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Recap: 'Top Chef: Seattle,' Episode 6

Recap: 'Top Chef: Seattle,' Episode 6


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Twelve chefs were left as episode six began, and I feel like we’re really starting to get a feel for these chefs and what makes them tick.

Marilyn Hagerty, who rose to national prominence thanks to an earnest Olive Garden review that went viral last summer, showed up as guest judge. For the Quickfire challenge, she tasked the chefs with making a sweet and savory dish based on their family’s heritage.

Brooke’s apple crostada with Cheddar won the challenge, winning her immunity, over Josh’s Johnnycake with bacon-Cheddar compound butter, which Hagerty also liked.

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt showed up for the main challenge, and Faris informed the chefs that they needed to make one dish to satisfy their food cravings. Meat and potatoes, crabs, big game, and other "adventurous" foods were all on the table. "Pack as many calories in as you can," said Pratt, who’s a hunter. The only restriction was no hummus, basically. Ostensibly the challenge was to cook food a pregnant woman (like Faris) would crave, but it was one of the few main challenges I’ve seen this early in the season where the chefs were essentially given free rein to cook whatever they wanted.

Rick Moonen showed up to judge, and John freaked out a bit because he used to work for him.

Here were the dishes:

Bart: Elk loin with cherry beer sauce and mushroom couscous
Brooke: Lamb-stuffed squid on black rice with coconut milk
Sheldon: Braised Okinawan pork belly with seared scallop and rice congee
Stefan: German gulasch with marjoram bread dumplings and sour cream
Kristen: Délice de Bourgogne Tortelloni with dried apricot sauce
Micah: Braised pork ribs with celery root purée, grilled apples, and celery leaf salad
Lizzie: Crusted king salmon with radish and beet salad
Eliza: Elk rib-eye with elk sausage polenta, spiced carrots, and huckleberry port sauce
Danyele: Pan-roasted wild boar, hoppin’ John, and tomato-bacon marmalade
Josh: Roasted pork shoulder and grilled corn purée with succotash and fennel apple salad
Josie: Malbec-braised short ribs, pork belly, polenta with cippolini onions and figs
John: Seafood chowder with cockles, Manila clams, crab, mussels, and sockeye salmon

Now, onto the results. This week, the contestants on the top were:

John: "The integrity of every ingredient shone," said Rick, who called his chowder "celebratory soul food."
Kristen: The cheese and dried fruit "make perfect sense when you hear it," according to Tom.
Sheldon: "Every part of your soul was in there," according to Padma. Rick called it "a melting pot of ingredients."
Brooke: "If you keep cooking this way, I guarantee nobody is going to yell at you," Tom says to calm her fears about screwing up (the reason she’s been "holding back" thus far).

Rick announced the winner, Brooke, who showed "creativity and a real balance of flavors." She walked off with a Toyota Prius.

And on the other end of the spectrum, the contestants who landed on the bottom were:

Eliza: The elk was unevenly cooked, and the carrots were dried out. Padma wondered if she even tasted it.
Danyele: The boar was also unevenly cooked, and the judges agreed that she shouldn’t have left it on the bone. She admitted that she was really stressed out and didn't think she’s doing so well. Tom gave her some advice: "Cook your food. Do your own thing."
Josh: "The ratio of pork to everything else on your dish was totally out of whack," said Padma. It also was under-seasoned.
Micah: His celery root was grainy, and the whole dish was off-balance.

While the quality of the food served was a major step up from last week, as Tom acknowledged, Eliza ended up going home. Honestly, as soon as I saw her cutting that meat into those awkward slices, I had a feeling that it was her time to go.


‘Top Chef’ Portland: A dramatic, roller-coaster week for one local chef (Episode 6 recap)

The remaining chefs on "Top Chef" Portland traveled to Cascade Locks for episode 6. From left, Gabe Erales, Dawn Burrell, Sara Hauman, Shota Nakajima, Avishar Barua, Chris Viaud, Gabriel Pascuzzi, Nelson German, Byron Gomez and Maria Mazon. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

This week’s “Top Chef” Portland episode brought the remaining 10 chefs back from the temporary drive-in to again focus on foods and culture native to the Northwest. The title of Season 18′s Episode 6, “Stumptown U.S.A.,” refers to a nickname for Portland. And the elimination challenge was both inspiring and illuminating, as the chefs traveled to a beautiful location in Cascade Locks to learn about foods sacred to members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

By the end of the episode, head judge Tom Colicchio said, “This is the best food we’ve had all season.” But it’s a double elimination, so two contestants were in for some sobering news. Even more frustrating, host and judge Padma Lakshmi said, “Whoever goes home tonight will be going home having made a good dish.”

(Miss the episode? Catch up with “Top Chef” on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial or Sling TV)

As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, our two local chefs, Sara Hauman and Gabriel Pascuzzi, both received a lot of screen time, as well as attention from the judges. But not everything was equally positive for them. Here’s what happened, and obviously, spoilers are coming up. If you haven’t yet watched the “Top Chef” episode, and want to be surprised, you know what to do.

Quickfire Challenge: After a few comments from the chefs sounding disappointed that Jamie Tran went home last time, after losing the Elimination challenge at the drive-in (and, sigh, one quick shot of the “Keep Portland Weird!” sign) it was back to the “Top Chef” kitchen at the Portland Expo Center.

Padma is joined by Tom, making an unusual appearance as a judge at a Quickfire challenge, because this time the chefs were tasked with using one of Tom’s favorite ingredients -- mushrooms.

“It’s the ultimate ingredient because mushrooms are the closest you can get to eating the earth,” Tom says. Um, that’s good, I guess? Tom tells the chefs that the scrumptious-looking mushrooms on display represent seven different regions of Oregon.

As the camera drools over white chanterelles, lobster mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, cauliflower mushrooms, King Bolete, yellow chanterelles, and more, Gabriel raises his arms joyously in his interview segment.

“Finally!” Gabriel says. “Mushrooms! That’s what I’ve been waiting for. I know it’s the season. Give me my weapons.”

In a silly twist, Padma tells the chefs that, in honor of Portland being nicknamed “Stumptown,” the contestants have to use one of the tree stumps arrayed around the kitchen as their prep station. This isn’t so bad for short-statured chefs, but it’s uncomfortable for taller competitors.

This week in product placement, chefs are also informed they can choose from “a variety of products from Better Than Bouillon” to use in their mushroom-forward dishes. The Quickfire winner won’t get elimination immunity, but, thanks to BTB, they’ll win a cool $10,000.

While using their 30 minutes of cooking time, Gabriel mentions to Chris Viaud that he’s making a dish of foie gras with golden chanterelles. “Golden chanterelles are my dad’s favorite, so this is kind of for him,” Gabriel says.

In his interview, Gabriel recalls, “My family loves mushrooms, so as soon as I could walk in the woods, we were out there foraging mushrooms. I didn’t even like mushrooms when I was a kid, but I loved foraging for them.” (Note to would-be mushroom hunters: You better go with an expert, or know what you’re doing, because some mushrooms are poisonous.)

Portland-area chef Sara Hauman in the "Stumptown U.S.A." episode of "Top Chef" Portland. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

Dawn Burrell is frustrated by having to wait in line to place food in the wood-fired oven, and then in the fryer. When Gabriel asks fellow Portland-based chef Sara Hauman if he can share a bit of the fryer space with her, Sara agrees. Then in her interview, she smiles, and says she hopes Gabriel’s mushrooms “taste like oil.”

When it’s time to present their dishes, Gabriel serves seared foie gras with fried chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, oven-roasted figs, and herbs. Gabriel tells Tom and Padma he chose white chanterelles because they’re his dad’s favorite. Didn’t he say earlier that golden chanterelles were his dad’s favorite? In any case, Gabriel’s dad definitely seems to like chanterelles.

Sara serves a chicken of the woods schnitzel, which Padma approvingly declares, “Nice and crispy.”

