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Top Chef 3.7 - Guilty Pleasures Recap

Last night's Top Chef took us from nine cheftestants to eight. But before there was an elimination, there was a quickfire challenge and some more can't-get-along gang action.

The episode starts off with some behind the scenes action. Joey's departure has made people sad, and Dale and Sara N. have built a new friendship. After a few minutes of watching them behave like real people, we're whisked off to the kitchen for an elimination challenge. This time the guest judge is Chef Govind Armstrong and the product they're hawking is Coldstone Creamery. To find out what happened next,

Once greeted, the chefs are given 45 minutes to make their own original mixes to blend in to Coldstone's Sweet Cream Ice Cream. Surprisingly Hung says that he loves Coldstone - I was nearly floored I really thought it would be something else for him to hate on. He does however, hate on regular ingredients saying that, "Any monkey can make berries." And since he's apparently not a monkey, he's decided to go with cauliflower, tempura flakes and a bunch of other wild things. And as much as I love wild creations, even I had to wonder what on earth was he thinking. How is someone going to love cauliflower over macerated berries or peach cobbler? Same thought applies to Casey who decided to use Sriracha. Yes, she put hot sauce in ice cream... In the end it was Dale with a peach cobbler type concoction who won the challenge.

After the quickfire Padma tells them that they get to go out for a night on the town. Excited, they all head back to the dorms and get all gussied up for the event. However when they arrive at their destination they realize UH OH! It's not a night on the town, it's a night in a roach coach! The eight remaining contestants - Dale, as winner of the quickfire, got to sit out and enjoy a nice meal with Chef Armstrong - divide into two teams and are asked to make late-night food for drunken party-goers.

The teams are Hung, Sara M., Brian and Tre versus Sara N., CJ, Howie and Casey. Once again, I felt sorry for the folks paired with Howie. He keeps getting called a bulldog, and don't you think it's because he looks a bit like one?

The time is 10pm and they have 15 minutes to explore the kitchen, create a menu and then go shopping. $300 dollars and 30 minutes at the grocery store later, the teams arrive back at their coaches at 12:12. The first customers show up at 1:46am. At this point tensions are high, Howie's team is not getting along, Sara N. wants to put ice in a milkshake - um, seriously??? - and when Chef Tom shows up to order his food his mini-hamburger takes an eternity to arrive. Meanwhile, on the other team, the crowd is pumped and happy. Brian has set up a raw bar outside and is really working the crowd. It's clear that their truck is more successful, but apparently it also tastes the best as well.

At the judges table Brian's team is rewarded for being so efficient and communicative. Tre wins the platinum club card and an autographed book (pretty weak compared to last week's Trip to Italy) with his take on Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Cheese Grits. However, I must point out that even Ted Allen noted, "If you want to make people happy, give them bacon."

Of course if this team is the winning team, then it means that, once again, Howie's team is the losing team. At the judge's table, things get nasty between Sara N. and Howie. Also, Sara said she felt demoralized having to wear the clothes she had on in the kitchen - to which I say, seriously? Didn't you choose to wear that??? She and Howie bicker all the way back to the waiting area when finally Sara is asked to pack her knives and go. I wasn't fully surprised, the editing made it pretty obvious to me - especially showing her bonding with Dale - however I did really like her departing quote. As she left she said, "There's a fine line between being competitive and being an a**hole." I guess we all know who she was talking about!

So what did you think of the episode? What were your fave parts? Did you think it was totally unfair of them to let the cheftestants get all dolled up? Or do you think they should have seen that coming? Will Brian ever cook something that's not seafood? And why did Howie choose not-quite-Cuban sandwiches in Miami??

