of overseasoning; Josh made a mistake of working with an ingredient he doesn’t understand.

Josh and Sheldon return.

Josh is out.

Brook and Sheldon are going to the finale in Los Angeles along with someone out of Last Chance Kitchen.

Last Chance Kitchen

Josh vs. Kristen vs. Lizzie, who is there via Bravo’s save-a-chef deal. They’re at Craft in Los Angeles.

The challenge is to make Tom a great plate of food in 30 minutes using whatever is in the kitchen.

Here’s what they made.

Kristen: Semolina orecchiette with brown butter, pomegranate, apple, and fresh herbs.

Lizzie: Black cod in black pepper vinegar, savoy cabbage, and spaetzle.

Josh: Venison with coriander, brown sugar, and black pepper cure, kale, and shaved carrot.

Josh’s venison was undercooked. His dish was third.

Tom liked Kristen’s dish. The orecchiette was cooked but still chewy. The flavors were good.

Tom thought Lizzie’s cabbage was perfect and the spaetzle was terrific. The cod was excellent.

Tom says it’s a very difficult decision. He says the winner will walk through the doors into the finale.

And we’ll have to wait until next week to find out who won.

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 – Glacial Gourmand

  1. Sarah says:

    I totally felt for Brooke during the helicopter ride. Those are all my top phobias as well. I don’t know if I could have done it.

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