Season 9 Episode 3 recap: Snakes on a plate!

Season 9 Episode 3 recap: Snakes on a plate!

Finally, Top Chef begins. For real.

After two weeks of seeing who makes up the 16 contestants on Top Chef: Chicago … I mean … Texas, it was great to get back to the format we’re all used to. Seriously, what’s with half the chefs being from Chicago? Not that I have a problem with that. Chicago has some great food. I just think it’s odd.

Well, after a ton of the self-love comments like “I was a James Beard nominee!” and “I’m Chicago’s best chef!”  it was time to get back to the format we’re all used to. Seriously, I don’t remember chefs from seasons past being so in love with themselves.

Have I mentioned Chicago yet?


The first quickfire of the season was a little bit of a rattlesnake. Literally. The chefs had to create a dish using rattlesnake. I was hoping they’d have to catch, skill and skin their own snakes (now that would be great TV), but it was already done for them.

And I have to point out that skinned snakes are even more gross than slithery live ones. I didn’t think that was possible but it was. Eeek.

The tree top dishes were Dakota, Beverly and Sarah. Dakota’s beer-battered tempura rattlesnake came out as the winner. She won $5,000 and immunity.

Chef’s landing on the bottom were Paul, Nyesha and Richie. And of course you and I have no idea who these people are yet. That’s part of the fun, though, right? Getting to know them? For sure.

On to the elimination challenge. The first main challenge had the chefs splitting into two teams (pink and green) and both preparing a feast for a girls’ Quinceañera (or 15th birthday bash). We first get the overly-dramatic and frantic shopping at Whole Foods. And we get to see random chefs buying ingredients sure to get them in trouble (like pre-cooked shrimp and tortillas!).

The party didn’t look as annoying and “Super Sweet 16″ as I expected. And most of the dishes the chefs created looked appetizing. Besides both teams’ cakes.

The green team came out on top despite the fact that their birthday cake was about to fall over. There wasn’t an individual winner this week, however. So that means the pink team is on the bottom. The chefs called to judges’ table were Ty-lor, Sarah, Lindsay and Keith.

Sarah and Keith bickered a bit and Keith kind of blamed everyone else for his mistakes. Apparently, even though he’s a James Beard award nominee, it was Sarah’s and Lindsay’s jobs to tell him that corn tortillas, not flour ones, are used to make enchilladas. See, I didn’t know that either. That’s why I love Top Chef. It makes me a much better terrible cook.

So since Keith used the wrong tortillas and was the one who bought the pre-cooked shrimp, he, needless to say, was the first to go home.

Still trying to learn who the chefs are? Me too. Find out more about them at