Top Chef: Hammer Time
February 18, 2016 7:00 PM - Season 13, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Oakland & San Francisco! For the quickfire, the remaining 7 chefs create rap personas & matching dishes to serve to culturally relevant rap icon MC Hammer. For the elimination challenge, our chefs traverse time, space, and the San Francisco Public Library!
posted by duffell (7 comments total)
  • I love this group of chefs! They are having so much fun together! As a whole group, I can't think of another cohort I've enjoyed this much in Top Chef.
  • Amar did the typewriter! But then, he also talked about winning his girlfriend back in a manner that seemed vaguely threatening.
  • Isaac also did the typewriter, but it looked more like a funny little matador maneuver. Oh, Isaac.
  • ME: I think Carl's going to rap. WIFE: No he isn't. ME: Totally going to happen. WIFE: No. Nope. Nooooope. ME: Wait for iiiiit...
  • Jeremy's rap name was "Spicy J-Rock 305." Spicy, J-Rock, and 305 all sound like brands of synthetic cannabis.
  • What a cool elimination challenge! I feel like it was fun and interesting without being gimmicky--the focus was still on the food, and it forced a number of the chefs to get out of their comfort zone.
  • Man, that "in the moment" tableside feedback from the judges & diners was nerve-wracking.
  • Kwame's Han Dynasty dish looked incredible.
  • A rare unfavorable review for Marjorie at judges' table! She and Karen are two of my favorite chefs this season... it was really hard to see Karen go.

posted by duffell at 7:14 PM on February 18, 2016

This was just fun. I don't think I've seen another challenge that was as enjoyable for the chefs as it was for the judges. Also, it highlighted what a good group we've got; it's nice to have no one to root against at this point in the competition.

I wonder if MC Hammer knew he was going to be referred to as a "throwback" in the challenge. He probably wouldn't have been bothered, but it was noticeably done when he was off-camera. The "rap name" challenge itself was silly, but fun (except for Carl's rapping. I literally screamed through the whole thing. I get so embarrassed about people rapping badly in public).

The elimination challenge was pretty adorable! I loved the librarians being super helpful (full disclosure: I am also a librarian). I think it showed how the human connection can help with a complex query, even when you've got the Internet. Tonight's food looked amazing, and apparently the guest judges were super intimidating; I just wish we'd spent more time with them so we could be appropriately impressed.

I love the chefs' camaraderie, from the impromptu jam session at the tiki bar, to the lengthy and sincere hugs for Karen. I didn't know how nice Top Chef could be when everyone likes each other. Only problem is, now every episode is a nail-biter, because while Marjorie is my favorite (and I'm pulling for Kwame too), it's hard to see anyone sent home.

Also, Baby Marjorie was adorable.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:29 PM on February 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

MC Hammer has to know that he's a throwback. The last time he was referenced in my house, it was when he co-officiated Corey Feldman's last wedding, in a "A rabbi and MC Hammer walk into a bar" kind of way.
posted by Ruki at 8:47 PM on February 18, 2016

(except for Carl's rapping. I literally screamed through the whole thing.

I hit the mute button.
posted by dnash at 7:40 AM on February 19, 2016

The pressuring Kwame to rap part was a little weird.
posted by AndrewInDC at 7:52 AM on February 19, 2016

He was a rapper before becoming a chef I thought they said.
posted by Carillon at 12:38 AM on February 20, 2016

The episode in which Jeremy didn't make a crudo. Huh.

I really liked Carl's fanboy behaviour in the quickfire challenge. He seemed genuinely thrilled to meet Hammer.

It was lovely to see Jonathan Waxman, upon whom I've had a crush for years, and who cooks the best roast chicken I've ever eaten (Barbuto, NYC). His judging was constructive and intelligent.

I was surprised to see Marjorie mess up, but it shows she's fallible. If she goes out, I think she'd be a contender to come back in through LCK.

Isaac had fun with his immunity. I knew he'd choose 'Viking', and he definitely went full-on with it. I'm glad Kwame pulled it back after his raw duck disaster when Tom and Jonathan visited the kitchen. His dish looked amazing. And Amar nailed it, although the dish wasn't something I'd ever choose on a menu. But his technique was flawless.

Karen had decided that she was making Chinese-inspired food, come what may, and she didn't stick to the brief. Her dish looked messy. The right decision, I think.
posted by essexjan at 3:10 AM on February 20, 2016

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