Thursday, January 31, 2013
Josh Valentine makes breakfast for dinner (again) on Top Chef
Scrambled scallops: Sound appetizing? That’s what Dallas chef Josh Valentine (of FT33) made for the elimination challenge on Top Chef Wednesday night. Though the scrambled scallops appeared to be a trite take on breakfast – which Valentine’s competitors considered amateur, and which Valentine had done before – the judges called the dish creative and packed with flavor.
Josh is safe for one more week.
The episode took the five remaining chefs on a cruise to Alaska on the Celebrity Infinity. Working in the ship’s massive kitchen gave the chefs plenty of room to work, but they were forced to use the all-electric appliances.
Sheldon Simeon, the Hawaiian chef, nabbed the quickfire. Chefs were asked to serve 200 people an appetizer made with iceberg – the worst lettuce of them all. But iceberg … they’re on a ship … it was all part of the theme, see? Guest judge Curtis Stone picked Sheldon’s Vietnamese wrap with pickled iceberg hearts as the best, though he said he liked everyone’s dish.
The elimination challenge asked chefs to perform a tired task: Take surf and turf and “turn it on its head,” said host Padma Lakshmi. Sigh.
Sheldon got first dibs on proteins as the quickfire winner, and whichever he chose became off-limits to the other four chefs. To their delight, he picked lobster and steak – two of the most unimaginative proteins for an already-unimaginative challenge. Sheldon later said he was uninspired and seemed to slowly break under the pressure.
Brooke Williamson’s frog legs and mussels won, and Brooke received a seven-night cruise – ironic since she’s afraid of boats. Lizzie Binder and Josh were safe.
Stefan Richter and Sheldon were placed in the bottom, and Stefan’s all-too-crispy pork was picked as the worst. He made a seemingly happy exit without any drama. Well, almost: “See you on f***ing Last Chance Kitchen, mother****ers,” he said next.
Our two cents: Sheldon is coming from behind. Despite his big miss in this week’s elimination challenge, he’s quietly been making good food. His advantage is that he uses unique flavors that the others don’t regularly use.