Top Chef: Seattle, Episode 12 Recap


Round 1: The Quickfire Challenge

Alrighty. We’ve only got six cheftestants left. Kristen is gone, because the judges made a stupid move to pick Josie over her. Dumb. Now that the show has successfully eliminated half the Asian cooks (Where’s Kuniko when you need her?), they bring in master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi to judge a sushi contest. Great. Now we get to watch a bunch of fumbling idiots make stupid dishes like bacon and egg sushi. (Cough, Josh, cough.)

“I’m from Oklahoma,” says Josh. “I don’t make much sushi. Sushi’s good… but it’s just not something I crave like, say, bacon.”

Josh, Josh, Josh. Why are you butchering beautiful Japanese culture and food by making a breakfast sandwich out of rice? I want to throw something at your head!

Uechi hides his disgust for bacon sushi well and gives Stefan the win for his yellow tail with grilled shiitake and raw lobster. I must say, I’m starting to think Stefan is a great tv-watching substitute for Tesar.

Round 2: The Elimination

Since most of the chefs successfully botched sushi, now the judges think it’d be a better idea for them to make fried chicken. Guest judge David Chang of Momofuku presents his pretty cherubim face, and Sheldon is glowing like a light stick. That’s his homeboy. (And mine, too.) The challenge? Make the best darn fried chicken these judges have ever tasted. Good luck, suckas.

“As far as chicken… I enjoy breasts a lot. You can hold thighs much better, but I like both. Depending on the size of the chicken…. oops,” says Stefan, shifty-eyed.

Brooke’s really nervous, because she’s not used to making something simple (yet complicated) like fried chicken. “She’s making some weird bastardized version,” says Josh. He’s sticking to the fried chicken he knows, and he shakes his in a brown paper bag just like his grandpa, then smokes the sh*t out of it. Meanwhile, Josie is yakking it up with, “Oh, my white grandma knew how to make the best chicken.. yadda yadda yadda.”

THE GOOD: Sheldon impresses the judges with his umami and Momofuku-style fried chicken. Lizzie’s chicken with coriander and black pepper (not exactly American fried chicken, but whatever), also earns nods. And Josh, of course, is right. His grandpa’s recipe rocks.

THE BAD: Stefan makes an airplane-worthy meal of cordon bleu, while Josie’s fried chicken sat in a pool of grease. Brooke’s dukkah-crusted chicken breast prompted Wolfgang Puck say, perhaps, the funniest lines in the entire show, as he waved a piece of Brooke’s chicken in the air.


Padma: What’d you think of Brooke’s dukkah chicken?

Wolfie: What’s this show called here?

Padma: Top Chef.

Wolfie: I wouldn’t even call it The Apprentice.

Ouch. It’s a bad day for Brooke. Two of the guest judges are also guys that she didn’t hire as line cooks for her restaurant. Oops. Still, the judges decide to leave her alone. Brooke’s usually pretty solid. And Stefan may be wearing the world’s ugliest jeans to the judges’ table, but Josie still sucks at time management. Padma can keep defending her precious little Josie all she wants. Majority always rules. Josie is gone. Everyone watching Top Chef breathes a sigh of relief. Season 10 might not become the worst season in Top Chef history after all.


  • Marcus

    You missed Puck’s “Where the f*** are the bones” comment. The judges had plenty of wine that night, it was great.

    As a side note, this “save chef” campaign on twitter has run it’s course. I would never and have no plans to follow Josie, but the last two campaigns almost caused me to unfollow every TC contestant ever.

  • Bruce

    Top Chef stopped being watchable three years ago.

  • Todd Johnson

    I still miss the Voltaggio Bros. season. That was a great collection of talent. But this season is at least better than the last one. Texas was a train wreck. Or should I say F-150 extended cab wreck?

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