When it’s time to name the winner, Tom delivers the good news to Gabriel (who, back in New York City some years ago, used to work for Tom). “The mushrooms were nicely cooked,” Tom says of Gabriel’s dish. “Really well-seasoned, and then that little pickled shallot just gave it a little pop of acid, so that was really nice.”

Even nicer, Gabriel wins the $10,000 prize money. “I think my dad would’ve been pretty disappointed if I didn’t win this one,” he says in his interview.

The "Top Chef" Portland contestants in the "Top Chef" kitchen on Episode 6. From left, Gabe Erales, Nelson German, Maria Mazon, Avishar Barua, Dawn Burrell, Gabriel Pascuzzi, Shota Nakajima, Byron Gomez, Chris Viaud and Sara Hauman. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

Elimination Challenge: Padma tells the chefs that Oregon was once home to over 60 different tribes of Indigenous peoples. For the next challenge, the contestants are to honor the Indigenous peoples of the area “by creating dishes featuring some of the first foods.”

The chefs draw knives to find out whether they’re using a protein or a fish, and they’re told to team up in pairs to prepare their take on a surf and turf using game protein and fish. The teaming-up process is awkward, and feels a little like kids being picked for elementary school sports teams. Gabriel, who will be cooking antelope, suggests working with Shota Nakajima, the Seattle-based chef who’s done well so far this season (we’ll charitably overlook that scary corndog he made for the drive-in challenge last week). But Shota, who is cooking smelt, wants to team with Sara, who’s cooking rabbit.

“All of a sudden, everybody’s paired up,” Gabriel says in his interview. He ends up working with Nelson German, who is still feeling pain from having injured his knee during the Fruit Loop challenge a few weeks back. Nelson’s fish is steelhead trout.

“Some people think Gabriel’s cocky,” Nelson says in his interview. “But I don’t think so. He’s one of the strongest chefs here right now.”

The other teams are Maria Mazon and Byron Gomez, who will cook elk and salmon Avishar Barua and Chris (deer and sturgeon) and Gabe Erales and Dawn (catfish and bison).

The chefs first go to Cascade Locks, in the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge, to meet with experts and learn about sacred foods, and then they’ll have three hours the following day to prep and cook food for the judges, along with tribal members and leaders of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, also back at Cascade Locks. That’s a lot of driving back and forth from Portland to the gorge, but, hey, it’s a nice drive.

Harshing the scenic mellow, Padma then informs the chefs that this will be a double elimination, so one team of two will be packing their knives and going. “Wish I had that immunity,” Gabriel says.

The chefs drive out to Cascade Locks. “Having this opportunity is a huge honor,” Gabriel says. “Even though I was born and raised here, I’ve never gotten to see Oregon like this before.”

Wenix Red Elk, public outreach and education specialist with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and Linda Sampson, first foods educator, also with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, explain the importance of first foods in tribal culture on on the "Top Chef" Portland "Stumptown U.S.A." episode. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

Walking through misty, damp weather, the chefs approach a table that’s been covered. Standing at the table are Wenix Red Elk, public outreach and education specialist with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and Linda Sampson, first foods educator, also with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

The two explain the importance these foods have to their tribe and to the culture. “Our foods hear us,” Sampson says. “They see us.”

Avishar asks about whether proteins and fish should be separate, or if it’s proper to mix them. “You’re in a chef competition,” Red Elk says. “You show us what you’ve got.”

The chefs then meet with Kim Brigham-Campbell and Terrie Brigham, owners of Brigham Fish Market, who show them their family’s traditional fishing site, on the Columbia River.

Driving back to Portland, Sara and Shota discuss what they’re going to make. In her interview, Sara says how much she wanted to use smelt, the fish that Shota is cooking with. “I’m a fish lady,” Sara says. “I especially love small fish. Dream of a lifetime, I would want to have a boutique cannery. It’s really weird,” she says, then laughs.

In the car, Shota muses about the challenge faced by Gabriel and Nelson. “Antelope and steelhead, that’s gonna be kind of a unique one,” he says. “Who do you think’s taking the lead?”

Back at the downtown Portland hotel, Nelson is still hurting from tweaking his knee running around the orchard during the Fruit Loop challenge. “I’m just going to park him in front of a station tomorrow,” Gabriel says. “And I’m going to run around for him.”

The following day, the chefs again drive out to Cascade Locks. There’s a big, beautiful rainbow in the sky, which Shota tells Sara is “a good sign.” These two have chemistry to burn. In his interview, Shota says, the rabbit, which Sara is cooking, is the main element, and the smelt is there to support it from all directions. “Kind of how I cook with Sara,” he says.

The teams all seem to be working well together, and Shota can’t stop talking smelt, which he’ll be using in five different ways in the dish from “Team Tiny.” Smelt glaze, smelt crunchies, apple salad with smelt pickles, smelt inside the sesame dressing, and smoked smelt.

“I love smelt,” Shota says, and now I’m thinking of Bubba in “Forrest Gump,” discussing shrimp.

“I think our dish is kind of weird, but super cool,” Sara says in her interview, and then she giggles again.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation were among the guests for a dinner featuring foods sacred to the tribes in "Top Chef" Portland's Episode 6. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

The judges and members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation arrive. Armand Minthorn, spiritual leader and member of the board of trustees for the confederated tribes, says a prayer to begin, before everyone sits down to eat.

With time running out, some ominous foreshadowing comes as Nelson says the pain is starting to come back in his knee, and he’s working more slowly than normal, even as Gabriel is saying they need to hurry. As they investigate the steelhead, it turns out some of it is overcooked. Gabriel suggests cooking more, to try and get it done properly. But the two run out of time, and as Gabriel says in his interview, “Do I give them soggy skin and perfectly cooked fish, or do I give them crispy skin and maybe slightly over(cooked) fish? I think most people would choose crispy skin.”

As they sample dishes from the chef teams, Tom says, “This is the best food we’ve had all season.”

Guest judge Dale Talde, left, joined judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons in Cascade Locks, for "Top Chef" Portland Episode 6. (Photo: David Moir/Bravo) David Moir/Bravo

Judges’ Table: When it’s time to name a winner, Sara and Shota’s creation -- smoked smelt-crusted rabbit loin, smoked smelt and kabocha squash puree and pickled smelt -- jumps to the top. As one of the tribal members says, it’s typical to bread and fry smelt (that’s how my family used to eat it, when I was a kid, and my dad would bring home a mess of smelt).

“No chef has ever said, let’s do a dish with rabbit and smelt,” Tom says. “Being able to execute that was just amazing to watch.”

Unfortunately, that steelhead spells trouble for Gabriel and Nelson. The fish “was cooked too hard,” Tom says, with so much emphasis on getting the skin crispy, that the fish suffered as a result.

Dale Talde, one of the guest diners and judges, points out that Gabriel’s antelope “might have been the best piece of cooked meat,” but that it might be negated by “poorly cooked steelhead.”

“There was just no real point of view on that plate,” says judge Gail Simmons. “It was as if they were being really polite to each other.”

Padma tells Gabriel and Nelson to pack their knives and go. Gabriel tells the other chefs, “You no longer have a tour guide.” Maria compliments Nelson as “a true gentleman,” and says, “Gabriel, you’re a perfect, lovely (expletive) that I love. It’s an honor, and I really do love you.”

But before anybody can get too emotional, Tom appears, and announces that whoever wins in Last Chance Kitchen will earn their way back onto the show.

Last Chance Kitchen: Here’s where even more twists turn up. Nelson decides his knee injury means he has to leave the show. Gabriel then goes to Last Chance Kitchen to cook against Jamie Tran. Asked to create dishes inspired by early cooking memories, he comes up with a take on steak and eggs, and she prepares a crispy fried rice. Melissa King joins Tom in the kitchen, and though she and Tom praise both dishes, Jamie gets the win, which means she gets to rejoin the show.

