Foil and Exploding Blenders: #TopChef Seattle 7 Recap and a Food and Wine Magazine Giveaway

The Top Chef Seattle kitchen… With all ingredients covered in Foil!

Hello kiddies! This episode of Top Chef Seattle proved to be explosive in nature, at least where blenders were concerned. (But more on that later.) There were a few laughs, a few arguments and a few complete malfunctions.  Here’s how it all went down for Top Chef Seattle Ep. 7 Foiled Again.

Also, be sure to check the end of the post for your chance to win a year’s subscription to Food and Wine Magazine.  You’ll definitely want to check that out.

Contest closed— Congrats to Ella for winning the subscription to Food and Wine Magazine!

The QuickFire Challenge:

We start with Padma introducing the ChefTestants to Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard, now owner of The Girl and the Goat in Chicago, Il.  Our hapless contestants are informed that they can cook anything that they like for this challenge, but there is one catch…

Every ingredient in the kitchen is wrapped in aluminum foil, and if they open an ingredient  they have to use it.

And if that weren’t enough, the chefs can’t use any cooking vessels other than foil.  They also only get to use one knife between them.

top chef, season 10, seattle, bart vandaele, bravo

It’s all fun and games Bart, until someone puts an eye out.

Yep, just one knife between 11 chefs on a deadline to cook with only what they can grab from memory and only aluminum foil as kitchen gear.  This was not an easy challenge.  At least it seemed pretty difficult for everyone but Bart, who thought the whole thing sounded like “Fun and games.”

The chefs scrambled to build vessels, create bowls and pans and get things on to cook. Blow torches are unleashed. and sauté pans are created, complete with handles, from nothing but layered aluminum foil.

Everyone was looking pretty frantic except Bart (who is still having a blast) and Kristin, who decided she was going to make a sponge-cake using foil as a bowl and foil as a baking dish…

Sheldon, Kristin, Josie, Bart and Danyele had the top dishes, but it turned out that Kristin is less crazy than she originally sounded, because she walked away the winner of the QuickFire and gained immunity in the elimination with her cake.

Good job Kristin!

The Elimination Challenge: When good Blenders go Bad and Laughter Kills

with the winner of the QuickFire decided, the chefs are told that the elimination challenge will be a head to head battle of the berries. The chefs will pair off and cook different types of berries for 150 guests at the Remlinger Farms Berry Festival.  The winner of each pair will be decided by the guests at the festival, with the final winner and loser decided by the judges.

Berries are chosen and shopping begins.  Everything goes without a hitch until Stephan decides he’ll be cooking with frozen tuna to match his gooseberries. John, (who Stephan picked as his opponent because they were the oldest of the bunch) thinks that this is in poor taste and is quite vocal about it.

Josie decides to make strawberry spring rolls and Kristin, who gets to cook alone because she has immunity, chooses to make a goat cheese custard with her tayberries, which are apparently sort of like a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.

Craziness ensues in the tiny kitchen where there don’t appear to be enough blenders to go around.  First, a blender blows its top all over Josh and then Bart has to fight with john to get a blender to use for his dish. (John stated he was using it, but it was just sitting there.) Regardless though, the chefs did very well considering the size (or lack of size) of their prep kitchen.

Now it’s off to tents to serve the guests and the judges the bounty of these insanely fresh berries. Things seem to go well for most of the chefs right up until the walk-through by Tom. That’s when the fangs come out for John, who “throws Stephan under the Bus” for using frozen tuna.  Stephan defended his choice, and rightly so.

Yeah, I’m not really fond of John either, but he’s not my least favorite contestant.

In the end, Stephan beat John in the challenge, which would seem to prove his point about the chef controlling the dish. Josie fumbled when she fell behind in service and decided to put on a floor show to keep people entertained while she scrambled to get caught up.

Back in the stew room, John, Stephan and Josie break into cursing and arguing over some pretty trivial things. Once that cools off, you find that more than one person finds Josie’s laugh annoying. Josh, in particular, finds it so annoying that he states the “a little bit of his soul dies ever time she laughs.”

Harsh, Josh. Harsh.

And the winner is:

Kristen, who pulled off a perfect dish without the distractions of competing, winning her the $10,000 prize, which she plans to use to go to Korea.

Unfortunately, someone has to leave, and while Josie’s dish wasn’t great, Danyele’s dish was less stellar and she was sent packing to the last Chance Kitchen.

Don’t forget to tune in for next week’s recap on December 26th. It looks like it will be a good show.

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And now, your chance to win a year’s subscription to Food and Wine magazine:

It’s simple!  Just leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite Holiday dish or favorite Top Chef challenge/moment is.  That’s all there is to it.  The winner will be announced on December 26th 2012.

Get those comments in, folks!

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