Top Chef recap: A Pot Full of Luck

The chefs throw a Nawlins potluck; Kermit Ruffins guest-judges
Ep. 07 | Aired Nov 13, 2013

SHIRLEY, YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS Shirley grates on some of her teammates with her abundance of energy.

David Moir/Bravo

For the food service, Kermit gathered a bunch of his musician friends to taste the food. Local chef Sue Zemanick, who came across as rather cold and joyless, at least compared to Kermit, joined the lively festivities to guest-judge.

The Blue Team started things off with their very New Orleans potluck. Justin served up hominy grits with brown shrimp, roasted okra, fava beans, and smoked bacon. Everyone seemed to like the quality of the grits themselves, but the locals all were expecting more seasoning. Louis impressed the judges with his grilled and pickled veggies with crispy sunflower seeds and mustard vinaigrette; Tom had never had veggies that were both pickled and grilled. Shirley and Sara split the judges with their glazed beef with charred onions, melon pickles, and ginger vinaigrette. Tom liked the beef, but Sue got an overcooked piece.

The Green Team went Italian with their potluck. Stephanie let us know that she loves touching and cleaning artichokes, and her deep love helped her with her crispy artichoke dish, which Padma called "beautiful." Nina once again made gnocchi; one guest called it "fancy Hamburger Helper," but in a good way. Carrie and Carlos went for dessert, a summer tiramisu with nectarines, which looked absolutely fresh and delicious. Kermit shouted, "THIS IS GOOD!" When he said that, Sue seriously looked like she wanted to end his life, because she was "taken aback" and "not a fan."

Lastly, the Gray Team laid out their "chef's picnic" potluck. Brian started things off right — he put those socks back on after all — with a togarashi fried chicken dish with bee pollen and ponzu. Patty messed up in a big way by forgetting to add the chilies to her watermelon and goat cheese espuma. Honestly, it looked like that one potluck dish no one touches. It was the carrot-and-raisin-salad of the bunch, and the judges said as much. Nicholas also fumbled with his thinly cut dish, which became bland, dry, and overcooked. Travis and Brian's caramelized glazed BBQ ribs were cooked perfectly, but the rub was burnt and too thickly coated.

Obviously, the Green Team landed on top, and Stephanie finally got a win for the artichokes she'd so lovingly massaged and sang lullabies to. Just as predictably, the Gray Team landed in the bottom, and Patty got the elimination. She seems like an absolutely lovely person, but it was her time to go.

Wasn't Kermit a delight? Who's your favorite lovable weirdo, Stephanie or Shirley?

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