Last Chance Kitchen, Part 2: Another twist! Tom announces that all five of the eliminated chefs can compete, and whoever wins this Part 2 of Last Chance Kitchen will also get another chance to rejoin the show, since Nelson’s departure opened up a spot. Leaping into action are Gabriel, Roscoe Hall, Sasha Grumman, Brittanny Anderson and Kiki Louya.

With 30 minutes to cook, Gabriel says he’s been preparing protein, and that’s not how he likes to cook. So he’s going to make a salad. This is one of those traditional “Top Chef” bad ideas -- like making risotto, using a store-bought item instead of making your own, and attempting to whip up dessert. But Gabriel thinks his watermelon, plum, tomato, smoked feta and toasted spice salad will serve him well.

Except it doesn’t. Maybe Gabriel was just tired. By this point, it feels like he’s been cooking for days. Tom again has good things to say about each dish, but he declares Sasha the winner, after she managed to make a pasta dish in only 30 minutes.

To Gabriel and the rest, Tom says, “You went out on a really great note.”


Top Chef season finale recap: Showing Off

I love food and I love Top Chef, but Bravo, your sixth season of this show has felt interminably long. Doesn’t that Natalie Portman episode seem like it was from ages ago? Perhaps it was the few weeks off here and there or the fact that we all knew who the top four were within the first few episodes, but either way, all long things must come to an end.

That end was the battle of three very talented, very different chefs, all of whom are very different in concrete ways, so much so that I could do a word association game pretty easily: Kevin: simple (not a bad thing), Bryan: traditional, Michael: creative. (The pop culture character association game is much more fun: Kevin: Santa, Bryan: Lurch, Michael: a cross between Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel and Kenickie from Grease?)

The talent level of this season’s standouts was so much higher than in previous seasons that it reminded me of the Christian Siriano season ofProject Runway when you wondered why these apparent seasoned vets were even on a reality show. On this season of Top Chef, those who were in the top deserved to be there, so good on Bravo, for not sticking a Carla into the mix.

When we’re this close to picking a winner, it’s not about the gimmicks (i.e. drawing inspiration from theatrical medieval shows) it’s about the actual food, so it was only fitting that for their final elimination challenge, the final three had to prepare a three-course meal. The first would be a creation using identical, crazy-sounding ingredients like anise hyssop, the other would be a dish of their choice and the last would be a dessert. And by last, it wasn’t actually the last because of course a curveball was thrown and a fourth dish was added to the menu, much like Tim Gunn telling the Project Runway contestants to design a second look to go down the catwalk.

They had some help, though, from none other than the rest of the season’s cheftestants. Who could that be?! they wondered. Really? Have they not seen this show — or any reality show — ever? But what was shocking to me was how many of them I had forgotten, like Ron. It’s been so long since I’ve thought about him that for a second, I thought he was from a past season. How could I forget his chowder!

Not all of them got to help, though Kevin, Bryan and Michael each drew two knives, and one past cheftestant helped them that night prepping and the other was their sous chef the following day. Bryan and Michael lucked out the former with Jen and Ashley and the latter with Eli and Jesse. (By the way, since when is Jesse a ”work horse?”) Poor Kevin got stuck with Preeti and Ash. Wah wah. Could he get two less skilled chefs? Though it probably wasn’t a direct effect of having to work with these two, it didn’t help his stress level and for the first time, we saw a veritably unhappy Kev.

NEXT: A little Mommy love

Easing the stress level was a visit from their mommas! (I guess they saved money by flying out just two moms instead of three?) Either way, finally seeing Mrs. Gillespie was way more fun than seeing Mrs. Voltaggio, only because we now totally see where Kevin gets his jovial attitude. Much like Paula Deen, Mama G. is a traditional Southern woman who likes her chicken skin, and likes it crispy. I see why Kevin has a pig tattoo.

But it wasn’t like Bravo was doing them a solid by sending in some TLC from home. The moms had a job to do, two in fact they served as inspiration for the fourth dish, one that evoked a childhood memory and they also ate and critiqued that meal (just that one) at the table. Obviously they didn’t have anything negative to say, but it was cute to watch them beaming with pride.

Speaking of eating, let’s get to the actual food of the challenge. All in all, the judges’ opinions — including those of the restaurateurs who were the guest judges — were pretty much all over the place. Too bland for Tom was just fine by Toby too much bacon for Stephen Starr was no problem for Gail. It really was a mixed bag, one that had me scratching my head about who they𠆝 end up picking.

Of the dishes being served, not all were stellar, but the judges had one clear favorite from Michael and Kevin, and two from Bryan. (On Tom’s blog, he claims that Bryan’s dessert was the only clear winner, but watching the episode led me — and perhaps you? — to believe that they enjoyed the venison just as much as, if not more than, Michael’s third dish, the squab breast. But, as Tom admits on his blog, we can chalk that up to the wonders of editing.)

No big surprise that Kevin’s most praised dish was the childhood memory meal, which, in his case, was a southern fried chicken. The guy waxes so poetically about food that he might as well make a book out of it. His dish took the judges right to the deep South and with it, they ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the its rich, beautiful flavors. As for Kev’s mom, she did her motherly part by telling Padma how much it reminded her of home.

As for his other courses, the rockfish, which came from the mystery box, got a resounding ”good” from Tom, but the misused mushroom was a big no-no in Tom’s world. The pork belly was undercooked for some, and even worse, didn’t meet the judges’ high expectations. I do agree with Toby that if pig-loving Kevin is going to do a pork dish, it better be a knockout. He set himself up for that one. As for the dessert, it was really neither here nor there. Like I said, Starr didn’t care for the bacon (and doesn’t care for any bacon in any dessert for that matter), but Gail was fine with it, and no one else seemed moved one way or the other. I should’ve known that their not saying much about any of Kevin’s dishes didn’t bode well.

NEXT: Michael rocked the rockfish

Bryan had two shining stars: his venison saddle, in which Gail could find no flaw, and his beautifully finessed cheesecake, which was deemed worthy of a pastry chef’s work. That praise must’ve been a nice buffer for the fact that his tuna noodle casserole — his childhood memory dish — was balked at for being unseasoned (to which non-sardine-eating Mrs. Volt could only say how she liked how un-fishy it was).

Oh, and how greasy was this Sam Nazarian line about Bryan’s ”safe” rockfish: ”It’s like a blind date you just don’t want to go on.” Sounds like something someone who once appeared on The Hills would say.

Michael unsurprisingly won over the judges with his rockfish. Only someone who’s as much of a mad scientist in the kitchen as he is would know what to do with kabucha squash and masutake mushrooms. As for the mushrooms in his fennel-scented squab breast, Donatella Arpaia, owner of Eos among other restaurants, was not loving the gimmick behind his mushroom puree in a mushroom form. I agreed that at this point in the game, those tricks are useless. He also eked that creative bone into his cream of dehydrated broccoli, which received a mixed reaction.

And okay, I guess the judges really liked his chocolate caramel coulant. But it was dry, judges! It was dry! I feel like if it were someone else, they would’ve knocked him or her down for that factor alone. But because it’s Michael and he does such iiiinteresting things, they let it slide.

Do I sound bitter? Yeah probably, and that’s because when all was said and done, Michael was crowned winner. Things boiled down to Voltaggio versus Voltaggio. Boy, I totally didn’t see that one coming! I agree that all three deserved to be in the finale, but it should’ve been Michael versus Kevin. Bryan had presented so many safe dishes this season that he really didn’t reflect the combination of skill and innovation that Kevin does. Hello, carrot and beet salad! I know Kev didn’t have his most stellar showing last night (I suppose the judges had to be as nitpicky as they were, considering how stiff the competition was), but Kevin has had such a great track record. Let’s just call it another Richard Blais incident.

I guess if I had to pick between Michael and Bryan, I would’ve picked Michael, but that’s begrudgingly because I still wanted Kevin to win. He has what it takes to be a Top Chef: the skill, personality and connection to and love for food. Sure, Michael has tricks up his sleeve and has presented some pretty cool dishes over 13 challenges, but I think Kevin is the whole package. Either way, it’s not like Kevin is going home totally empty-handed. I’m fairly certain that Kevin, Jen, and Bryan will all go on to do some pretty amazing things. Field trip to Kevin’s restaurant, anyone?

