Welcome back to “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. And you’ll want to talk softly because if anything is in need of praying it is the contestants on this show. Last week they kicked off a girl with brain damage, THAT’S HOW CUTTHROAT THEY ARE.
Okay, I don’t totally know, like, FOR A FACT that Head Bandage Heather had brain damage, but what with the head bandage and all it is a distinct possibility. I’m not being unnecessarily rude, but the girl was wearing an UNEXPLAINED HEAD BANDAGE on national television. OBVIOUSLY something was seriously wrong. Or at least something more serious than just a little cover up could handle. It was like Max Factor !!eleven!!!11!!! But that wasn’t enough for what ever brain matter was leaking out of her forehead so they just slapped a gauze pad on it and sent her out in front of the cameras to be sent home two weeks in a row. Yeah, yeah, I know Malika sent herself home, but you know HBH was going home first.
Anyway, Team Diva as they insist on being called are cackling about HBH and, that’s just rude. We’re the only people who get to mock the bitch! Not that she’s a bitch. She’s a perfectly nice woman with light head trauma. I love her. Shut up. The Other Heather is being catty and talking about “talent levels” and other pastry chef level trash talk. She really wants Morgan to be next because he knows how to make a piece of chocolate feel really bad about itself and stuff. But Morgan has won two challenges in a row, so if he wants to give some cacao an inferiority complex he is entitled.
Besides, it’s time for the Quick Fire! Everyone claps as Gail introduces the pastry chef at Le Bernardin (which is a seafood restaurant, so yum tuna pie) who is the guest judge for the evening. Everyone on Team Diva claps and smiles dutifully although you can clearly see on their face the undercurrent of hostility and neon sign blinking, “I Could Do Your Job.” Michael Laskonis then gets a Greek chorus of, “He’s amazing” to “I’d bear his children” to “I might actually take his advice.” The Gail introduces the challenge by showing off the savory kitchen and explaining that pastry chefs have been using bacon, beets, duck, and other non-pastry items to create newer and better desserts. Um, guys? You gave HBH and Danielle a boatload of crap for daring to use vegetable in an “edible dress” challenge and now you’re asking them to use duck breast in dessert? Shut the hell up!
Oh this Quickfire is sponsored by Dawn Hand Renewal so the chefs are only allowed to use one pot that they have to wash repeatedly in order to maximize Dawn Hand Renewals marketing buck. Everyone scoffs at this challenge because they are pastry chefs and do not deign to eat vegetables or non-dairy proteins, also, what the fuck is Dawn Hand Renewal and why are they sponsoring THIS show? Gail smacks everyone around a bit and sends them into the fray to collect their savories. Morgan and Heather both want beets, but Morgan throws an elbow in Heather’s face and takes her down. But there’s no penalty box and instead Morgan gets to incorporate beets in his dish while Heather just gets a lump on her face. She whines enough to make you not feel sorry for her. After twelve more close ups of Dawn Hand Renewal and a brief discussion of Yigit’s coming out story the challenge is over.
Zac apparently scavenged the beet detritus left after Morgan and Heather battled it out in gladiator style. He has made a steamed beet cake with a sweet goat cheese and lemon thyme gremolata. That sounds barfy. Eric has made couscous and mile with apricot and prosciutto. Um, did I miss the part of the challenge that said everything needs to be disgusting? Danielle made avocado and lime juice with basil, corn, and tomato. Morgan made sweet potato risotto with golden beet sorbet and sweet fried carrots, which Gail points out is Beet-y. Yigit made Chocolate with bacon, salt, and pepper. Heather made sour cream corn custard with mascarpone cream and a beet compote with a SIDE OF DRAMA as she plaintively held a rag to her face to sop up her tears and dampen the swelling and woo the judges sympathies. Danielle and Eric are used to being in the bottom, so their loserdom is no surprise, but for the first time Heather joins them due to her too raw beets and general patheticness. She looks stabby as she hears her name called. The winners are Morgan, who bravely used liquid nitrogen for the first time, Zac for beet flavored deliciousness, and Yigit for going bold. The winner? Zac and his steamed beet cake. Zac is gloating over his victory when Gail decides to make it interesting. Would Zac trade his immunity for $1,000? Zac barters for more. He wants Gail to give him her shoes. She offers him $5,000 instead. He takes it. I think he low-balled himself. Which sounds like it requires a certain level of flexibility.
Gail announces the Elimination Challenge. The contestants are going to be making black and white desserts for a black and white party at the LA Times, which is black and white and read all over, if you know what I mean. The chefs all head out to Albertson’s, which is the sad sack level of sponsorship this pastry competition has earned. Yigit and Zac make funnies with each other while everyone else ignores them. Zac is making a deep-fried Whoopie pie that he is frying to order. He is pretty convinced that frying is exciting and will ensure him a WIN. Eric, however, is suffering from his baker’s inferiority complex (“I don’t know how to plate! I don’t know how to make figure 8 meringues!” “No one loves me!”) and is bogarting a mixer whilst whining, which is not making him very popular at all.
Luckily Head Judge (and Hair Sprayer in Chief) Johnny Iuzzini interrupts the proceedings for one of his versions of a sniff ‘n’ sneer that involves sniffing, sneering, and then talking about it in the hallway for five minutes in a seemingly therapeutic gesture. He thinks black and white desserts will be an interesting challenge for the chefs, but as he is contractually obligate to pretend this shit is interesting, who the fuck cares? Erika swears she will have great flavors, while Eric is very excited to make a Mississippi Mud cake, but, you know, fancy style. Johnny remains doubtful of Eric’s ability to bring the fancy to such a lowly dessert. Heather is making gingerbread with pomegranates and cranberries, which are clearly, you know, RED. Johnny dutifully points this out to Heather in case she is colorblind and falls under the ADA or something. She just shrugs, which would probably rout any lawsuit she might file for colorblind discrimination. Back at the chefs’ house, Morgan is unhappy about the number of show tunes being sung. Damn anti-songite.
Photo credit: Bravo