“Top Chef: California” recap (13.3): Surf & Turf

Previously on Top Chef, Floppy Hair and Chef Sassy were sent packing, which is pretty unfortunate (for me) because they were two of the few contestants I could kind of tell apart. Also, and potentially more importantly, Padma and Gail graced our screens with their presence.

This week, the episode opens with Grayson lamenting her poor showing in the challenges thus far. You’re right, girl—step it up. Padma tells the chefs to get a good night’s sleep because the first leg of their season-long road trip is starting tomorrow. They’re off to Santa Barbara!

On the road trip, we get to know a few of the chefs a little better. Kwame used to sell candy to make money to start his business—which, I’m realizing as I type this, probably sounds a lot creepier than it actually was. One of the bald dudes (let’s call him Baldy 1) has a daughter—v cute. Frances had a rough childhood and used to be addicted to drugs—v sad.


The chefs stop and taste some sea urchins – so pointy! They take a cooler full of urchins over to meet Padma at a winery. Padma and Dana Cowin are waiting for them in the field, looking gloriously statuesque as the wind billows through their shawls and hair. Dana apparently awarded one of the white dudes (Glasses) with the Best New Chef Award, so they’re bros from way back.

img1 #goddesses

Padma announces that it’s about to be on because it’s time for a Sudden Death Quickfire. Oh, snap. The chefs have to create a dish that pairs the uni they tasted earlier with wine from the vineyard. Frances adorably cannot pronounce her wine. Another white dude (Beardy) quit drinking, so he’s trying to rely on the tasting notes from the wine. He doesn’t really have time to fully read/comprehend them, though, so he’s kind of winging it.

The chefs frantically race to prepare their uni dishes. Giselle is kind of pissed because she really wanted to make eggs, but the white dude from Boston had them. Eye Roll Karen’s idea for a play on egg drop soup goes sideways. Oh no, Karen! Before you know it, Padma is calling time.

After Padma and Dana taste all the dishes, they announce the top three: Grayson, Wesley, and Boston guy. Grayson is the winner and she’ll have immunity! She kept it super simple and paired her wine perfectly, so she’s definitely going to thank her sommelier boyfriend.

On the bottom: Angelina, Karen, Giselle. Giselle is the loser—womp womp—but she’s not out of the competition just yet! She gets to choose one chef to face off against head-to-head. If she wins, both chefs stay in the competition. If she loses, she goes home. She chooses Angelina and the have to make a dish that uses ostrich eggs! There are your eggs, Giselle, are you happy now?

Angelina has never had ostrich eggs before, but she tastes them and thinks they seem like regular eggs. She’s super focused and she wants to send Giselle home. Time runs out and the judges come by to taste. It’s scrambled egg vs. scrambled egg. Both dishes had flaws, but there can be only one scrambled egg champ and today that person is Giselle! She’s staying in the competition.

img2The great egg-off of 2015