Were you guys happy or disappointed with the judges’ choice? What did you think of the finale? Sound off!


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Last week may have been the wedding, but this trip to San Diego is no honeymoon for a few of the chefs.

The city known for zoos, sunshine, and board shorts as acceptable clothing is also Chad White's home turf. The remaining chefs head to a harbor where they are greeted by Padma Lakshmi and guest judge and renowned Baja chef, Javier Plascencia. Padma explains that for this Quickfire Challenge, the contestants will be making the quintessential San Diego food: fish tacos. After making the most creative and decadent versions of the beachside snack they can imagine, one chef will win immunity from elimination.

Before they start cooking, Padma also informs them this is a sudden death quickfire. This is the second one of the season, though no one has gone home yet since in the first one Angelina Bastidas beat Giselle Wellman in the desert.

The clock starts and everyone is racing around looking for the most decadent fish taco filling on the dock. I could watch Isaac Toups cook all day. He's fun, positive, and has a million things to say about every single event that happens to him. The soft-shell crab he's using was already cleaned? "Someone loves me!" It's like he's permanently doing a segment on a late night show.

Wesley True is doing a decadent lobster and foie gras taco, but halfway through prep can't find his lobster. He does the natural thing and claims that someone stole it. He sees one on Marjorie Meek-Bradley's station and accuses her of taking his lobster. She tells him that she got back to her station and just found it sitting there, and maybe he had just put it on the wrong station because she wasn't using it. Whoops. Just a standard misplaced crustacean. I totally get that inclination to blame someone else though. When I visit my parents, my mom and I suggest to my dad that maybe a stranger is coming into the house and leaving the little Hershey Kiss paper flags on our kitchen floor. There's no way it could be from us carelessly eating them at night after we're a bottle of Malbec and three old episodes of Homeland deep. It's just got to be someone else.

The chefs only had 20 minutes to make their tacos, so the final seconds are harried for everyone. Worst off, though, is Angelina, who in the scramble to plate her tacos accidentally prepared them on the cutting board on her station and not on the plates provided. Apparently, Top Chef rules state that dishes must be plated on the plates for judging, so Angelina has nothing to show for the Quickfire. Seems kind of unfair. If I can eat a taco off the floor (just once, okay, I was drunk), then I think Padma and Javier can handle a cutting board.

There were some tacos that did make it on the plates that the judges love. They're super into Kwame Onwuachi's wahoo taco with truffle cream and chipotle salsa and Karen Akunowicz's oyster taco with kimchi sesame salsa and pickled red cabbage. The winner, however, is Chad's thresher shark taco with oyster and sea urchin salsa. This is a great win for Chad. Not only is it his first check in the "W" column on the show, but he gets immunity, honors his hometown, and makes up for that Mexican food fiasco from earlier in the season.

Angelina is automatically in the bottom and forced into the sudden death head-to-head challenge because she didn't get her tacos on the plate. It's annoying we never got to even hear what they were, but I guess Padma feels the same way. Angelina chooses to compete against Wesley, which is probably the same choice I would have made. He's been on the top, but he seem easily stressed and frazzled, so maybe he'd blow it.

For this face-off, the chefs must each make a dish using only the ingredients that Javier uses in his trademark caesar salad at his restaurant. We learn, via aggressive trash talk throughout the challenge, that this is apparently the oldest competitor against the youngest competitor. We also learn that Angelina is good at slinging insults while she's cooking, which makes me like her infinitely more.

When time's up, Wesley's fried egg with anchovy remoulade and grilled romaine beats Angelina's crostini with garlic, dijon vinaigrette and anchovy. This means Angelina must immediately pack her knives and go. It's a bummer because the women are dropping like flies, but it feels fair. In her last two chances she didn't plate any food, and then made glorified toast.

Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, and Richard Blais join Padma on the dock and have a few six packs of beer in tow. According to the judges, San Diego is one of the leading destinations for craft beer. The chefs got one of four different brews, each one concocted by one of the judges and Ballast Point and Stone Brewing Co.

Padma's golden ale has jalapeño, ginger, and tamarind flavors. Richard's is a stout with Ras el Hanout, beets, and chocolate. Emeril's beer honors his hometown of New Orleans with coffee, cayenne, and tangerine. And Tom created a wheat beer with lemon, coriander, and banana.

For the elimination challenge, the chefs must make a dish that pairs well with the craft beer they chose. I'll tell you what pairs well with beer — more beer. I would also accept as answers: pizza, chicken fingers, or a family-sized bag of Baked Lays that I somehow paid for at a bodega with a handful of change and loose gum from the bottom of my purse.

Wesley is frustrated because he drew Richard's beer, and he has recently become the executive chef at Richard's old restaurant, and he didn't make a great impression on him during the first challenge he judged. On top of all of that, the chefs are cooking at Richard's San Diego restaurant, Juniper & Ivy. If this were a rom-com, Wesley and Richard would eventually get together, probably in the rain at the top of the Empire State building or something. But this is Top Chef, so it's just stressful instead.

The chefs are settling into their ultra luxe suite for the night when there's a knock at the door. It's Emeril! And he brought wine. He brought so much wine that he stuck a bottle in the back pocket of his pants. I've truly never seen a reason to wear anything but leggings, but now I totally get regular pants. So practical! He's there to check in and give the chefs a little pep talk. He's like the great coach/mentor/dad you always wanted, but he also gets you buzzed. Talk about motivating.

Isaac is pretty befuddled by the presence of banana in Tom's craft beer. He decides to make a mayonnaise-like spread with it and calls it banannaise. He asks, "Am I high, or is this good?" Feels like the answer could be both.

Marjorie has never used a pressure cooker before, and decides no time like the present to give it a whirl. She apparently gets it going and then realizes that the top wasn't secured properly. She adds some more water and fixes it, but the damage could already be done. I hope it's not. I really want to see her make it to the end for some reason. Maybe because she crushes it with the desserts, maybe because I like seeing women succeed on this show, maybe just because she seems super chill. Whatever it is, get it Marjorie.

The judges sit down with guys from Ballast Point and Stone Brewing Co. to taste the dishes. I'm happy to see Ballast Point on the show, I'm a big fan. I love the Sculpin IPA and ordered it on a date not long ago. The guy I was with tasted it and then ordered the same thing. I scored major points and then we got into a heated discussion about how Boy Meets Girl's "Waiting for a Star to Fall" is one of the greatest songs of all time. Anyway, thanks Ballast Point, you made me look super cool.

First up are the dishes paired with Padma's golden ale. Chad and his immunity serve a carrot herb roasted opah with ginger hominy, jalapeno puree, and tamarind glazed carrots. The judges enjoy it, but he's also not going anywhere. They really love Amar Santana's sous vide chicken breast, crispy chicken thigh, and jalapeno popper with tamarind ginger chutney. Why are we not seeing more sophisticated jalapeno poppers on menus? We need that.

The next group cooked to complement Richard's beer. The dishes were all similar, though had huge disparities in quality. Judges love Karen's roasted duck breast with cocoa nib beet puree and Ras el Hanout roasted carrots. They enjoy — to a lesser extent — Jeremy Ford's duck with chocolate and sea salt granola and habanero Ras el Hanout pickled beets. It's good but could use a few things. They have serious issues with Wesley's lamb with roasted beet puree and Ras el Hanout carrots. The meat is overcooked, the puree is one-dimensional, and the plating was Jackson Pollock-esque, and not in a good, intentional-seeming way.

Next up is the group cooking for Emeril's New Orleans-inspired beer. Richard and the other judges all love the taste of Marjorie's roasted potato gnocchi with chicken ragout and roasted mushrooms, but the bold tastes of the beer don't really come through. It's good, but not right. Phillip Frankland Lee's roasted duck breast with rutabaga puree and tangerine juice is technically good, just as he intended. Carl Dooley's grilled short rib with ancho chile salsa is good, but the notes of the dish pair almost too closely to the beer and you lose the flavor for both.

