Monk: In a bit of a change of pace, I’m going to try my hand at TV recapping for the second season of BBQ Brawl, which airs for *checks notes* 10 episodes *gulp* on Monday nights at 9pm ET on Food Network. 10 episodes? Well let’s see how this goes…
Note: I’ve corrected the episode numbers on this and all other recaps after getting tripped up whether the super-sized premiere was considered one or two episodes. Nonetheless, we should be good to go now.
After a bit of trash talk between the team captains, we are reminded that Team Eddie is down to one contestant and now gets to steal a competitor from either Team Bobby or Team Michael to join Christopher. Eddie chooses Brittani from Team Michael, who he says “has been on fire” the past few weeks. Michael bemoans losing such a strong competitor.
Eddie then chooses the next Advantage Challenge: grilled oysters. He is a Houston resident and thus is feeling confident going in for this captains challenge, but Bobby also feels comfortable with grilled oysters. Michael perhaps less so.
Eddie’s New Orleans-style chargrilled oysters with lump crab meat beats out Michael’s Asian-influenced oysters with Cleveland caviar (pickled mustard seeds) and Bobby’s grilled oyster with smoked shrimp and compound butter. So his confidence going in works out for him, and he gets his team an advantage in the seafood challenge of having the ability to steal mystery ingredients from other teams Dirty Santa-style. He takes the king crab legs from Team Michael, leaving them with the octopus. Team Bobby gets to keep their salmon.
Each team has to use their ingredient in each of their dishes in the “Seafood Showdown,” which is an abbreviated 90 minutes long. Turns out the octopus doesn’t bother Michael or this team at all and each of the contestants seem to have a background with it. The other teams look comfortable with their ingredient, so this week it will all come down to execution.
In order of judging:
Team Eddie goes with a crab theme for their platter. Eddie himself grills crab legs and tops with a gremolata. This was a big hit with the judges. Christopher’s plantain tostone with crab guisado (crab and tomato stew) is not as crab forward as judges would have hoped so looks like he won’t be in the running for top dish. Brittani’s grilled crab with sambal and spicy corn is good once the judges are able to combine all ingredients onto a forkful but her beer battered crab nuggets get dinged for not being grilled or smoked. Kind of important when it comes to a barbecue show, notes Rodney Scott.
Team Michael deals with the octopus in a Texas-meets-Mediterranean themed meal. Michael’s burnt flour and squid ink pasta with octopus sauce gets praise from judges for his technique in getting smoke into pasta. Ara’s braised octopus with lardons is on the chewy side, and David’s Spanish octopus stew gets dinged for using some of the same octopus from Ara which results in two different octopus textures in the dish.
Team Bobby’s “salmon three ways on the grill” starts with Bobby’s charred green curry salmon with crispy cowboy rice gets rave reviews from the judges. Bobby clearly was at ease cooking salmon in this challenge. Taylor’s salmon pinwheel with gochujang sauce and stuffed shishito is “very rich” which is “overwhelming” to Brook; never a good thing. Erica’s seafood gumbo lacks flavor and salt even after she got some tips from Bobby mid-cook but Erica hopes that the crispy salmon chicharrons will help save her.
After all meals are judged, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite since each team had issues in execution. Team Michael apparently gets graded on a curve for the difficulty of cooking the octopus and is the first safe team. Team Eddie is also safe, and Eddie avoids going back down to one contestant yet again.
That means Team Bobby will lose a teammate, and Taylor makes it two weeks in a row that a contestant goes home for a cream cheese dish (after Lu last week). Erica gets emotional in losing her best friend in the competition but will also have a new teammate soon enough. We’ll find out who Bobby steals next week for an international barbecue challenge.
Bells for Taylor, the Georgian pastry chef.
Christopher Prieto Watch
Not Christopher’s best showing this week, especially on a dish that is so near and dear to his heart. I believe this is the second time he has done plantain tostones, and I don’t think either has gone particularly well. Nevertheless, he moves on to the next week. Christopher and Brittani seemingly get along well enough this week and should continue to be a strong team in the competition.
What was your favorite part of episode 7 of BBQ Brawl season 2? Leave your response in the comments and be sure to check back next week for a recap of episode 8.