I don't know if anyone noticed that Top Chef made an announcement last night. Oh, not an obvious, Padma deep cut dress sort of announcement but more of a 95 mile an hour fast ball right down the middle. Either you have the experience or the talent to hit that fastball or you don't but make no mistake about it. They are not fooling around this season.If you don't think this episode wasn't about food and pressure then you were in your kitchen melting Velveeta and Rotel for some chip dip.
Sphincter Pucker Factor No. 1 - Top Chef brought out the snails for the Quickfire with Daniel Boulud. Take something Americans equate with slugs and make them want to eat them.
Sphincter Pucker Factor No. 2 - Eliminate someone for the 45 minute Quickfire using snails and tell them before they start cooking.
Sphincter Pucker Factor No. 3 - Once you're down to your 3 Quickfire Elimination candidates, have a 20 minute Amuse-Bouche MF'ing Cookoff.I can't think of a better change to the Top Chef series than making the Quickfires mean something other than immunity. Never knowing when they might stick an Elimination Quickfire in there is even better. You gotta play to win.
Sphincter Pucker Factor No. 4, 5 & 6 - Joël Robuchon. You're cooking for Robuchon in his own kitchen. (if this episode wasn't sponsored by Pepto Bismol Mama Jane missed a prime pimpage opportunity) Does it get any better?
If any episode drew a clearer demarcation between the chefs who will be left standing at the end and those who will spending time in the Auffed Compound I've never seen it.Fans of Ash, Ashley, Laurine, Eli, Mattin, Ron, Mike I, or Robin, I'm afraid you're not going enjoy the rest of the season. This episode only magnified how exciting the later episodes are going to be with the Battling Brothers Voltaggio, Jennifer and Kevin. They cook to win every single time. If I had to pick one nit last night it was not getting to see what Kevin might have done with the classic French Cuisine challenge.
If this is the path Top Chef is headed down they couldn't have done any better than they did with this episode. C'est Magnifique.