Top Chef: Something’s Fishy

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Deep breath. Even though it’s the next day, I’m still trying to calm down from last night’s elimination. What were the judges thinking?! I’ll wait until after the jump to completely spoil the episode (if my reactions didn’t already) . But I have to say that  Eric Ripert’s tests of fish mastery brought about some very upsetting results.

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The quickfire actually looked like a lot of fun. Three consecutive battle rounds of cleaning sardines, filleting arctic char salmon and finally: peeling and filleting freshwater eel left Stefan as the master of fish prep. I was shocked to see Leah win the sardine round (as was she) but her advancement to the salmon round where she flat out “gave up” revealed what seem to be her true colors as a chef.

Now, watch, I say that Leah doesn’t seem to be a very good chef (or at least contestant) and now she’ll wind up winning the whole thing. I mean, by now my recaps have been completely wrong in predicting anything. I seriously thought Jamie was going to win the whole thing, if not at the very least come in second to Stefan but now she is gone. They kicked Jamie off for salty celery!

I was SHOCKED to say the least…I couldn’t have run any faster to grab my laptop and Twitter about my disgust. And needless to say, many people agreed with me:

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But apparently Jamie herself was not surprised…

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Really?  If I haven’t yet made it clear, I sure was!!

The chefs had to recreate dishes they were served at Eric Ripert’s restaurant, Le Bernardin. Granted,  the celery must have tasted terrible because you could see the expressions on the judge’s faces as they tasted her black bass with celery braise, but they said her fish was cooked well! Leah and Hosea are supposed to be good at fish and they weren’t! Hosea didn’t rest his monkfish like he supposedly knew he should, and Leah overcooked and undercooked pieces of fish with a sauce that was nothing like the sauce in  Le Bernardin’s dish.

All in all, Stefan won the elimination challenge, and I hope to goodness he wins the rest of them and knocks the rest of these guys out one by one. Though egotistical, we all knew he was talented and would make it to the finals. He consistently puts out good, simple food and has a successful business behind him.

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He won this challenge with his recreated baked lobster. I will give the other chefs credit and say that his did seem the simplest to make (if you know how to make lobster) but it seemed like he could have whipped up any of those dishes well enough.

Carla has been doing well in the last couple of episodes, which has probably surprised most of us, and seems to really be shocking Stefan. Just for kicks, has anyone noticed his completely blunt non-acceptance whenever Carla winds up at the top? When she told the rest of the chefs when she won the Super Bowl episode, Stefan reacted with “Are you shitting me?” And when the judges revealed him, Fabio and Carla were the top three in this past episode, Stefan’s head could not have whipped any faster in Carla’s direction. It’s pretty rude, but kind of humorous. Stefan doesn’t care how he comes off.

As far as Hosea goes, it was a bit surprising to see he had never made monkfish considering his seafood expertise. Now, I’m not saying that I should talk because frankly I have never tasted, cooked or even heard of a majority of the fish prepared in Le Bernardin’s menu, but it’s supposed to be Hosea’s strong suit. And speaking of being the ‘fish guru’, did anyone question when Leah said she was the fish person at her restaurant? How many times have we seen her struggle with deboning a fish? I found that ironic.

To sum up my thoughts on this episode : Kick Ass Stefan! In the meantime, see what all our favorite Top Chef contestants from Chicago are up to at Metromix!

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EPISODE 11 RECAP:

Official Episode Title: Le Bernardin

Guest Judge: Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin

Challenges: Quickfire - Fish Prep Showdown (Round 1- clean a sardine, Round 2 – fillet an Arctic Char salmon, Round 3- peel and fillet a freshwater eel)

Elimination – Recreate a dish from Eric Ripert’s seafood restaurant Le Bernardin.

Winner: Stefan Eliminated: Jamie

Chefs Remaining:  Carla, Fabio, Hosea, Leah, and Stefan

For a list of ALL the Top Chef episode recaps on Chew on That blog, click here.

Photos courtesy of BravoTv.com.

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  • http://bakeologie.blogspot.com/ Nic

    Holy smokes was I blown away when they let Jamie go… although she annoyed the hell out of me by choosing to make scallops at every turn she is a far better chef than that twit.
    Maybe they are hoping for more sparks to fly by keeping the Leah around. But I’m sick of looking at her pouty mug.

  • http://www.shelbymaelawstories.blogspot,com HoneyB

    I totaly agree! I thought for sure Leah should have gone! I wanted to see Jamie stay..but as it is, no doubt in my mind, Stefan should win!

  • truth

    In Stefan’s defense, I think when he said “You’re shitting me” to Carla it was about the prize being two tickets to the Super Bowl, not her winning.

  • http://savory.tv Heidi / Savory Tv

    Ok I’ve finally just watched it, I missed it while working last night! Poor Leah, I think she got a bit screwed by having the bad luck of choosing that dish.

    Love, love Eric Ripert, I thought he was very professional, and he stayed away from tasteless insults which I appreciated.

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