Last up are the dishes for Tom's wheat beer. Isaac's corn and crab veloute with crispy potato, king crab salad and sriracha banannaise attempted too much. He needed to choose the soup or the salad, but both together is a bit of a mess. Kwame wows the judges once again with his chicken mojo with banana sofrito puree, garlic puree, and charred green onion. Finally, the judges all struggle with Jason Stratton's archaic pork and squid meatball with grilled tentacles and carrot wheat beer sauce and salsa povera. It's odd in conception, as well as texture and presentation.

At Judges' Table, Padma announces the top three of the evening are Amar, Karen, and Kwame. They all cooked excellent dishes that were not only complex and interesting, but paired well with the beer they had. Karen wins the challenged for her refined puree. I'm happy she won. She seems to really know what she's doing despite having a few rough challenges, mostly with groups. She also seems cool and normal and not the kind of person who speaks exclusively in reality tv sound bytes and talks about "throwing people under the bus" all the time, so she has that going for her, too.

The bottom three for the challenge are Jason, Isaac, and Wesley. They all seemed thrown by the challenge for whatever reason. For Isaac, that was reflected in the conception of the dish, for Wesley, that manifest itself in the actual cooking he did. And poor cooking will always get you sent home on Top Chef, so Wesley is sent to pack his knives and go.

We lost two chefs this episode, so this season is flying by. I'm interested to see how things are going on Last Chance Kitchen, but I want to leave it as a surprise. It's not that I love suspense, it's more that I hate internet videos that aren't otters floating on their backs.


"It's Hard to Know, but There Could Have Been a Lot of Conspiracy"

This week on Top Chef: The Cold War-themed elimination challenge is just one of many battles for the contestants. Kelly snatches the Quickfire victory, Kevin goes all out with duck testicles and a winning carpaccio, slimy scallops mean packed bags for Tamesha, and as part of this week's twist, the contestants judge each other "solely on the food." As part of our ongoing weekly recaps on Eat Like a Man, Top Chef judge Eric Ripert offers us his wisdom on emu eggs, sabotage, and Tamesha's elimination.

ESQUIRE: Tell us a bit about the Quickfire round and how Kelly won.

ERIC RIPERT: For the Quickfire round they had some weird ingredients, like emu eggs, llama, rattlesnake, crocodile, duck testicles, frog legs, ostrich. And most of them had no idea what to do with it. The twist, where in the middle of their preparation Padma asks them to basically give what they have in their hands to the person on their left, was challenging. So when Kelly ended up with the emu eggs, which are very big and green and strange, I think she was very clever. They had a very short amount of time to create something, and she decided to basically make a great omelet with goat cheese, almonds, and a fennel salad and vinaigrette.

ESQ: Is it hard to make a great omelet?

ER: An omelet is very difficult to make perfect. And she made it very well, and it shows technique, and it shows the fact that she has good taste. So she won because of that.

ESQ: Do you think Kevin won the main challenge solely based on his food?

ER: He did a tuna and veal cut very thin, almost like a carpaccio, with Mediterranean condiments, so he won. The trick was that they had two teams: They worked on two teams, Team A and Team B, and they could judge the other team. So, they could sit down with the other judges. For instance, Padma and Tom and Gail had some of the contestants judging the food of the other contestants, and deciding who would be winning and who would be in the bottom.

ESQ: Sounds like a perfect opportunity for conspiracy.

ER: It's hard to know, but there could have been a lot of conspiracy to get rid of the favorites, which are Kenny and Angelo. So when they were interviewing the contestants, some of them were saying, "No, I'm going to judge solely on the quality of the food." Some of them were wondering if there would be a conspiracy because it would make life simpler for the contestants, and what we saw was that Kenny didn't perform well. He was in the bottom. And Angelo was not on the top either. And then Tamesha got eliminated.

ESQ: Where did Tamesha go wrong?

ER: She did a scallop dish with pickled rhubarb. It looked like she didn't cook the scallops properly and they had a weird consistency, almost slimy. And it looks like the seasoning was not there, and the acidity level of the rhubarb was way too much for the scallops. Everybody seemed to agree that it was a bad dish.

ESQ: Do you think there was any major sabotage going on?

ER: The only thing that was a bit strange was that at one point, Tamesha, during the preparation, showed Angelo what she was doing, and he was telling her that it was good. It could have been a conspiracy I have no idea. But in the previous episode we saw them getting closer, so you would have believed that he would have been sincere. She was very sad to lose.


The Top Chef Recap: Some Overcooked Steaks

Good God, are there still eight episodes to go?

It's beginning to look like few of the &mdash what, 480? &mdash cooks left have much talent for anything beyond making grilled-cheese sandwiches. Yet at the end of every episode, the judges solemnly boot someone off &mdash then say they'll have a chance to come back! What is going on here?

I, having had a wonderful four-course dinner at home &mdash fortified with a gin-and-tonic and glasses of Chilean Carmenere, Sonoma Valley pinot noir, and Napa Cabernet &mdash sat down to watch episode six of Top Chef, praying that someone &mdash anyone &mdash would be truly banished from the show. The challenge: to cook for 200 people at something called (yeehaw!) the Cattle Baron's Ball, attended by rich Dallasites in cowboy hats at a banquet room that might as well be a 4-H Club food hall. It's 104 degrees outside.

The 16 contestants come up with a four-course meal that includes a watermelon-and-tomato gazpacho, a seared beef carpaccio with tomato salad, vinaigrette, and "mushroom bacon," a steak that guest chef Dean Fearing insists must be medium-rare (even though Dallasites prefer their steaks cooked to shoe-leather well-done), and a dessert that apparently had been made on a previous show.

Heather is as bossy as usual, dissing all her colleagues. I suspect if she's ever eliminated, cheers will go up among the contestants. Chris, from Chicago, is now sporting a Samurai hair bun, and something tells me that, despite his not showing any particular talent so far, the judges have already made up their minds that he will be the ultimate winner.

Overall, the meal teeters towards disaster &mdash a so-so appetizer, overcooked steaks, a gratin of raw potatoes. Much is made among the contestants of the fact that cooking for 200 people is, like, really, really tough. Maybe they should spend six months with the banquet cooks at a Hyatt or Sheraton hotel and learn how to make food for a crowd.

This episode was the dullest thus far, and the frustrated judges all sound like they're dying to go home. Padma has lost many traces of her earlier bubbly spirit, and Tom Colicchio has become choleric, at least to me. Hugh Acheson is trying hard to say something, anything, that sounds vaguely authoritative.

So, in the end, Whitney, she of the undercooked potato gratin, was sent home with her knives, but in the trailer for the upcoming episodes, there she is, back again in the kitchen, competing against the other losers of previous episodes. Will it never end?


Recap: Top Chef Season 11 – Episode 17 – Season Finale

The Top Chef finale starts out like all Top Chef finales do—with Padma frolicking in ocean, wearing the itsy bitsiest of string bikinis. She barely even bothered to dry herself off to inroduce the challenge, which is to cook a four course meal.

Nicholas and Nina get to choose losing chefs to work as their sous chefs. Nicholas gets to choose first because he won the last challenge, and he picks Jason, Louis, and Brian. Nina chooses Shirley, Stephanie, and Travis.

Nicholas is cooking a meal that showcases classic and contemporary French technique, whereas Nina goes Italian with local ingredients. Nina throws in two extra courses, just because that’s how winners get it done.

Padma’s neck is being attacked by a bright red legwarmer.

With one hour left, Nina’s goat is “chewy as f***,” so the only thing she can do is braise the f*** out of it.

Nina starts off her service with a surprise course of breadfruit with whipped foie gras butter that delights the judges. The first course is tuna and escolar tartar and the diners can “taste the island.”

