Top Chef
Captain Vietnam

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: B | 20 USERS: B
Pho King Travis

After the contestants were rocked by the Commander's Palace dish re-creation challenge, they go back to their house in New Orleans to recover and deliver some backstory. Nicholas calls his wife, who he has many children with. He has all the more to prove, we see.

The chefs are just hanging out at the house when Emeril pops in with Eddie Huang. Emeril has cameras in all the rooms like Big Brother. Sara refers to Eddie as "almost like a food archaeologist," which is probably a good thing? Anyway, Emeril says there won't be a Quickfire this time. They're going right into the elimination challenge and this one is all about the Vietnamese influence on the shrimping industry in New Orleans.

The chefs will be broken into groups of five and each group is tasked to create a Vietnamese menu. Travis is excited because he has been to Vietnam and his boyfriend is Vietnamese. Carlos is much less confident. He's already down a peg and now he has to make food he has never eaten before. Emeril says one of the menu items must include shrimp, then breaks them into teams.

The green team is the most excited because they have Travis, who loves Asian men. To prepare the chefs who aren't Travis, Eddie and Emeril have a "crash course in Vietnam" prepared. Travis says he could probably teach them a thing or two. This tells me he is most likely to fall hard in this challenge.

The red team has the other resident Asian, Shirley, and they are following her lead. Meanwhile, Michael is confident because he's from New Orleans so the bus goes by a bakery and he's like, "Oh man, this bakery is the best. Are we going to stop there, Emeril? Awesome, it's the best." Nina calls Michael out for being a fake kiss-ass in an interview.

Sure enough, Michael's favorite bakery is the first stop. Eddie shows the chefs the best Bánh mì "in the world" and where most of the other places get their French bread. In the bus on the way to the next stop, Travis is telling his team how much he loves to use romaine for lettuce wraps and Sara is like "whaaaaaat" but who is she to argue with The Expert on Vietnam?

The next stop is fucking disgusting. The chefs watch shrimp fishermen suck tons of shrimp up a tube and dump them into various containers. Those little things look so nasty when they're not presented in cocktail form. Shirley takes advantage of the opportunity, and her Asianness to ask the fishermen's wives how they prepare the shrimp. Oh my god, what the hell kind of shoes is Emeril wearing? He looks so stupid. I just noticed that they're all wearing those boots, but they definitely look the most stupid on Emeril.

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Top Chef




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