Top Chef Kentucky


Thanks Linda! I especially loved your use of the word “bogart”!

Michelle’s story really caught me by surprise. Dang.

This week’s Power Rankings.

(Gwenn) #122

Thanks, shrinkrap! That article is great - very funny and say a lot of things I thought! And of course, thanks Linda!!! Glad you’re back!!


Oh that is so sad.


Top Chef alum and damn fine chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Edward Lee is the guest judge back in Kentucky. Padma explains that they’re in the state that houses the home of Fort Knox, where all of the gold bullion is stored under super-strict security.

So the QF challenge is to figure out the answers to four riddles which will tell them to where they can find the individual numbers of the combination to unlock a box of bouillon cubes (get it? See what they did there? :roll_eyes::smirk:) and that beef, chicken and vegetable bouillon is the ONLY seasoning they can use for their QF dish. Several of the clues’ answers were mint and bread (can’t remember the other two - but they were money-related). They figured them out in 5 minutes, leaving another 30 minutes to prep and cook.

Some used too much bouillon, making their dish extra-salty, and some didn’t use enough. Eric had done a thesis on bouillon and how it’s used in West African and Southeast Asian cooking. Eddie went with a yellow/gold color on his ingredients to keep in theme with the idea of the color of bullion (and I loved his idea of “cooking” tiny bay scallops in hot bouillon). And Eddie ends up winning - and gets an “advantage” - he doesn’t have to cook in the EC, so essentially, it’s a bye.

The EC is a three-on-three competition held at the Univ. of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. The Blue Team is Kelsey, Sara, and Michelle and the White Team was Adrienne, Eric, and Justin. They had 5 minutes to formulate their dishes before rushing off to WF to shop. Watching Eddie just follow them around was sort of funny. He seemed a bit lost in WF without having anything to do! LOL

White team goes for fun foods - Juicy Lucy bunless sliders, wings, and fried chicken and waffles (Adrienne). The Blue team goes for dumplings, ribs and yet more chicken & waffles (Sara). But Sara, on the Blue team, chooses to use a box mix for the waffles to save time. THAT’S THE KISS OF DEATH, SARA!!!

Meanwhile, Eddie wanders around and eats an apple while they’re cooking @ Rupp Arena. Guest judges are Edward Lee, Coach Calipari, and the Editor-in-Chief of F&W, Hunter someone-or-other.

The teams go head-to-head as they present their dishes.

Round 1 - (Info “borrowed” from F&W):

Kelsey — “Kentucky Proud Dumpling” with pistou and ponzu
Adrienne — Chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup and pickled watermelon rind

Kelsey wins one for the Blue Team.

Round 2:

Sara — [ “Big Blue Nation” ] chicken and waffles
Eric — Tamarind glazed drumette with herb confetti

Eric ties the score with a unanimous vote for the White Team. (That boxed mix did you in, Sara!)

Round 3:

Justin — “Juicy Lucy” with pimento cheese, bbq sauce, bourbon onions and duck fat braised pork belly
Michelle — Sweet and sour ribs with “thunder and lightning” cucumbers with peach and Calabrian chili sauce

Justin (White Team) wins this round and gives their team the win.

Sara was pissed in the locker room at Adrienne telling Chefs Colicchio and Lee that she had used boxed mix and tells her and Justin that the heckling they did on the floor of the arena was uncalled for.

Eric wins overall best dish for his drumette, but each White Team member get $5,000.

As for the losing Blue Team - Kelsey was the only one who’s really safe, as the judges all liked her dish. So it’s between Sara soggy waffle and Michelle not-cooked-enough ribs. Ultimately, Michelle’s rib just wasn’t cooked enough with no char (although her sauce was amazing, according to Tom), and she’s sent off to LCK.

Next week? Yet MORE fried chicken - Kentucky Fried Chicken. And a tribute dish to Muhammad Ali, with his daughter, Laila, as one of the guest judges.


My “quick recaps” are getting longer. :rofl::rofl::rofl:




My “quick recaps” are getting longer. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Love them, Linda!!


. . . and with formatting Linda (so fancy) :smiley:

I was sad to see Michelle go - I thought she was really getting into her stride and could have taken it all. But wet, semi-cooked ribs were never going to win . . . . I guess even against a boxed mix - which historically is always the kiss of death.

I felt really bad for Sara, not for the box mix - she should have known that was coming - but for how it played out in the arena. I can only imagine what a gut punch it was to be in “your” sports team arena with fellow fans (such a high) and then be called out and have a crowd that you’re so excited to be in front of jeer you (such a low).

I didn’t think it was Adrienne’s fault though. During prep Tom came up and asked her about what she used to make her waffles. Granted she called out the other team at that point for using a mix, but you know Tom was going to go over and ask Sara the same question. Maybe if Adrienne hadn’t said anything the “calling out” would have happened in the prep kitchen but you know Tom would have had to bring it up during the tasting too. The show history on box mixes is just too long to argue otherwise.

I hope Sara can let it go and keep cooking, I like her. And I hope Michelle kicks some butt in LCK (which I don’t watch but . . .still).

And I totally agree - enough fried chicken at this point - for so many reason - culinarily, racially, reinforcing stereotypes . . . I’m really done with it for so many reasons (and I love fried chicken - but in this context it is getting a little creepy now).


F&W had them bolded and it translated here as well. No formatting by me! LOL


Another recap that didn’t disappoint!

I also felt bad about Michelle! After the high of winning last week to being in the bottom for QF and then eliminated for the ribs. But ribs in 3 hours for all those people just seems like a risky move. I just made ribs at home and they were good but took 3.5+ hours and didn’t get that char everyone wanted either.

Also, Seemed like Sara (and her team) should have seen the writing on the wall with boxed mix. Every season someone goes down the premade route and I can’t remember it ever working out. I did feel bad for her getting roasted by the crowd and at home too! That must have felt awful.

Anyone watching LCK? I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who isn’t caught up yet after David got the boot from the regular season.


I haven’t watched the past couple of them - hopefully tonight…

(kim) #131

My streaming service hasn’t updated LCK since 12/27 :confounded:


You can watch them on My OnDemand hasn’t had a new one in forever.


That’s what I do as well. Just didn’t want to drag out my laptop last night.


Sean Brock lives in Nashville now. He cut ties with all his Charleston Restaurants.


Was out of town, didn’t see the, but read Linda’s recap. Couldn’t resist!

Just watching it. Big smile from Eddie Money!

Was hoping Michelle wasn’t who I thought.

Sad face.

Like the bouillon research. Like Eric.
Kelsey is really growing on me. Who’d a thunk it!


I love your recaps! More is better!

Poor Sara. Has she never seen the show before?! Anytime a cheftestant has bought box mix for something they could have made from scratch gets called out for it. Her constant pleas of “It’s not like I didn’t add anything to it” made it more :roll_eyes:.


top chef power rankings

“… the chefs got the chance to cook for “an arena full of Kentucky fans,” as Padma put it. Which most of us probably assumed meant that the contestants would be cooking at the half time of a Kentucky game. As it turned out, nope, there was no game, just an entire arena full of fans in full Kentucky regalia — cheerleaders, face painters, the whole nine — who had turned out to watch a live episode of Top Chef . This was a challenge designed to celebrate another of Kentucky’s natural resources: an abundance of free time…”


Also from that recap:

" Let’s be honest, this season of Top Chef has lacked some of the memorable characters of past seasons. In fairness, there are only so many Chef Fatis in the world (and now there are none, this world is a trash can)"



Man, that is sad.

(Gwenn) #140

Yes, and we love them!