Top Chef
A Shock at the Space Needle

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Veterans' Day

Jeffrey, Brooke, and Bart made pan roasted halibut, mushrooms, English peas, wheat beer with herb sabayon. The judges single out the garnishes as particularly good. Gail says that her sauce tastes like nutmeg. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. Padma calls her piece of fish "a hockey puck," so it looks like Jeffrey's decision to sear both sides was not a good one.

Weird interstitial. Tom Colicchio tells the tale of how he almost moved to Seattle. Wow, cool story.

The final two teams head into the kitchen to cook. Danyele, Eliza, and Josh realize that their mystery fish is cod. Micah, Kristen, and Tyler seem to be working well together. Micah has a list and he and Kristen go over it together. Josh starts yelling, "Where's my fucking mushrooms?" and almost accusing people of taking his team's ingredients. Then he spots some on a cart that belongs to one of the teams that has already served, so he takes them, and Eliza says that those ARE her mushrooms. I don't know how they ended up on the wrong cart, but I think it's pretty telling that Josh immediately went to, "Someone took them and I need to fuck that person up" instead of "They mistakenly got put on the wrong cart." This is further exemplified in his interview, where he claims that people don't take him seriously because he's from Oklahoma. No, they don't take you seriously because you have a waxed moustache and you're full of bluster for no reason. The two teams plate and serve.

Kristen, Micah, and Tyler made crispy seared salmon, local vegetables and spot prawn butter sauce. Colicchio notes that this is almost the same dish served by Lizzie, Carla, and Chrissy, but they like this one slightly better. Gail thinks the texture of the spot prawn is lost a little bit.

Danyele, Eliza, and Josh serve pan roasted cod, mushrooms, fava beans, pickled green apple, and garlic scape pistou. The judges think the cod is cooked perfectly, but there's not enough pistou. They also like the apple in the dish.

The judges discuss the overall meal. Tom Douglas thinks it's an exciting start to the season, even if there were a few clunkers. Gail notes that there were a few dishes that she definitely wants to eat again. I notice that there don't seem to be any molecular gastronomy nerds this season. I don't miss that.

Stew Room. The three veterans are holding court and telling everyone what to expect. Stefan says it's harder having been there before, because you're constantly second guessing yourself and trying to think of what the judges will say, instead of just cooking your best food. The veterans continue to try to convince the others that being in the Stew Room sucks and the Judges' Table sucks more, but no one seems that interested. Padma walks in and says that she wants to see the team of John, Sheldon, and Kuniko.

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