Top Chef
Tom vs. Emeril: Turkeypocalypse

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Talking Turkey
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Starting right out with the Quickfire this week! Padma introduces the cheftestants to their guest judge, who is a familiar face around these parts, Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food and Wine magazine. Padma points to a world map behind her, and says that there are magnetic knife signs representing seventeen dumplings from seventeen different countries. They will each choose one in a scrum, and then have an hour to make it. Since some of the cuisine may be unfamiliar, they will also get to use a product-placed tablet to look up information about their chosen dumpling. Dana reminds them that she wants to see what they can do with a wrapper, a stuffing, and sauce. And...go!

Micah ends up getting screwed on the scrum and gets Kazakhstan, which he didn't even know was a country. Luckily, he can look it up online and find out that it's very Middle Eastern, and he's familiar with that flavor profile. Carla gets a fufu from Africa, and she struggles with her tablet since she's got a bandaged hand. That said, she had five minutes and couldn't manage to type fufu into Google? Apparently not. So she has to go into the kitchen and make...something? I guess she's just going to make it up.

Stefan got the German dumpling, which hardly seems fair, but we do get to see some photos of a young Stefan. Sheldon also know about his dumpling ahead of time, unlike most of the competition. Kuniko is making a dumpling that she rally likes, but rarely makes for herself. Josie has some philosophy about dumplings being love pockets or something? I don't know. Brooke didn't grab any flour so she can't make a wrapper. How can there not be enough flour? Did someone take more than their share? I don't understand.

Cooking, cooking, cooking. Plating, plating, plating. With ten seconds left, I don't know what Kuniko is doing, but she's not putting dumplings on her plate. I think she's putting on sauce and some garnish? Anyway, time runs out and she never plated her dumplings. Is this a language issue? Like does she not understand what they're saying when they say "One minute?" I feel badly for her but she didn't look like she was even in a rush; it's not like when people haven't plated in the past, but it was because they misjudged cooking time or whatever. Her food was done. She was saucing and garnishing the plate in an unhurried manner. Weird.

Stefan is up first for judging with his German klopse, which is ground lamb, mashed potatoes, and capers. Lizzie made Hungarian szilvas gomboc, which is plum and cinnamon filling in a potato pastry. That doesn't sound good. Potato pastry with fruit? Carla made whatever, but it's wrong, so who cares. CJ made a Polish pierogi which is veal and pork and a demi-glace. I mean, who hasn't had a pierogi? Kuniko has an empty plate, and Padma explains that they can't judge her. Josie made Korean mandu, which has a pork, tofu, and shitake mushroom filling. Dana asks if kim chi is traditionally a part of this, and Josie says it is. So did Josie put kim chi in there? I don't know. Bart made Norwegian potetball, which is a potato ball with lamb and fried spaghetti. Dana asks about the fried spaghetti, and Bart says he wanted to add texture.

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