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lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 8 years
i definitely agree with you there pinkcocoa, i don't think she literally meant demoralizing. Also, I kinda agree about hot uncomfortable it is to be having to work in heels and going out clothes. I dunno if that should REALLy affect your cooking or your seasoning that much but i can see how it would suck
pinkcocoa pinkcocoa 8 years
I'd be mad as hell if I had to cook in my 'going out' clothes, heels, boobie shirt. You have to physically comfortable to be able to work your best and the guys were in relatively comfortable pants and shirts and the girls, of course were in outfits that are not meant for cooking in; that's why they made it part of the challenge, to see if any of them flipped out about it. I think it was really quite sexist, too. I would've been uncomfortable and I would've been worried about slipping in the heels, worried about getting a mess on my clothes and worried about flashing a boob accidentally. I agree 100% with Sara that it wasn't fair. Next time, out the men in tight or exposing outfits, dangly earrings and heels and see how comfortable they are cooking in that getup. And just because Padma dresses sexy in the kitchen means nothing. She's the host, she doesn't cook. Also, when Sara said it was demoralizing, she did not mean literally that she felt like she was degrading herself. She means she felt that the idea of having to cook dressed like that made her uncomfortable, stressed, feel out of place, and ultimately couldn't focus on the challenge. And I agree, she means demoralizing as in killing the moor or spirit.
lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 8 years
"I think CJ all dressed up looked delicious! But yeah, Howie is a total bulldog and I hope he's the next to go." I agree on both of those accounts, I think CJ looked amazing and so hot...and howie seriously needs to go home!!! he said sometimes he has to be an a-hole, but c'mon, seriously, no one HAS to be an a-hole, it's a decision and a choice you make to either be one or not be one and he's obiously chosen to be a HUGE one
veside veside 8 years
Yum Late Nite Snack of Fries & Vinegar, CaterpillarGirl. Mine would have been some sort of pastry thing, such as stuffed phyllo pastry with spinach or feta (a la Greece) or minced meat a la Australia...I agree about needing the starch and the fat to cap off a night of booze. Perhaps this is the next faddy diet? Lindsey Lohan's Alcohol & Fat Miracle Diet! Now in stores! Howie the sweathog eh? Let's find a good nickname for Howie, people! Drippy? Drooly Bully? I don't know! Come up with something!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My cold stone Creamery concoction would have been a tribute to Elvis’s upcoming birthday- dried bananas, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. My Late night snack food would have been – Fresh cut French fries with Malt Vinegar for dipping, I would have squeezy bottles of it out in the front. There is just something about the starch, and oil, and salt and vinegar thing that makes me happy when I have been drinking. I cannot believe that Sara was complaining about wearing a low cut blouse to cook in, and that made her a) lose her marbles and b) be a sourpuss all night long. If Padma can flash her ta-tas in the kitchen she can! I am sick of the sweathog, aka Howie aka the bulldog. He isn’t personable, he isn’t a consistent chef, and he definitely isn’t a Top Chef Hung, lost it 6 episodes ago, in fact I don’t think he ever had it. Tre….has the most beautiful smile ever, and after seeing his dish, I went out that night and ordered shrimp and cheese grits!
SugarJaniece SugarJaniece 8 years
It was so obvious to me that Sara N. was going home because they focused on her so much during the first 15 minutes of the show. Why is Hung still in the game?? He should have been eliminated 3 episodes ago. I still think Hung should have went home last week instead of Joey *cries*.
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
i agree they should have shown everyone's ice cream creations to get the full food effect. I just got into this show this season and am hooked. I agree Howie has a very negative attitude and seriously could he sweat any more than he does??? good grief, carry a towel!
kyleracine kyleracine 8 years
I'm dying! I wish I could watch this shoe in Chile where I live!!!
veside veside 8 years
Karisaamy, I liked your suggestion about the shoes. In that vein, Yumsugar, you'd think that *someone* would talk to Howie about the sweat drops?! And that he'd listen?! I think Howard, the winner of Season 1, has commented on this topic (unfavorably, of course) on his blog. It's only going to get tougher from now on. There are a lot of strong chefs remaining, Brian, Casey, Tre, even Howie the Piglet..there is only one other weak cheftestant left, in my opinion, but after that...sharpen your knives, people!
smp7328 smp7328 8 years
Thanks for the update on this! I missed the ending of the show, but i sure am glad i caught the cauliflower ice cream! Seriously, what the hell was hung thinking? That's just disgusting. And Howie needs to be the one to go home next. He's a jerk.
sumnboutme sumnboutme 8 years
I agree with everyone who mentioned the predictability of the editing. You can totally tell from the first 5 minutes who gets sent home! I was glad Sara got the boot (although I wouldn't have minded if Howie was sent packing as well). I thought it was going to be a double elimination but alas that's only in my dreams. I thought Sara was being bratty and annoying by not focusing on the task at hand but she's done that before too (I think in the 3rd or 4th episode when she was so flustered she forgot what she made). My choices for the final three are Tre, CJ and Dale.