Over in Nicholas’s kitchen, service is a problem which means he feels the need to treat the waitstaff like crap. His hamachi and tuna with green apple falls a little flat. His second course is a sweet shrimp bisque with scallop noodles. The judges are confused about his use of scallops, so it’s not looking good for Nicholas.

Nina’s next dish is roasted goat ragu with orecchiette pasta, and Tom says “the goat is perfectly cooked, I would come back for this dish.” I think he likes it, a lot. Nina’s third dish is swordfish with squash puree. It seems passable, but the diners are not impressed.

Back in the kitchen, Nicholas’s duck is a little tough but he has to serve it anyhow because there is no do-over in Top Chef. He serves the kombu-cured duck with squash, and it is received well by most of the judges. His last course is caramelized white chocolate panna cotta, and it’s not jiggling enough for Padma (that’s something she probably doesn’t hear a lot).

Nina again surprises her diners with a bonus round intermezzo of compressed dragon fruit with papaya infused simple syrup. Her dessert course is a chocolate zeppole with macadamia nut and toasted coconut glaze. It’s not enough for the judges, but only because it was so tasty that they want more.

The only thing worth mentioning about Nicholas’s second service (the judges visited both restaurants in two separate groups) is that there was a loud crash and Nicholas stopped in the middle of cooking to yell “Goddammit! Seriously?” and abuse the counter with a dishtowel, to the horror of the entire dining room. Now that is the Nicholas we have come to know.

It’s pretty clear that Nina is the winner, but let’s go through the formality of Judge’s Table in case Padma shows up in the string bikini heard ’round the world. Sadly, Padma is fully clothed. Tom loved Nicholas’s scallop noodle dish, but Padma rolled her eyes because she couldn’t even taste any scallop. His panna cotta was underset. Then, the judges start in on Nina and suggest that they shouldn’t even judge her extra courses. There was really nothing bad to say about her cooking, except maybe the swordfish and the fact that her dessert was more of a little bite than a full dessert.

For some reason, the judges take a long time deliberating. Why are they pretending that they liked Nicholas’s jiggle-free panna cotta? Oh ha, the judges are now going to factor in Nicholas’s crappy treatment of his waitstaff. Ugh, it’s 1:00 a.m. and they’re still sitting at that stupid table, talking about food that has been fully digested.

Nineteen hours later, “Nick, you are Top Chef.” What? Are you kidding me with that crap, Padma? I mean, really. Really? The chef who specialized in temper tantrums all season gets rewarded for his bad behavior? Well, that’s disappointing. Ugh. Lame. Very lame.

So that wraps up another season of Top Chef. Let’s do this again, only with less Emeril, more Gail, and both more and less of Padma’s bikini.

Next week, Padma’s in a string bikini and that’s pretty much all you need to know.

Follow Top Chef season 11 on Twitter: @BravoTopChef / #TopChef


Recap: Top Chef Masters Season 5 Episode 6

Mindy Kaling presents the Quickfire Challenge, which is to interpret one of Mindy’s favorite romantic comedy and put it on a plate.

With thirty minutes, the scrambling and chopping and sweating begins. Sue made salty cayenne chips and pickles for Knocked Up. David made southern grits with fried duck for Sweet Home Alabama. Douglas made scrambled eggs and caviar for Midnight In Paris. Neal made Mediterranean sea bass for Vicky Christina Barcelona. Bryn made poached oysters with burrata and prosciutto for Mystic Pizza. Sang made apple pie compote with dates for When Harry Met Sally. Jennifer made insalata di frutti di mare for Roman Holiday. Sang and Jennifer had Mindy’s least favorite dishes, and Neal, Douglas, and Sue had her favorites. The winning dish is from Douglas.

David’s Sous Chef won the Sous Chef competition, so he has immunity in the next elimination challenge. Sue, Neil, and Jennifer’s Sous Chefs had the least favorite dishes, so they will not have their help during prep. Aaaaand in bounce Yo Gabba Gabba, or “a carrot and an oil can and a green thing.” The chefs have two hours to put their own spin on making healthy treats for kids that adults would also want to eat. It will be served to sixty guests who I suspect are small humans. The chefs must incorporate one of twelve kid-yucky ingredients in their dishes:

And, since Sue, Neal, and Jennifer’s Sous Chefs screwed up their challenge, they will also have to incorporate the dreaded brussels sprout in their dishes. Also, it’s a double elimination.

Jennifer made melon-yogurt parfait “sandwich” with pickled brussels sprouts and mint. The judges find it to be sour, which is not a flavor that kids tend to want to eat. Sang made teriyaki chicken meatballs with cauliflower foam. Neal prepared pasta with Brussels sprout and spinach Bolognese. The judges call it “genius” because it’s a sophisticated version of Chef Boyardee. Douglas made eggplant jelly with crispy rice. The judges can’t even imagine kids liking the slimy dish, which, yeah. Eew. David cooked up some avocado yogurt something-or-other that he’s calling ratatouille. The judges don’t like it, and the kids certainly don’t like it. Sue made mac and cheese with maple glazed brussels sprouts and bacon with cottage cheese. The judges call it an obvious choice and it’s kind of heavy. Bryan prepared ruby beet sorbet with toasted granola and a vanilla yogurt dome. The judges like the presentation, but the beets taste “like a face full of mud.”

The critics ask to see Neal, Sang, and Douglas. They had their favorite dishes. The critics felt that Douglas’s slimy eggplant jelly was a bold dish, and the kids that tasted it realized that they kind of liked eggplant. Sang was smart by making a meatball, which is something that kids like. But Neal managed to successfully hide brussels sprouts in his dish, and for that, he gets the win.

The critics’ least favorite dishes are from Bryan, Jennifer, and Sue. Two of the chefs will be going home. Jennifer’s decision to add pickled brussels sprouts was questionable. Sue’s dish brought out the brussels sprouts flavor in the scent of the dish which made them not want to eat it before they even tried the food. Bryan’s dish was confusing to the kids because it looked so beautiful but tasted so…dirty. Bryan is safe, and Sue and Jennifer are going home. Or are they? Curtis invites them to cook one more time on Battle of the Sous Chefs, and whichever one wins gets back on the Real Chefs show.

Follow Top Chef Masters season 5 on Twitter: @BravoTopChef / #TCMasters


Contents

17 chefs were selected to compete in Top Chef: Las Vegas. [6]

Name Hometown Current Residence Age
Eve Aronoff Ann Arbor, Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 40
Jennifer Carroll Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 33
Ron Duprat Mare Rouge, Haiti Naples, Florida 40
Ash Fulk Pleasant Hill, California New York, New York 29
Kevin Gillespie Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia 26
Mike Isabella Little Ferry, New Jersey Washington, D.C. 34
Eli Kirshtein Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia 25
Robin Leventhal Sun Valley, Idaho Seattle, Washington 43
Ashley Merriman Center Sandwich, New Hampshire Seattle, Washington 32
Preeti Mistry San Francisco, California San Francisco, California 33
Mattin Noblia Biarritz, France San Francisco, California 29
Jesse Sandlin Baltimore, Maryland Baltimore, Maryland 30
Hector Santiago San Juan, Puerto Rico Atlanta, Georgia 41
Bryan Voltaggio Frederick, Maryland Urbana, Maryland 33
Michael Voltaggio Frederick, Maryland Pasadena, California 30
Laurine Wickett Rochester, New York San Francisco, California 38
Jennifer "Jen" Zavala Cromwell, Connecticut Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 31

Jennifer Carroll and Mike Isabella returned to compete in Top Chef: All-Stars. [7] Bryan Voltaggio competed in the fifth season of Top Chef Masters. [8] Carroll, Isabella, and Kevin Gillespie later competed in Top Chef Duels. [9] Carroll returned again for Top Chef: Colorado, competing in the Last Chance Kitchen. [10] Carroll, Gillespie, and Bryan Voltaggio returned for Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. [11]

