Top Chef: Seattle, Episode 14 Recap

Josh gives up on bacon, and Sheldon barely scrapes into the top three. Yeesh. I’m happy.

Round 1: Quickfire Challenge

Everyone is boo-hooing over the loss of the lovably evil Stefan. “Aw, man, I’m going to miss Stefan,” says Josh. “He’s very good-hearted.” They’ve barely started mourning when the four remaining chefs land in Juneau. Sean Brock of Charleston is standing next to a purple Padma, who quickly shows off the mother lode of Alaskan king crab at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. Guess what? They get to make a dish highlighting the crab.

Josh thinks his poached king crab with succotash and bacon is going to win him $5,000. “I nailed it. 100%.” He couldn’t have been more wrong. Brock, a succotash snob, disagreed and said the “bacon was unnecessary.” Sheldon wins with his miso soup from crab innards, even though Brook’s crab toast and compound butter rocked, too.

At least Josh has learned his lesson. “I’m done with bacon, apparently.” Thank. Heavens. No more bacon, please.

Round 2: Elimination 

In Alaska, they don’t do barbecue. They have salmon bakes. With sourdough. Of course, this is exactly what the chefs gotta do: make some dayum good salmon and dayum good sourdough, because these Alaskans sure know what tastes good and what doesn’t. The night before the big day, the remaining chefs are messing with their sourdough starter kits, and Sheldon (don’t act so surprised) adds in a little green tea flavoring to his mixture of flour, water, and yeast.

“Of course he somehow works that Asian ingredient into his sourdough bread,” says Brooke. “He’s got this ninja way of keeping his dough together.”

Later, Sheldon is kicking himself in the foot for adding the green tea and chives into his bread. It turns out soggy, and the judges liked it the least of all the other breads. But his green pea soup (kind of a risky move for him) turns out to be pretty good, so at least he’s half-saved. Josh makes a roasted garlic and sourdough soup that’s so-so, and Brooke really stands out for her sockeye salmon with seafood broth. She wins by a mile.

For the judges, it really comes down to Shelly and Lizzie. Shel used a weird variety of salmon – chum – that Alaskans usually feed to their dogs, but at least he cooked his well. Lizzie, on the other hand, made a really simple slider with citrus and beef glazed salmon.

“At this stage of the game, you don’t make a sandwich,” says Sean Brock. So, goodbye, Lizzie! Thanks for leaving Sheldon in the top three. He joins Josh (still goin’ strong) and Brooke (still winning almost all the challenges) for the numba one title.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu.

To catch up on other Top Chef: Seattle episodes, click here.


  • Uppercase Matt

    Um, “beet-glazed”, not “beef glazed” salmon.

    My wife pointed out that, from the coloring, it sure looked like they started the quickfire with pre-cooked crab. WTH?

  • Sander Wolf

    all king crab is pre-cooked

  • Uppercase Matt

    Why? That is, I know any any KC I buy around here is going to be pre-cooked & frozen, but you’d think that a Top Chef challenge in Alaska would start with live Alaskan king crab. In fact, googling around, I see live KC purveyors in Juneau — I don’t get why a TC competition wouldn’t involve, you know, cooking the protein.