Last night’s episode of Top Chef saw our humble cheftestants going against a Queens hot-dog maker (what, Nicholas Gray wasn’t charismatic enough?) and then cooking under Damon Wise’s stern gaze at Craft for 50 New York chefs who hadn’t made it onto the show because (we can only assume) their facial hair wasn’t creative enough. There was wisdom (Fabio: “It doesn’t matter how many dragons you kill, it’s who takes home the princess”), there was denial (Stefan: “There was nothing wrong with my hot dog!”), there was spherification, and in the end, there were tears. We, of course, had Adam Platt’s shoulder to lean on.
Maurer: You’ll have to give me a moment, I’m still crying…
Platt: As soon as you heard the fateful words “quiche” and “ostrich egg,” you knew Jill was in deep trouble.
Maurer: I thought that egg must’ve been planted to orchestrate her downfall. But I called Whole Foods and they actually do sell ostrich eggs.
Platt: A lot of those dishes looked freakishly bad. Jill’s bizarre summer-roll hot dog in the Quickfire event didn’t do her any favors. And what about the meatloaf creation by Mr. Tattoo?
Maurer: There were many looks of outright revulsion, especially from Ms. Donatella Arpaia.
Platt: Donatella was smiling but firm. She and the lovely Gail were a formidable combination.
Maurer: It was so perfect that the European Union went with hot-dog paninis. The Euros got quite cuddly this episode.
Platt: They were pawing each other in a most unnerving way. I’m sure the producers are hoping they’ll start scratching each other’s eyes out when they get closer to the prize.
Maurer: You’d think Fabio had won a World Cup semifinal, the way he gloated “Europe is tied up!”
Platt: He’s a bumptious character. He and Stefan will win most of these manufactured challenges. I fear we’re in for many bleak hours of non-drama.
Maurer: But how great was it when they brought in the embittered NYC chefs?
Platt: They had every right to be bitter about the grim dishes they were made to consume. So who’s next for the chopping block?
Maurer: Well, there’s Hosea — his specialty is seafood and yet he botched a crab salad. But he has that impish grin, and I’m sure the producers are hoping to see what happens between him and his new cuddlebuddy, Leah. As for Leah, I was a little concerned that she turned to scallops again. Is she a one-trick pony?
Platt: They might keep Hosea around. He’s from the mountains, and mountain men can’t cook fish. He actually seems to have some talent. It could be the tattooed gentleman from Vegas. They’re setting him up for a huge fall.
Maurer: There’s also the very real possibility that Carla’s spirit guides will fail her. And of course there’s Ariane — Padma spat out a dessert that’s on the menu at her restaurant.
Platt: If it’s not Ariane, we’ll have to call for an investigation. If she doesn’t self-implode, everyone will be shocked. The way things are going, she’ll be shocked.