Top Chef: Where's the Beef?
January 28, 2016 7:46 PM - Season 13, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The chefs get super soigné during the quickfire. For the elimination, 3 teams go head-to-head at a beefsteak banquet and make a lot of dick jokes.
posted by duffell (11 comments total)
  • I've never heard the term soigné before tonight. I'm pretty sure I either love it or hate it. Honest to God, I'm not sure which.
  • Banksy is somebody named Christine Flynn.
  • Quickfire: #HowCanWeAttractYoungViewers
  • Phillip: "From now on I'm going to let my true personality shine through!" 10 minutes later, it turns out Phillip's true personality is... "fussy."
  • "Is that just for the halibut?" Yay seafood puns! Did Chad work at Ivar's during his teen years?
  • Awww, Colin Hanks! "THIS LOOKED RAD! IT DID NOT TASTE RAD!" You can come back and judge anytime, man.
  • Isaac looked utterly dejected when Hugh Acheson said his sausage was euphemistically dry.
  • Tom Colicchio *really* doesn't like microgreens.

posted by duffell at 7:48 PM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought the quickfire was kind of fun and different. The chefs must have enjoyed some relief that it only needed to look like something great.

The elimination judging pissed me the fuck off. Someone correct me if I missed some comments, but the only food I heard spoken of as actually bad was Kwame's shrimp. But Kwame's the untouchable golden boy so he gets a pass. (Which I'm not that upset about, really, he's been great enough that I'm enjoying his story and would be happy to have him keep going. Although I think maybe nerves are getting to him because his quality has been slipping.) Anyway, oh and also the sausage was "dry" - although how a sausage can be dry when he loaded it with that much bacon, I rather doubt.

So Chad sears his tuna in ashes, which does sound pretty "caveman" to me, as he put it himself. I never heard a bad word about the fish, though. Only that the frickin' garnish was too prissy. Like, Colicchio was just this side of calling it "too girly" or "too gay." And that's where I just got angry at him. The boorish machismo bullshit just annoyed the hell out of me. If that's what they wanted, what seafood could possibly fit that - the only thing I can think of would be plain old steamed whole lobsters so they could rip them apart barehanded. Because apparently the challenge wasn't actually to cook them good food, it was just to provide them an excuse to behave like dicks.

I guess I expected better from this show.

Anyway, on to Restaurant Wars!
posted by dnash at 7:42 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

My understanding is that each group was judged separately, and that only the members of the top group were eligible for the win--and only the members of the bottom group were up for elimination. Chad and Isaac both produced dishes that the judges took issue with, which put their group at the bottom. Had Kwame been in their group, he probably would have gone home.

That said, I agree with your comments about the machismo bullshit. The whole "MICROGREENS, BRUH?" exchange was idiotic.
posted by duffell at 8:16 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Doritos at the peak of their season! And the faux carrots made out of bugles were adorable.

We heard the voice of the lady behind the camera!

Nice to see them get two fun challenges.

On the other hand, that ended up being problematic when it came down to judging. The judges had a playful point of view, and their number one concern was that the contestants match the theme. But for the contestants, they can't be playful when it's their butts on the line. I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to put out the kind of food the judges normally like, such as microgreens.

The macho stuff was super weird since the first challenge made fun of 'chef bruhs'
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:25 PM on January 29, 2016

And they had to do a fish dish. I'm not sure what a cave man fish dish looks like. I think it probably includes complaints about too many bones.
posted by smackfu at 5:37 PM on January 29, 2016

Holy shit Marjoroie's trash talking Phillip is intense. I mean wow. Elevating line trash to an art form. I am in awe.

Padma and Hugh! MOAR PLEEEZE.

Marjorie nailing that bread--it's given me an idea.

I gotta say though.. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the stupid quickfires that are like "junk food lol." Let it be what it is--transforming it into haute cuisine is by and large ridicuulous--with some exceptions of course. I feel like it was lampshaded by making the challenge purely visual, and still, fuck off.

The Beefsteak challenge though.. super cool. Having to make visceral, hands-on MEAT FOOD while still elevating it? That's tough, for me anyway. And it was amazing how much the judges got into it! I have this thing where I love the idea of making people eat with their hands--and I haaaaate eating with my hands in public. And Phillip finally got it. Watch his redemption arc start--he'll fizzle in the final.

Aww, Chad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:11 PM on January 29, 2016

although how a sausage can be dry when he loaded it with that much bacon, I rather doubt

Overcook it. All the fat runs out and poof, dry sausage. Drives me fucking mental when I do it, because making sausage is a lot of work.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:14 PM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

although how a sausage can be dry when he loaded it with that much bacon, I rather doubt

You'd be surprised how many ways you can go wrong making sausage. Dull blades, warm meat, overmixing, undermixing, not enough salt, adding anything acidic, adding too much non-raw-ground-meat stuff, these can all ruin the bind and no amount of added fat will save you. Good bind = juicy sausage that snaps when you bite into it. Poor bind = hamburger inside a condom.
posted by STFUDonnie at 3:08 PM on January 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure what a cave man fish dish looks like

Whole grilled sardines. Pick 'em up and tear into 'em, Gollum-style.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:07 PM on February 2, 2016

Whole grilled sardines. Pick 'em up and tear into 'em, Gollum-style.

Spoil a nice fish... Give it to us RAW! And wriggling!
posted by duffell at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bake a whole fish. Score it into semi-portions, keeping it all on the bone and connected so chunks have to be torn off by hand. Arrange microgreens and other garnish all over it, so that every paw-full includes some delicate contrast. Seems like something this simple could have won over what they did. Neither fish nor microgreens were the problem; totally missing (or ignoring) the brief was.
posted by joeyh at 5:40 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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