Tonight: Pairing food and wine, and outer space cooking. Apparently, there’s not a whole lot to do on the International Space Station other than Top Chef cameo appearances. Guest judge: the dessicated husk of national hero Buzz Aldrin.
Last Week: LeahRedux served oxidized tuna to Rick Moonen and Eric Ripert and packed her knives. Luckily, she didn’t serve it to the ball park fans because no one ordered it.
10:02: Kevin wasn’t always sure he would make it this far. Neither was I.
10:03: Wait, The Dropper was married before? So he’s fooled two women? Scary. Was the first one mail-order as well?
QUICKFIRE: Dana Cowin looks severe even while smiling. Challenge: Create a dish to pair with wine.
10:04: Padma’s stylist has apparently mugged an Eton schoolboy.
10:06: Kevin is braising a pork belly…in an hour. Good luck with the pressure cooker, my friend. Ed is still feeding off the excitement of his back-to-back wins; his face is trying but failing to smile.
10:08: I know that whenever I screw up pork belly, my go-to is quail; the flavor profiles are so similar.
10:10: Kevin and Kelly end up on the bottom, he for his quail and her for a blue cheese emulsion; The Dropper and Tiffany are on top.
10:11: Commercials. There are no words for how much I hate the Sienna family. I hope in the next installment, they find that their faux-neighbors have keyed expletives into the car.
10:14: Quickfire winner: The Dropper. Dang. Though truth be told, I’d like to see Kevin get the boot over The Dropper.
10:15: The finale will be in Singapore. It makes The Dropper tingly, or maybe that’s the crabs.
10:17: The people in the control room at NASA seem to use the same shitty Dell computers we use at work. They’ve chosen the scientist with the most frightening possible teeth to present to the cheftestants.
ELIMINATION: Cook a meal fit for an astronaut. Winner gets their food shot into space. So does the loser, but in a bad way.
10:18: Do you REALLY care what Buzz Aldrin thinks about your food? Has this been a long-time dream?
Restrictions: Not too much sugar, no big chunks, spicy = good.
10:22: Commercials. Who needs good coffee? Just use CoffeeMate! It’s made of almost-real ingredients!
10:24: Mussels? Freeze dried? In space? Sounds great!
10:26: Tiffany is cooking from her soul. Unfortunately, no one’s soul is pure enough to turn freeze-dried mussels into something palatable.
We’re getting quite a lot of Tom during this roundabout. According to Tom, only Middle Eastern astronauts would enjoy Middle Eastern food. According to the face he makes, braised short ribs are the most laughable idea ever. Did he not hear about the mussels?
10:28: Tiffany’s mussels are dead. It’s a blessing in disguise, I tell you!
10:29: Kevin talks about his dead mom. Harbinger?
10:30: Winner of the challenge gets a special prize that’s parked outside. It better be a spaceship, or I’m going to be really disappointed.
It’s a Toyota. And not a Space Toyota.
10:32: Kelly opines that someone will have outcook her to send her home. She’s really starting to understand the mechanics of a competition.
The executive chef of the building where they’re cooking is the Frenchest French chef who ever Frenched.
10:33: Anthony Bourdain is there, so prepare for some carefully planned bon mots.
10:34: You can’t have too much extraneous liquid in space. There’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not finding it.
10:36: Buzz Aldrin: “I still have my spoon from Apollo 11.” And that’s the closest he’s actually coming to talking about food.
10:38: You know, I’m sure Buzz Aldrin is a frightenly intelligent man, but they’re making him sound doddering.
Brian: “Is Bourdain not using any canned lines, or is he saving them up?” I think we all know the answer to that: saving. You know he can’t help himself.
10:41: Commercials. I have to assume that the point of the Quaker Oats commercial is not to lull me to sleep. Or maybe it is, it’s quite effective.
10:44: Pointless interlude. Many platitudes about wanting to win.
10:46: More commercials. Jackie Warner will yell the pounds off of you.
10:48: JUDGE’S TABLE. Bourdain is still quiet. Is he going to explore at the end and come out with a non sequitur string of one-liners?
Angelo made love to the short ribs. Ripert? NOT AMUSED.
10:49: The Dropper points out that judging is all subjective at this point. Unlike the rest of the season, when they use a detailed algorithm.
This episode is the episode of people stating the obvious.
10:52: Unpeeled peppers really get Tom’s panties in a bunch.
10:56: Winner: The Dropper makes it a back to back. He wins the non-Space Car, and his food is going into space. “It’s too much to process as a human.”
10:57: Everyone else, you did good too. Except you Tiffany. Pack ’em up.
Both the winner and loser thank Jeebus under their breath, but Jeebus is too busy helping professional sports teams to pay attention.
NEXT WEEK: Ed is a whole new level of sweaty.