Top Chef: Now That's a Lot of Schnitzel
January 12, 2018 5:33 PM - Season 15, Episode 6 - Subscribe

For the Quickfire, Padma and Richard Blais inspire the chefs using Tasty online videos and challenge them to transform the most laborious dishes from their own menus into accessible thirty minute dishes for home cooks. Then, celebrated German chef, Keegan Gerhard, exposes the chefs to authentic Germanic food and tasks them with creating a delicious and unique Top Chef Beer Garden by putting their own spin on the cuisine and pairing a German-inspired dish with a radler. Who will be saying auf wiedersehen? (Summary from Bravo)
posted by duffell (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Not to start this out on a super bummer note, but I learned from comments on the AV Club recap that Fatima is now battling cancer (instagram link) which totally sucks cause she is awesome.
posted by primalux at 6:16 PM on January 12


Also I was a little confused at Brother's elimination. I've been to several hipstery German beer hall type places that serve sauerkraut eggrolls and the like. I don't recall them saying that it had to be "traditional" did they?
posted by primalux at 6:18 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


NOW That's What I Call Schnitzel 37!

OK, first of all: that quickfire was fucking stupid. And not even interesting in its execution! Probably on the bottom 3 of quickfires for me, not quite as bad as the Instagram challenge from a couple of seasons ago... and the worst still remains the season 3 opener. Ugh.

I find myself really annoyed by Tom's "What? An EGG ROLL?!?!" reaction. That really felt like a manufactured criticism, and completely out of place on this show. Like, what are you even talking about, dude? SINCE WHEN IS THAT A THING THAT YOU SEND ANYONE HOME FOR ON THIS SHOW argh

On the happy side, it was so great to see Tanya in the top 3! Her food looked so delicious, and I enjoyed her "I can't deal with cheffy hijinks" remark, ha. I loved her reaction to winning, too.
posted by duffell at 6:20 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


For real, I might be done with this season, so anyone else should feel free to post next week.
posted by duffell at 6:21 PM on January 12


Also when Padma threw her tiny tantrum at Fatima in the quickfire I really wished she could have answered "Because you gave me 30 minutes to make Biryani"
posted by primalux at 6:29 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Oh and sorry for commenting so much, but I just remembered stupid Blais and his stupid "Is this too spicy for a home cook?" because WHAT
posted by primalux at 6:39 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


I thought the quickfire was sinister but great. If they were all challenged to make a quickfire biryani, you know several of them would have come up with something brilliant. But they challenged Fatima to make her special biryani. They challenged each of them to solve a puzzle they had personally solved before. Being forced to solve a problem that you have already solved but in a totally new way is such a mindfuck. I will take any challenge where they are in a professional kitchen with working equipment. The baby skillets in the kid critics challenge, or the camping challenge with $100 worth of backpacking pots bugs me more.
posted by mumblelard at 5:21 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Jesus, yes, some not-so-subtle racism in Blais' inane comment about spice. Hey Richard, not all home cooks are white. Further proved idiotic by the dish landing at the top. Ugh. I hated this episode. Suddenly they care about the letter of the challenge? And forming the food of one culture into the shape of another culture doesn't cut it? Bullshit. They lost a great chef and we still have "I'm so macho you can't have a fruit beer where I'm from" moustache Joe.
posted by donnagirl at 7:58 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Also, dammit, Lee Anne. You will be missed and you would have kicked their asses.
posted by donnagirl at 8:02 AM on January 13


Are we going to talk about LCK here? Without giving anything away, someone's Top Chef legacy is going to be as the guy whose true colours revealed him to be a total arsehole.
posted by essexjan at 8:26 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


That Fatima cancer fact has ruined my day. I dig her so much.

I'm surprised that people didn't like the quickfire. I thought it was one of the more interesting challenges that they've done. They should do more challenges that make chefs revisit items from their restaurants' menus.
posted by painquale at 2:58 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


What do you guys think of Graham Eliot as a judge? In one review of the show, they called his visual style, "nerd guy fieri," and I can't get that out of my head. More importantly, he doesn't ever seem to say anything interesting or have a real viewpoint. He is sitting in the Gail seat but not bringing any Gail flavor. Even Hugh Acheson, who is obviously a robot, had more prescence when he judged.
posted by mumblelard at 5:45 AM on January 14


I've been to several hipstery German beer hall type places that serve sauerkraut eggrolls and the like. I don't recall them saying that it had to be "traditional" did they?

Yeah, that's my feeling as well. Like, aren't Chinese egg rolls mainly pork and cabbage? And isn't German food known for lots of pork and cabbage? The concept totally makes sense to me, it sounds completely workable and interesting. But I didn't eat what he made so I dunno if maybe he went too Asian in spices or something.

Are we going to talk about LCK here? Without giving anything away, someone's Top Chef legacy is going to be as the guy whose true colours revealed him to be a total arsehole.

I kinda disagree. It looked to me like the issue was the losing guy was so brain-fogged with the stress of the challenge that he was looking right at the thing he was searching for and didn't see it. Like when I overlook the Lego piece I need when it's right there on the table in front of me, then 15 minutes later I'm like "oh DUH, there it is, how did I miss it?"
posted by dnash at 9:08 AM on January 14


I know editing can suggest things that aren't actually true, but the fact that the winner didn't say a single word about having had the item all along and even literally called him a sucker is kind of... a thing.
posted by inconstant at 10:52 AM on January 14


Brother definitely got the villain edit, but it looks like he gave them a lot of material.
posted by mumblelard at 11:05 AM on January 14


Like, aren't Chinese egg rolls mainly pork and cabbage? And isn't German food known for lots of pork and cabbage? The concept totally makes sense to me, it sounds completely workable and interesting.

I think this probably hurt Brother during judging. The ingredients are so similar that it probably just tasted like a Chinese egg roll and didn't feel particularly German at all. If he had done, say, a Vietnamese spring roll that was stuffed with German ingredients, then it'd pop out as a German-inspired dish.

I'm usually pretty cool with deferring to the judges in their decisions. Taste is the most important thing, after all, and it's what we don't get to experience as viewers. I don't think they kicked Brother off because the food wasn't German in concept.... I think they kicked him off because it tasted like an egg roll and not German at all.

I know editing can suggest things that aren't actually true, but the fact that the winner didn't say a single word about having had the item all along and even literally called him a sucker is kind of... a thing.

Did he have it all along? I thought that Tu couldn't find the plastic wrap while it was still on the shelf and Brother only took it after Tu was cooking with the sous vide bag. During his closing remarks, Tu definitely thought that Brother had been hiding it the whole time. But I think he was wrong about that? Maybe I have the timeline wrong... it's kinda hard to tell.
posted by painquale at 11:10 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I just rewatched. Brother didn't have the plastic wrap all along--when he's teasing Tu about it being "near the rabbit," it's not in the place at his station where we see it later. However, when he does go looking for it to use himself, he doesn't say anything to Tu about having found it, and makes that comment about how Tu's "legs work as well as mine do."

So, maybe not the best move, but also not as nefarious as lying about having it all along.
posted by Superplin at 2:24 PM on January 14


The ingredients listed for Brother’s egg roll on the Wikipedia page are summer sausage, bok choy, apple, and potato. To me as a lover of German food, that doesn’t sound particularly delicious or particularly German.

We also threw up our hands at Blais’s racism—“too spicy for home cooks”? Flashbacks to the holidays and my mother insisting that when she was young, nobody cooked with spices or chiles. Nobody *you knew*, Mom, not nobody.
posted by epj at 8:36 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


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