Top Chef

Episode Report Card
Chuck: D | 1 USERS: A+
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Zoo Food

Armed with a dossier on their mascot's chosen delicacies, the five teams huddle to begin planning their menus. Team Vulture (Mark, Zoi, and Manuel) get quail, rabbits, small fish, chickens, and lamb, which pleases Mark since "it is very similar to my diet." The Gorilla Girls are saddled with leafy greens, root vegetables, all fruits, eggs, corn, and wheat/oats/soy beans -- all fine items, but not the sexiest collection with which to cater a shindig. Antonia and Stephanie immediately start bouncing ideas off one another, but as Antonia notes, "Valerie had a little more trouble, like, jumping in there." Again. Some of the ideas include caviar, and fish, which don't strike me as gorilla favorites, but Stephanie explains the decision that "as long as those vegetarian items are being highlighted we can bring in some other things." Well, good luck with that. Valerie expresses some hesitation with the idea of adding meat, but decides against voicing her opinion. Good luck with that as well.

Team Lion (Ryan, Richard and, Erik) have steak, bison, beets, eggs, and chicken -- Richard immediately lobbies to use his immersion circulator to sous vide the chicken, going all mad scientist, while Team Penguin (Lisa, Jennifer, and Andrew) has the seafood beat with crabs, squid, herring, anchovies, and shrimp. Lisa mentions scallops, but I don't see those anywhere on the list. As soon as they start talking ceviche, they're speaking my language. Team Bear (Dale, Nikki, and Spike -- none of them terribly bearish) keeps holding their list where I can't see it, so aside from the honeycomb and cheese idea Nikki mentions (along with the pressures faced by a woman in a male-dominated world), I'm not sure what they're working with. Maybe salmon and garbage? Control-freak Dale has a hard time letting go and working in a team setting, which comes as no surprise.

On Elimination morn, the cheftestants sit around (well, Jennifer and Zoi lie together one a bottom bunk, keeping that distance) discussing what kind of animal they would be if they could be, and then Dale and Mark have a soporific bear versus vulture taunt-off. Really, could the editors not have found more interesting small talk to run? I feel like I'm watching paint dry. Mark blah blahs about not letting immunity dampen his desire to go out with his guns blazing, and I find myself thinking about taxes.

The Gorilla Girls are discussing their menu, which now includes crab salad. Oh, there's the whole thing: lamb and edamame cups, banana bread, crab salad on celery root chip, and black olive blinis with mascarpone. Black olive blinis -- interesting choice, as is lamb. And crab. Stephanie's making that one, along with banana bread. Valerie's going to make 200 blinis, which strikes Antonia as a risky move. Nothing gets by that one.

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Top Chef

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