Top Chef: Quinceanera

***SPOILER ALERT*** If you did not watch the third episode of Top Chef: Quinceanera do not read below!

"When time is up I better see some mother effin' snakes on some mother effin' plates!" yells Padma Lakshmi. Awesome.

Top Chef episode 3 kicks off with a super gross quickfire challenge entailing cooking up a rattlesnake.  How appetizing!  Guest judge Johnny Hernandez from Texas was on site explaining the delicate texture and flavor of the rattlesnake and how it deserves respect when it is cooked.  He further noted that people who dine at his restaurant love his snake dishes so much they order 700-800 pounds of snake annually! Eww remind me to never move to Texas.  And although there were live snakes in the room thank god the snakes the cheftestants received were already skinned and dead.

In the end Asian with daddy issues Beverly, gothy wild-eyed Dakota and pleasantly plump and fabulous Sarah landed on top for some seriously yummy snake dishes.  Beverly with her chewy snake nigiri, Dakota had beer battered snake, and Sarah did a simple lemon zest flash fry of the critter.

Top dish: Beer Battered Tempura Rattlesnake.

But ultimately Dakota from with her dark hair and crazy eyes won with the dish above.  Her inspiration? “When I think of snakes I thinks beer!” Hmmm, well okay whatever works!  Dakota won immunity and $5000. (Note: Louisville Chef Lee wasn’t in the snake segment. Sssssuspicious.)

After the quickfire Padma introduces us to a Tex-Mex teenager named Blanca who invited the cheftestants to cook at her sweet 15th birthday party (quinceanera).  And no quinceanera is complete without a fabulous cake.  Bwahahaha! The producers were really setting up the chefs to fail making a cake that feeds 150 people. Dessert is a notorious Achilles heel on Top Chef.

The chefs were split between two teams: pink and green.  (Lee was green, for anyone keeping track).

Team Pink was led by Lindsay and pleasantly plump and fabulous Sarah who I both really like.  Lindsay was a the petite blond who really showed her her coolness it episode 1 by helping another contestant, saying that food will prove a Top Chef not your ability to take off a pressure cooker lid.  Nice move.  Together the Pink Team cooked pork tenderloin huarache, ceviche, choclo con chile, carne asada, green chile pizole, enchilada en salsa verde, conchinita pibil, finished with a hibiscus-yogurt pound cake. But the real drama came when reformed prisoner nice-guy Keith made the mistake of purchasing team leader Lindsay precooked and frozen shrimp.  And that’s where it all started falling apart.

Conversely, happy go lucky team Green did a shrimp yuzu ceviche, pork chicharron, chicken mole, tomatillo gaspucho (Chef Lee), green chile empanadas, beef short rib with kimchi, braised goat birria with cabbage, finished with a vanilla tres leches cake. From the very beginning you could tell Green team had better food without even ever tasting it.  Team Pink’s dishes just weren’t as appetizing.

There were a few highlights of the menus, particularly when it came to the tricky cakes.  How hilarious was crazy eyed Dakota’s rainbow cake:

Pineapple Strawberry Cake. On crack.

Dakota made a cake on acid.  The judges all agreed if she didn’t make such slamming rattlesnake dish she would have been on the bottom.  To put it in perspective, this cake was actually worse then Heather’s terrifying leaning Easter basket cake.  But the Tres Leches prevailed!

And although both Pink team leaders, Sarah and Lindsay, were on the bottom, it was clear that Keith was the one to go home.  He needed advisement on the exact definition of an enchilada (they are made with corn tortillas) and not to buy precooked shrimp.  Silly errors, but even still I really like Keith and thought his message about reforming yourself by getting a passion was very inspiring.  But sadly the all around nice guy went home.

Keith, please pack your knives and go.

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