Top Chef recap: Hunger Games

The contestants must feed the denizens of Pike Place Market using custom ingredients provided by the vendors themselves. Alas, rose petal jelly makes a poor meal
Ep. 05 | Aired Dec 5, 2012

STARS AND STRIPES Except there were no stars and the only stripes are on Padma's pants.

The judges were so put off by the seven meals that they decided not to elect a winner. "I don’t have a favorite," Tom declared. "They’re all so bad." Instead, they sent a whole team (two people!) home. While they waited for the ultimate decision, the contestants turned to a tried and true cure-all: alcohol. It was during this moment of crisis that Josh delivered perhaps one of the most idiotic phrases I've ever heard uttered on TV: "Stefan and I, we click. We’re both a little on the arrogant asshole side, but at the same time we’re both pretty likable." Name one person who likes you, Josh. Also, likable arrogant a-holes tend to not have a mustache with twirled ends.

Three teams were summoned before the Judges’ Table -- Josh and John, CJ and Tyler, and Brooke and Stefan. Of course, the Jo Bros immediately threw each other under the bus. Josh complained about the pork medallions' shape, John blamed Josh for the undercooked meat, etc., etc. But the problem wasn’t just that the dish was poorly cooked, it’s that the meal looked “like someone who has to feed their family and really hates cooking.” I can guarantee that family probably doesn’t like popcorn grits either.

CJ and Tyler received strong criticism as well, with the judges saying the boys probably should have thought less about what goes well with a pickle and more about what you could make with a pickle. (It didn’t help that the burger sucked.) When CJ tried to deflect the judges’ harsh words by pointing out that Lizzie and Danyele’s dessert was awful as well, Hugh promptly responded: “Your burger was even worse.” Zing. I think CJ’s remark may singlehandedly be responsible for… well, you’ll see, won’t you?

Brooke and Stefan’s meal was overly sweet, but the judges didn’t seem nearly as critical of them as they were of the other two teams. When the time to vote came, Hugh, Tom, and Padma each singled out a different team that they thought had the worst dish. So, the tiebreaker vote came down to Gail, and she chose… (oh, you can guess by now, can’t you?) CJ and Tyler. CJ handled it like a gentleman, complaining about not having been judged fairly. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t keep your mouth shut about other people. Meanwhile, Tyler took it like the pushover he is, saying he was happy to have been on the show this long. I actually did feel bad for him -- he just needs more backbone next time!

So, what are your thoughts on “Pike Place Pickle”? Did anyone notice the innuendo ("sausage on a stick")? Are the judges going hungry from the bad food? Should Josh have been eliminated? Would you eat a quail egg? Should someone be proposed to in a market? These and more are the opinions I want to hear. Let the comments begin!

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