Did you miss Top Chef? Here's what you need to know for tomorrow's water cooler conversation:
The setting: A cruise ship bound for Alaska.
The elimination challenge: Create a surf-and-turf dish worthy of Celebrity Cruises' wacky "inventive" presentations that appear choreographed by The Container Store.
The guest stars: Curtis Stone of Top Chef Masters hitches a ride to Juneau.
The drama: While every contestant wants to win, Tom Colicchio maintains the second most-important feat is earning a spot in the top four. Tonight, five contestants are vying to stay in the race.
The triumphs: Despite Stefan ribbing Sheldon for missing the joke behind the iceberg lettuce Quickfire, Sheldon claims the first at-sea victory with his Vietnamese lettuce wraps stuffed with pork and shrimp. He celebrates by getting a manicure. "Hopefully I don't get judged on my masculinity," he says after explaining that chefs need to keep their nails neat.
Brooke wins the elimination challenge with her frog gamble: Although she's not certain the amphibian qualifies as turf, the judges are swayed by her legs-and-mussels entry, even though an accompanying papadum was painfully greasy.
The debacles: Sheldon's Quickfire win earns him the right of first protein pick in the elimination challenge, but he bungles his steak and lobster, coming up with a tempura that's repeatedly described as soggy. "I'm kind of sweating bullets," he admits before service.
And Josh is nearly done in by his scallops, which fail to set pasta-style for his carbonara riff. Although he grumbles that "making whimsical food is not something that I do," he wisely scrambles the shellfish and serves them with bacon, avoiding a bottom two finish.
The losers: Stone mounts a weak cultural defense for overcooked pork, but his fellow judges can't forgive Stefan's attempt at crisping. "I thought I was going to break a tooth," Colicchio says of the meat served alongside an eel-and-parsnip ravioli. Stone admits he shared his fears: "I could hear Tom chewing from the other side of the table," he tells Stefan.
Stefan's second Top Chef run is seemingly over, but he's defiant to the end. He bids viewers a "see you in fucking Last Chance Kitchen, motherfuckers," before he goes.
The future: A fishing expedition that makes Lizzie miss her recently-deceased father; bears and a salmon bake.