Episode # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15
Quickfire Challenge
Winner(s)
Robin
Jennifer 1
Michael Jennifer Kevin 2 Mike 1 Robin Kevin 4 Eli 1 Jennifer 1
Kevin 1
Laurine 1
Mike 1
Kevin 1 Eli 1 Jennifer 1 Michael 1 N/A
Contestant Elimination Challenge Results
1 Michael IN HIGH WIN HIGH HIGH HIGH LOW HIGH WIN HIGH WIN IN IN WINNER
2 Bryan IN WIN IN WIN WIN IN HIGH HIGH HIGH IN HIGH IN WIN RUNNER-UP
Kevin WIN IN HIGH IN 2 IN WIN HIGH WIN LOW WIN HIGH WIN IN RUNNER-UP
4 Jennifer HIGH IN IN HIGH IN HIGH WIN HIGH LOW LOW LOW IN OUT
5 Eli IN HIGH HIGH IN IN IN LOW IN HIGH HIGH LOW OUT
6 Robin IN IN IN IN LOW IN IN LOW HIGH LOW OUT
7 Mike HIGH IN LOW HIGH IN IN IN IN LOW OUT
8 Laurine IN IN LOW IN HIGH LOW HIGH LOW OUT
9 Ash IN IN IN LOW IN LOW LOW OUT
10 Ashley IN LOW IN LOW HIGH HIGH OUT
11 Ron HIGH IN IN IN LOW OUT
12 Mattin IN IN IN LOW OUT
13 Hector LOW HIGH IN OUT
14 Jesse LOW LOW IN OUT 3
15 Preeti IN LOW OUT
16 Eve LOW OUT
17 Jen OUT

^Note 1 : The chef(s) did not receive immunity for winning the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 2 : As a reward for winning the Quickfire Challenge, Kevin was allowed to sit out the Elimination Challenge.
^Note 3 : Jesse was eliminated by placing last in the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 4 : As a reward for winning the Quickfire Challenge, Kevin was given the choice to receive either immunity or $15,000 as his prize. Kevin opted for the money, forfeiting his immunity.

Quickfire Challenge (Round 1): The 17 chefs were divided into four teams to compete in a mise en place relay race in which each member performed one of four tasks: shuck 15 clams, peel 30 spot prawns, clean five lobsters, or butcher two chops from an entire prime rib. The chefs drew poker chips to determine their teams (black, blue, green, or red) whoever drew the single gold chip was exempt from participating in the Quickfire and received immunity in the Elimination Challenge. The first team to finish all four tasks won the challenge.

  • Red Team: Eve, Kevin, Michael, Preeti
  • Blue Team: Bryan, Jennifer, Jesse, Mattin
  • Green Team: Ash, Jen, Laurine, Ron
  • Black Team: Ashley, Eli, Hector, Mike
    • WINNING TEAM: Blue Team

    Quickfire Challenge (Round 2): Each member of the winning team was given 30 minutes to cook a dish using the ingredients they worked with during the mise en place. The chef with the winning dish received $15,000. The receiver of the gold chip from the previous round was also given the opportunity to trade in their immunity for a chance to compete.

    Elimination Challenge: The chefs, battling against the other contestants in their Quickfire teams, cooked a dish inspired by one of their personal vices. The receiver of the gold chip from the Quickfire was able to join the team of their choice. One member from each team was eligible for the win and another member was put up for elimination.

    • WINNER: Kevin ("Procrastination": Arctic Char with Turnip Salsa Verde)
    • ELIMINATED: Jen ("Hot Temper": Chile Relleno Stuffed with Seitan & Tomatillo Salsa)

    Quickfire Challenge: The chefs each rolled a pair of six-sided dice at a craps table in the Top Chef kitchen. They then had 30 minutes to create a dish with the number of ingredients they rolled on the dice (two through ten), not counting salt, pepper, and oil. The winner received immunity from elimination and $15,000.

    Elimination Challenge: In order to cater a bachelor/bachelorette party, the group split between males and females for a battle of the sexes. The men prepared dishes for the bride-to-be, while the women cooked for the prospective groom. At least two dishes had to be paired with each of the three cocktails the couple had chosen to serve their guests: Moscow Mule, tequila shots, or Golden Delicious (Goldschläger and sparkling apple cider). Each team was given $800 with 30 minutes to shop, two hours to prep, and one hour to set up their tables before poolside service the next day.

    • WINNER: Bryan (Tequila Shot: Sweet & Sour Macaroon Filled with Guacamole, Corn Nuts & Corn Purée)
    • ELIMINATED: Eve (Tequila Shot: Shrimp & Avocado Ceviche with Smokey Tomato Salsa & Popcorn)

    Quickfire Challenge: Each chef created an "out of this world" dish using an assortment of different potatoes. The winner received immunity from elimination.

    Elimination Challenge: With limited time and supplies, the chefs catered a meal for 300 airmen at Nellis Air Force Base. The contestants worked as one team, but they later decided to split up into smaller groups of two and make one dish each.

    • WINNER: Michael (Braised Pork Belly with Soy-Mustard Sauce & Peanuts)
    • ELIMINATED: Preeti (Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Peppers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Artichoke Hearts)

    Quickfire Challenge: As a tribute to the continuing popularity of French cuisine in the United States, each chef created a dish using escargot. The winner received immunity in the Elimination Challenge and a prize to be announced later, while the loser was sent home. After announcing the bottom three dishes, the chefs who cooked them were each given a second chance to save themselves, with 20 minutes to make an amuse-bouche.

    • WINNER: Kevin (Escargot Fricassee with Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts & Candied Bacon Jam)
    • ELIMINATED: Jesse ("ELT": Escargot, Mache & Fried Tomato Tuna Tartare with Sorrel, Gooseberries, Fried Quail Egg & Fried Bread)

    Elimination Challenge: Each chef drew a knife that showed either a traditional French sauce or a protein on it. The chefs then paired up each protein with its traditional sauce to create a six-course meal for a table of esteemed French chefs, including Hubert Keller, Jean Joho, Laurent Tourondel, and Joël Robuchon. The winner of the Quickfire was exempt from the challenge.

    • First Course: Frogs' Legs (Ron) and Sauce Meunière (Robin)
    • Second Course: Trout (Bryan) and Sauce Béarnaise (Mike)
    • Third Course: Lobster (Laurine) and Sauce Américaine (Eli)
    • Fourth Course: Young Chicken (Ashley) and Sauce Velouté (Mattin)
    • Fifth Course: Rabbit (Michael) and Sauce Chasseur (Jennifer)
    • Sixth Course: Chateaubriand (Hector) and Sauce au Poivre (Ash)
      • WINNER: Bryan (Warm Cured Trout with Deconstructed Béarnaise)
      • ELIMINATED: Hector (Chateaubriand, Sauce au Poivre with Confit de Pommes & Spinach)

      Quickfire Challenge: The chefs cooked dishes using a viewer-selected ingredient: cactus. The winning chef received $15,000, but no immunity.

      Elimination Challenge: The chefs prepared a high-end lunch dish on an outdoor ranch for two dozen cowboys, using fire pits and limited supplies.

      • WINNER: Bryan (Roasted Pork Loin, Corn Polenta, Dandelion Greens & Glazed Rutabaga)
      • ELIMINATED: Mattin (Ceviche Three Ways: Salmon with Apple, Spicy Tuna & Cod with Corn)

      Quickfire Challenge: The chefs had to create two contrasting dishes, inspired by "the angel and the devil on their shoulder." The winner received immunity in the Elimination Challenge.

      Elimination Challenge: The chefs were asked to deconstruct a classic recipe and re-imagine its components into their own signature dishes to be served at a meal for Penn & Teller.

      • WINNER: Kevin (Chicken Mole: Chicken Croquette, Mexican Coffee Fig Jam, Pumpkin Seed Romesco)
      • ELIMINATED: Ron (Seafood Paella: Lemon & Herb Oil, Chayote & Peas)

      Quickfire Challenge: The chefs used a slot machine to determine the themes (mood, taste/texture, and origin of cuisine) of their dish. The winner was given a choice between immunity or $15,000.

