Top Chef recap: Taco or Tamale?

A viral sensation teaches the chefs a thing or two about good holiday food. Plus: Anna Faris and Chris Pratt!
Ep. 06 | Aired Dec 12, 2012

GARDEN STATE Famed Olive Garden reviewer Marilyn Hagerty shows the contestants how it's really done, Grand Forks Herald style.

Before we move on to the Judges' Table, can we just take a second to discuss the fact that Chris Pratt has consumed raw squirrel heart? This is a beloved television actor -- what in the world drove him to eat such a thing? I just can't... Anyways, John, Kristen, Brooke, and Sheldon were summoned to the table, where they were told that... they had served the best dishes! Tom told Brooke to start taking more chances. "If this is the way you cook, I guarantee you no one’s going to yell at you." Rick praised his prodigy John, calling his chowder "celebratory soul food." However, the victory (and the Toyota Prius C) ultimately went to... Brooke. That's right, we have a sweep! "The winner showed a little bit more creativity," said Tom. "We all unanimously agreed that the winner of this challenge was Brooke." They tossed her the car keys and she was on her way.

The four losers beckoned before the judges were Eliza, Danyele, Josh, and Micah. "There were a lot of good dishes tonight and I don’t think your dishes were bad dishes," Tom lamented. Phew. After last week, it's good to know these people can actually cook. Micah's celery-based dish was labeled "grainy," while Danyele was chided for letting fear hold her back. Eliza's elk needed seasoning (side note: didn't it seem as though a lot of meals needed seasoning this episode?), but the gem of the night was Padma's remark to Josh when he said that he needed to stop making his renowned pork dishes. "No, just stop saying it," she shot back. Catty. I like.

There can only be one eliminee, however, (at least for this week) and this episode's was... Eliza! Did that surprise you? It surprised me. After Micah boldly declared, "there’s no way that I’m going to go home today" I was sure it would be him. And I wouldn't have said no to Josh either. He keeps bottoming out. The man should be eliminated on the basis of cumulative failures alone. But Eliza eased my outrage with her parting words o' wisdom: "You don’t challenge yourself, you’re not going to experience anything in this life. It’s a short one, get out there and get all you can." Word, man. Word.

What did you think of this week's ep, readers? Did the right person go home? Have you eaten raw squirrel heart? Should we make Marilyn a permanent addition to the show? Should she get her own show? Let me know your thoughts!

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