Top Chef
Tom vs. Emeril: Turkeypocalypse

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Talking Turkey

Kristen (whose name I keep wanting to be Jen or Jenny for some reason) made the Nepalese momo, which has pork and chicken liver with ginger and cumin. John made the Swedish kropkaka, which is a potato dumpling with b├ęchamel sauce. That's a lot of white on that plate. Padma and Dana joke about the name, because how can you not? Dana questions the use of b├ęchamel. Dana is psyched to meet Sheldon, because her magazine named him one of the best new chefs. He made the Chinese jiaozi, a pork and shrimp filling with shitake mushrooms. Brooke had the Indonesian siomay, which has chicken and shrimp with peanut sauce and daikon. Sounds delicious if she could have made a wrapper. She explains the no-flour problem to Padma, who is as dubious as I was. Micha made the Kazakhstanian manti, which is ground lamb with dates, curry, and cinnamon. Dana likes how bold the flavors were.

I forget that in the early going, they don't show everyone in the Quickfire. I mean, thank God they don't, since there are seventeen of them. After the break, Dana says that she loved how much some people succeeded creating food from other cultures. The failures were Brooke with no wrapper, Carla with her whatever, and Kuniko, who didn't plate anything. With the losers out of the way, Dana says that she liked Josie, Stefan, and Micah's food the best. They were all authentic and flavorful. And the winner is...Josie! Stefan is pissed, since he was making one of his childhood dishes.

Padma jumps right to the Elimination Challenge, and says they'll be cooking a Thanksgiving meal for a non-profit called Fare Start, which provides culinary training for poor and homeless people. Padma divides them into two teams and then calls Tom Colicchio and Emeril into the kitchen. The judges will each be leading a team. I'm psyched to see these two cook. One team will win, and one member of the losing team will go home, as usual.

Tom and Emeril greet their teams. Emeril wants to make a Creole New Orleans meal, while Tom is leaning more traditional Italian food. Josie tells Emeril that she has immunity, so she's happy to "push the envelope" with the turkey and take responsibility for that. It makes sense - no one else will want to cook the turkey because, honestly, once you put it in the oven, there's not much to do, and yet it's so, so easy to screw up. Emeril seems to be more dictating to his team what dishes need to make, while Tom just tells them to take traditional American Thanksgiving dishes and put an Italian twist on them.

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