Top Chef recap: Iceberg (Lettuce), Straight Ahead!

The chefs board an Alaska-bound cruise ship and cook to stay afloat
Ep. 13 | Aired Jan 30, 2013

SEASICKNESS Brooke didn't let her fear of water and boats get to her in the surf and turf challenge.

David Moir/Bravo

Cruises: Love 'em or hate 'em? On some level it makes total sense that Top Chef boarded a Celebrity Cruise ship because cruises are 80 percent eating, 15 percent watching depressingly bad Broadway revues by the same people who serve you electric blue cocktails, and 5 percent physical activity (and that includes pulling the lever on a slot machine). The food passes as fine dining mostly because it comes under a silver cloche, but it's mostly about quantity. Want the rack of lamb and the lobster macaroni, plus a hot dog afterwards in your cabin? No problem!

It's no surprise that the very posh and bird-boned Brooke dreaded the cruise to Alaska due to her fear of boats, but she bravely boarded the ship with the other contestants, where Curtis Stone — a true vision in his rugged dude-sweater — was waiting for them. He announced that for the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs would be cooking for the Celebrity Cruises Welcome Aboard Party, and they had two hours to make 200 portions. And the unexciting, flavorless twist? They had to work with iceberg lettuce! Aside from serving as an obvious pun (which apparently Josh didn't get), the Diet Sprite of leafy vegetables posed a serious challenge to making a striking dish.

The landlubbers quickly found that cooking on a ship was far different from cooking on dry land, between the motion of the ocean, non-gas heat, and the special locks on the doors and appliances.

The real shocker of the season: Stefan claimed to love iceberg lettuce. Come on, how do you love iceberg lettuce? With that and his love of potatoes and chicken cordon bleu, I'm now thoroughly confused by Stefan's schizophrenic palate.

NEXT: What am I, chopped iceberg lettuce?

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