Lounging on the couch, still rumpled and disheveled from last week's steak dinner competition, Edward coined the gang of chefs the "dirty dozen."
"Ooohh, dirty dozen," they laughed in unison in a perfect television moment, as though "dirty dozen" was a product placement as staged as their trusty Toyota Siennas.
Of course, the proverbial cheftestant egg crate wouldn't be full for long. Stakes were high this week: no immunity in the quick fire and a double-elimination challenge. Fort Worth chef Tim Love introduced the quickfire with Padma: choose a Don Julio tequila and create a dish with it, winner gets $5,000. Go.
Ty-lor Boring won the cash with a clam dish that made Edward cringe with competition envy -- the briny sweetness of his clams steamed in Thai fish caramel sauce would work perfectly with the 1942 Don Julio, he mused.
"I'm gonna fight to stay here and show my food is rockin' off the chart," Ty-lor said after winning, basking in the glory after being on the bottom twice.
The elimination challenge paired contestants to cook famous chefs' favorite proteins. While winners Ty-lor and Edward worked together like spaghetti and meatballs, Heather and Beverly worked together like lemon and milk -- practically poisonous, although it wasn't bad enough to lose.
Here are the highlights.
Biggest bitch move in Top Chef history: Heather at judges' table Heather can be a bitch. There's little room for interpretation on this point. She ordered Beverly around like a minion for an entire episode, hating on every Asian ingredient in their dish. Then she explained to judges that they didn't get along, and proceeded to dwell on Beverly's performance in peeling shrimp last week -- last week. Even Edward called Heather a bitch. And Grayson. It seemed like the vile duo would go home, but alas, Dakota's undercooked meat proved worse than their "collection of ingredients." If this competition comes down to the two of them, it's going to be the most brutal viewing experience imaginable.
Best Take-Down: Tim Love to Heather after the quickfire Love: "To me, I felt like it was a new special at a new chain restaurant." Heather: "Ouch."
Most unfortunate ball-and-chain relationship: Dakota and Nyesha Both are focused, serious and genuinely pleasant people. It's not a duo you expect to see in the bottom, but Dakota's severely undercooked venison sent them both packing their knives. It was a protein-based competition; even a beautiful gratin couldn't save them.
Quote that made us want to be a chef: "This is kind of a variant on a dish that I fabricated while on a beach in Thailand," Ty-lor said of his quickfire clam masterpiece. Doesn't sound like a terrible life.
MVP: Ty-lor Team player, killer mustache, TWO bangin' winning dishes. Can he sustain it?
Dish appropriate for Captain Planet's palate: Chris "beautiful Chris" Crarey's raw oyster with tequila tapioca pear and sea salt air It looked a lot like foam, but it was air. Maybe this is also the secret ingredient to his massive weight loss. Tim Love said the dish made him "feel like I'm at the beach, which is pretty fun."
"Wow," Chris said, charmingly as always, "Thank you very much." (Why do we blush every time he opens his mouth?)
Most Bastardized Potato -- Chris "Austin Chris" Jones' hideous meat garnish What was he doing? At Whole Foods, he was eying sweet potatoes, claiming he could soak then carve them. Grayson was skeptical, and rightly so. Plan A, potato "fences" (we don't get it either), did not work. Plan B looked like hideous mini-fries, marring a beautiful piece of meat.
"I don't want to be like, 'Way to go, you fucked up the sweet potato, now were going to be in the bottom,' but you fucked up the sweet potato," Grayson said. Chris didn't argue otherwise.
Hugh Acheson at judge's table: "The potato was like, 'Whaaa?'"
Dish We Want to Eat Right Now: Ty-lor and Edward's winning dish, sorghum quail with pickled cherries and eggplant The perfectly cooked quail was the centerpiece of the elegant dish. Frenched little leg bones rose out of a lightly sauced plate nicely balanced with the smoothness of eggplant and the zing of pickled cherries. Wonder if they deliver.