Top Chef: Crab Abu Ghraib

Posted on July 15, 2010

Last night's Top Chef director has a very sick sense of humor. The Quickfire Challenge was like the Saw movies, only with crabs. They were beaten, stabbed, dismembered, spiced and baked -- all while they were still alive and desperately trying to escape. It was ghastly television, we can tell you that. It also revealed that most of the chefs don't have a clue how to prepare crab.

After the crab torture porn, the chefs were sent to a certified "humane" farm. We were expecting some kind of Lamb or Chicken Abu Ghraib as a follow up, but it didn't happen. All the meat and vegetables were already on tables.

Timothy got sent home for his sad turnip and potato dish, when clearly either Overdressed Salad Stephen or "I Don't Know What Minestrone Is" Amanda should have gotten the axe. Or the mallet. Or the...well, you get the idea. And no, we're still not over the Quickfire. Or the fact that Angelo blurted out that he once had a bad case of crabs (thanks for the overshare).

Here is Chef Eric Ripert (the best part of Top Chef this season, by far) explaining his take on the episode, which he saw for the first time last night. He got a kick out of all the arguing, revealed the name of the only chef who knew how to handle a live crab, and then gave his thoughts about chefs who brag about their abilities.

Some chefs believe that crabs should be killed immediately with a knife, just before cooking. This keeps the crabs from suffering and keeps the meat from being ruined with lactic acid excreted by the dying, stressed crustacean. A recent study reported that crabs and lobsters do, in fact, feel pain, which supports this new approach to cooking crab.
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