To make up for last week's anemic episode that resulted in zero eliminations, this week gives us a bloodbath of two knifings. The cheflebrity guest judge of the week is Michelle Bernstein of Michy's in Miami and Social in Miami and LA. She looks eerily like Sandra Bernhard. Oh, and speaking of eerie judges, what vol-au-vent crawled up Colicchio's ass this week? Dude was crazy mad at the Elimination!
Backtracking, the Quickfire, which was to make delicious delectables out of offal, gave Son of Sam the win and immunity. He did whip up some tasty looking, and sounding, Asian-themed fried sweetbreads. The theme of the night was leftovers (although considering the last five minutes, you'd think it was all about CHOICES!), which was the reason for the offal -- they are the leftover parts of an animal. The theme is further driven into the ground -- oops, I mean, "carried out" -- as the Elimination Challenge tasks the cheftestants with whipping up a lunch using whatever is left over in Social's ample pantry and walk-in from the night before. Although she's not a judge, the lunch is for Jennifer Coolidge's sixty closest friends, and Michael is just so geeked out (or toked up) to be cooking for Stifler's Mom. Yes, that is how he referred to her. Are you really that surprised?
Speaking of Michael, someone clearly lit a flambÃ© under his ass this week, because gone are the messy and overcooked steak sandwiches and Cheeto penises stuffed in candy bar balls. They're replaced by a beautiful and refined tongue and tail soup (sounds sort of kinky when you think about it) and a well-executed paella. Sure, he worked with Ted Ilan on the paella -- just as all the cheftestants had to pair up for the challenge -- but Ted Ilan kept insisting throughout the episode how good Michael was, and I sort of, like, got to believing it and shit. Ted Ilan and Michael's Team Paella end up winning the whole bang shoot, but Ted Ilan is the one Michelle Bernstein picks to help out at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of losers and a lot of yelling at those losers. Colicchio gets all worked up over the choices they made, Michelle is "angered" by the food they selected from the leftovers, and Gail announces (erroneously, see: sautÃ©ed pineapple) that Marisa and Josie didn't actually cook anything. Speaking of Marisa and Josie, they get kicked off. Their "uncooked" intermezzo didn't fly well with the judges, and they had to make up for last week's big zero, so they're both knife'd. I was so surprised, I nearly drooled on my pillow. I think there was a lot of reaching and drumming up in this episode and it actually sort of left me cold. Far too often this season the judges come up with contradictory reasons to critique and complain, but you'll have to read my full recap to find out those screaming details.
Morning at the LA lofts. Michael shovels stacks of pancakes into his mouth and says something profane and undecipherable. Marcel tells us that the morning after Camp Glucoyapi, he was feeling really distraught. For the first time ever, he was on a winning team, but he felt that all the allegations of cheating took that success away from him. Frank basically tells him to get over it. And when Frank tells you to get over something, you better get over it or you'll wake up with headcheese in your bed. Betty tells us, "I. Am. Not. A. Cheater. My. Error. Was. A. Mistake." Josie tells us that after she heard about the controversy at last week's Judges' Table, she thought it was sad that everyone was "sacrificing each other." Hon? It's a competition. It's gonna happen. Deal with it. I swear, didn't ANY of these grillers and whiskers do their season one homework? Josie also randomly decides to tell us that she and Marisa have become very good friends and they trust only each other. Okay, it's not so random when you know what's going down in this episode, but still. The cheftestants head out.
Krappy Kenmore Kitchen. Padmadala gives her wooden spiel, "There are still TWELVE of you in the competition. FIGHTING for a place in the Top Chef finale. Our GUEST judge for this ROUND is Michelle Bernstein. Michelle's the CHEF and OWNER of Michy's in Miami and CONSULTING chef for Social Restaurants here in LA and Miami." She's also the celebrity chef Delta Airlines hired to create meals for their more privileged flyers and was featured in Food & Wine magazine. Carlos starts clapping softly and happily and tells us how much he loves her. He also suck-upaliciously adds that Food & Wine magazine is his bible. Michelle Bernstein totally reminds me of Sandra Bernhard -- hair, mouth, eyes, and mannerisms. Padmadala announces, "THIS round deals with... LEFTOVERS. The REAL test of a GREAT chef comes in being creative with very DIFFCULT ingredients." The Quickfire is for them to take the "leftover" parts of animals -- offal, basically -- and use at least one of them in a delicious dish. They have two hours. Given that the majority of the cheftestants go for the sweetbreads (thymus glands or pancreas), I'll tell you what else they could have chosen: lamb kidneys, veal kidneys, pigs trotters, chicken feet, beef hearts, fish heads, pig blood, veal tails, beef cheeks, honeycomb tripe, lamb hearts, veal tongue, and pig's ears. Not quite your usual Thanksgiving leftovers of seeping cranberry sauce, separated gravy, and turkey with a sheet of opaque yellow fat making it stick to the serving platter.