Padma Lakshmi told ‘Top Chef Seattle’ contestants they would be cooking for “one of the hottest sports teams in Seattle” on Wednesday night’s show. That would be… the Rat City Rollergirls?
“God, I hope we don’t have to cook on roller skates,” whispered Lizzie as she took in the news. Instead, they were charged with cooking for the roller derby league’s 100-person party. Pairs of contestants had to create “bold and brash” dishes based on a Rollergirl name (e.g., “Tempura Tantrum”) and got to watch one of their games.
“It turns out it’s like a really crazy, violent version of the Ice Capades,” said Brooke.
Here’s our weekly roundup of the show’s highlights and lowlights:
Local bright spots: For their quickfire challenge, the cheftestants headed to Bow to harvest oysters on the beach at Taylor Shellfish Farms. Celeb judge Emeril Lagasse praised the local bivalves as “salty, great brine, great texture, really delicious.” Brooke was not so enamored, criticizing their “brittle” shells. Some chipped pieces of shell remained in her dish. (She should have watched our oyster shucking video.)
Quickfire winner: Micah, with his “risky” fried oyster served with arugula salad. (Risky?)
Best “Rat City Rollergirl” name for a Top Chef Judge: Hugh Acheson dubbed Lakshmi “Padma Smacks-Me.” Emeril said he’d try out “Bam Bam Lagasse.”
Cooking lesson of the night: From head celeb judge Tom Colicchio, when told that Josie and Bart expected their well-seasoned beets to compensate for the boring rice underneath. “If something is properly seasoned and something is bland, and you put it together, you end up with bland! You don’t end up with seasoned! I don’t understand this thought process at all. It makes me nuts.”
Fight of the night: Once again, Josie’s teammates ganged up to criticize her. They had found the roller derby boring, while she had cheered wildly. After a nasty argument back at their apartments, she glowered “Namaste, b$%^&es, namaste.”
Parenting pathos: We learned that Micah is a single dad and that John had been through an ugly divorce where his wife took their 1-year-old.
Winners: Brooke and John, for their Thai-inspired beef.
Losers: Bart was asked to pack his knives and go for his part in his dish with Josie. Their “Teriyaki Terror” special was deemed “Teriyaki Terrible.” The namesake Rollergirl had called it “unique.” Acheson, the bad-cop chef of the night, cut in to ask “Is that unique good or unique crappy?” before ruling for the latter. While the judges had issues with Josie, they told Bart that he’d been called to task too many times already for underseasoning.
Bright side: The show is far enough along now that we’re finally recognizing more characters and getting a sense of their personalities.
Down side: Seattle has been feeling more like a backdrop. It’s fun to get a glimpse of our standout people and places, but I want viewers to learn something about why they’re special.
Are you enjoying the season?
Photo by David Moir/Bravo TV