em1282 em1282 8 years
I hope Howie and his sweaty marinades go home soon. (For real, Yum--I'm sure everyone has eaten his sweat so far!) I can't imagine anyone being able to work with that guy. I'm still rooting for Dale--he's from my hometown, and I just like his personality too. Also, I see where Sarah might be coming from with cooking in heels (woudln't want to be wearing billowy clothes or anything too dressy while cooking just for safety reasons too), but "demoralizing" is a bit much. It's not like they made her do a pole dance or anything like that.
karisaamy karisaamy 8 years
I think that they should have gotten other shoes at least for the girls, just because it's a bit mean to make them wear heels in the kitchen while the guys are wearing normal shoes. Other than that they should just suck it up.
ccy ccy 8 years
Thanks for the update! I'm so mad I missed it! Cauliflower Ice cream - That sounds tasty! NOT!
Food Food 8 years
veside - agree about this season being better than last, i like the balance of food and drama, but i think they need to go back to food just a tiny bit more. and thanks for reminding me of howie's pork prowess - i had forgotten because all i can ever see is his sweat!
veside veside 8 years
Hey Brian didn't put seafood in the ice cream so, technically, he *has* cooked something other than seafood. :-) And let's not forget Howie's Pork Prowess--pretty much everything he has cooked has had pork in it! PS love the fact there is a group on this site commenting on Top Chef. The Bravo boards are too crowded. And this season is way better than last season. They have found a good balance between showcasing serious chefs and showing a bit of drama too.
culinarygirl culinarygirl 8 years
Love Tre! Glad that he won again. Here's a link about his cooking classes! http://foodie.austin360blogs.com/entry.aspx?q=83e69797-f3ce-46b1-adf5-995d00a4e1cb
vapidintuition vapidintuition 8 years
I like how Tre just took off his shirt and cooked in his undershirt. If the girls felt awkward cooking in heels... why not take them off? I knew that Cuban sandwich was off from looking at it. And in Miami? You don't mess with Cuban food in Miami. Howie's team seemed really out of sorts, and their food seemed kind of out of it and dry. Milkshakes? after drinking? Come on.. Its nearly 2am , who doesn't want some hot chocolate? I also thought it was funny that Whiny Sarah's big beef was that no one was listening to her ideas.. and she wanted to do falafel? Who eats Falafel at 2am? I knew Sarah was going home because she got the most airtime. They really do need to work on their editing.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 8 years
Amen YumSugar, I thought I was the only one that noticed that. Anyhoo, I didn't understand why H and Casey thought those combinations would fly, they might be exotic, but they still has to taste good. This whole season has been product propaganda with quickfire challenges. Its getting a bit annoying. And I'm with ya, Sugarcat about CJ and Tre. And how hot is Govind Armstrong, btw? (oh, yeah, I hear he's a great chef too.)
SugarCat SugarCat 8 years
As soon as they showed how close Sara M and Dale had become I knew Sara was most likely going home. Dale has been pretty strong in the last few weeks. I wouldn't mind seeing him win (after CJ or Tre - my two pieces of man candy!)
Food Food 8 years
Oh! I can't believe I forgot to mention the fact that they didn't show all of the ice cream. I watch this show for the food, not for the drama! The least they could have done was a cursory glance over it all like they did before. The editing is definitely a bit predictable this season.
nomiloo2000 nomiloo2000 8 years
But the judges said it "just tasted like milk and ice cream" as if that's NOT how you make a milkshake. I too was under the impression that ice was put in milk shakes.
LuciLu LuciLu 8 years
I agree shulvrkrp! The first few episodes I didnt even know who HALF the people on the show were! They only showed the same few people over and over. And it is becoming VERY obvious who is going to win by the first few minutes of the show. Argh. Oh, and Howie better get the boot soon.
Lara16 Lara16 8 years
One more thing on Howie (sorry, I can't help it) was it the editing, or did Sara completely ignored him as she was leaving? I also thought he didn't even get up when she was leaving, but I could be wrong...
shulvrkrp shulvrkrp 8 years
Am I the only one who is noticing that the editing is getting out of control? I have been habitually watching this show for 3 seasons and this season is way different from the previous two. It's so obvious who is winning and who is losing before the announcement because of the heinous editing. Another example is how they no longer show what EVERY chef made for the quick-fire challenge. What did Brian make? What did Sara make? This has been happening quite often and it's irritating me! I can't believe that Casey and Sara were whining about having to cook in their "dress-up" clothes. You ALWAYS have to be on the ball when you're on that show? There is NO WAY they're going to get a free evening! At least they should know to NEVER complain about it to the judges! Howie should get booted for his attitude. His constant conflict should be reason enough to get booted!
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