      Elimination Challenge: The chefs were teamed up via a blind knife draw and received market bags from various dinner guests, including Tyler Florence, Nancy Silverton, Govind Armstrong, Takashi Yagihashi, and Tom Douglas. Working in teams of the two, the contestants cooked and served a dinner for the guests at the Top Chef house. The winner received a $10,000 gift card from Macy's.

      • Armstrong: Ashley and Eli
      • Douglas: Jennifer and Kevin
      • Florence: Bryan and Laurine
      • Silverton: Ash and Michael
      • Yagihashi: Mike and Robin
        • WINNER: Jennifer (BBQ Kobe Beef with Cardamom, Tomato & Ginger Broth)
        • ELIMINATED: Ashley (Grilled Spot Prawns with Red Beet Crème Fraîche Sauce, Gnocchi & Kale)

        Quickfire Challenge: The chefs made dishes to pair with a designated type and brand of crunchy snack foods. From this point forward, the winners of the Quickfire no longer received immunity from elimination.

        Elimination Challenge: The chefs were required to create a dish using a designated cut of pork, which they had to pair with a self-chosen Pinot noir as part of Chef Charlie Palmer's annual Pigs & Pinot charity fundraiser. Cuts of pork were assigned by blind knife draw. The chef that drew the "wildcard" knife was allowed to select their cut. The winner received an invitation to participate in the 2010 Pigs & Pinot event.

        • WINNER: Kevin (Pork Leg Pâté 2006 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir)
        • ELIMINATED: Ash (Chilled Pork Tenderloin 2007 Sanford Pinot Noir)

        Quickfire Challenge: The chefs, in two teams of four, competed in a tag team cook-off, with Rick Moonen serving as a guest judge. First, the contestants drew knives. The two chefs who drew the knives designated "first choice" and "second choice" picked the teams. Next, the teams had to decide what order they would cook in. During their designated cooking time, the chefs were not allowed to communicate with each other in regards to the components of their dish. The teams had 40 minutes total (10 minutes individually) to alternate execution of the dish. The winning team was given a choice between splitting $10,000 between the group members or carrying it into the Elimination Challenge. In the latter case, if the same team won, each chef would receive $10,000 instead however, if the team lost, the prize money would be surrendered to the opposing team.

        • Red Team: Bryan, Eli, Michael, Robin
        • Blue Team: Jennifer, Kevin, Mike, Laurine
          • WINNER: Blue Team (Sablefish with Sautéed Mushrooms, Shiitake Broth & Radish Salad in Yuzu Vinaigrette)

          Elimination Challenge: Using the same teams as in the Quickfire, the chefs participated in "Restaurant Wars". Each team cooked and served in one of Moonen's kitchens and dining rooms at his restaurant, RM Seafood. The winning Quickfire team was given their choice of the kitchen the Blue Team chose the upstairs restaurant. The Blue Team also decided to gamble their prize money from the Quickfire Challenge.

          • R∃Volt: Michael, Bryan, Eli, Robin
            • 1st Course: Smoked Arctic Char with Beets, Horseradish Sour Cream & Potatoes (Bryan & Eli) Pressed Chicken with Calamari Noodles, Tomato Confit & Fennel Salad (Michael)
            • 2nd Course: Duo of Beef, Braised Short Ribs & Prime NY Strip (Bryan) Cod with Parsley Sauce, Billi-Bi Croquette & Zucchini Tenderloin (Michael)
            • 3rd Course: Ganache with Spearmint Ice Cream & Chocolate Tuiles (Bryan) Pear Pithivier with Vanilla Ice Cream & Elderflower Syrup (Robin)
            • 1st Course: Asparagus and Six-Minute Egg (Mike) Arctic Char Tartare (Mike)
            • 2nd Course: Trout with Brown Butter Emulsion, Hazelnuts & Braised Endive (Jennifer) Alaskan Halibut with Mussels, Clams & Saffron Aioli in Consommé (Jennifer)
            • 3rd Course: Lamb with Carrot Jam, Green Bean Salad & Morel Mushroom Sauce (Kevin & Laurine) Glazed Pork Belly, Pork Sausage, Cornmeal Mousseline & Red-Eye Gravy (Kevin)
              • WINNER: Michael
              • ELIMINATED: Laurine

              Quickfire Challenge: The chefs picked classic television series by blind knife draw and were told to make a TV dinner inspired by the series. The winning chef had their dish featured in the Top Chef line of frozen foods.

              Elimination Challenge: At Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak restaurant, the chefs each prepared a vegetarian dish for Natalie Portman and her friends.

              • WINNER: Kevin (Duo of Mushrooms, Smoked Kale, Candied Garlic & Turnip Purée)
              • ELIMINATED: Mike (Whole Roasted Leeks with Onion Jus, Baby Carrot Purée & Fingerling Potatoes)

              Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created "breakfast in bed" dishes for host Lakshmi and guest judge Nigella Lawson. The winning recipe was the only Quickfire dish from Season 6 to be put in the Top Chef Quickfire cookbook.

              Elimination Challenge: The chefs prepared small plates inspired by Vegas casinos for 175 guests at a reception held at the World Market Center. The winner received a bottle of Terlato Wine and a two-day, three-night trip to the Terlato Family Vineyards in Napa Valley.

              • WINNER: Michael (New York, New York: Boneless Chicken Wing Confit with Curry & Blue Cheese Disc)
              • ELIMINATED: Robin (Bellagio: Panna Cotta)

              Quickfire Challenge: The final five chefs participated in a version of the Bocuse d'Or cooking competition that was established by legendary French chef Paul Bocuse. The chefs had to create their own version of Gavin Kaysen's dish for the 2007 Bocuse d'Or: a ballotine of chicken, chicken liver, and crayfish. The winner received an extra thirty minutes of cooking time during the Elimination Challenge.

              Elimination Challenge: Each chef prepared a presentation platter for the Bocuse d'Or with one protein (Atlantic salmon or lamb) and two garnishes. The winner received $30,000 and the opportunity to compete to represent the United States in the 2011 Bocuse d'Or.

              • WINNER: Kevin (Poached Lamb Loin, Sherry-glazed Golden Beets & Asparagus in Sunchoke Cream)
              • ELIMINATED: Eli (Sausage-Wrapped Lamb Loin, Ras el Hanout & Carrot Puree, Tomato-Piquillo Marmalade)

              Quickfire Challenge: After the competition moved to Napa, California for the season finale, the four remaining chefs had to create a dish using grapes. The winner received a brand new third generation Toyota Prius.

              Elimination Challenge: The chefs created two dishes to serve to 150 guests at a "crush party" to celebrate the grape harvest. With the exception of salt and pepper, all the ingredients had to be local. In addition, one dish had to be vegetarian.

              • WINNER: Bryan (Goat Cheese Ravioli, Delicata Squash Purée & Bronze Fennel Fig-Glazed Short Ribs, Celeriac Purée, Wax Beans & Wild Arugula)
              • ELIMINATED: Jennifer (Chevre Mousse with Honey Mushrooms, Braised Radishes & Basil Braised Duck Legs, Confit of Duck Breast, Squash Purée & Foie Gras Vinaigrette)

              Elimination Challenge: The finalists were asked to create a four-course tasting menu, with each dish meeting certain requirements. The first course had to be inspired by a favorite dish from the chefs' childhoods. The second course required the contestants to use all the ingredients contained in a mystery box. The third course was the chef's choice, and the final course had to be a dessert. The finalists drew knives to determine which two previously eliminated contestants from the season would act as their sous chefs. Kevin drew Ash and Preeti Bryan drew Ashley and Jennifer and Michael drew Eli and Jesse.


              Top Chef S14:E6 A Southern Legend Recap

              Hi guys! I'm late! Let's watch some cheftestants prepare some amazing food on Top Chef, shall we? After you!

              John Tesar's xantham gum mac 'n' cheese (you guys. That sounds SO herkalicious) won the day, everyone's giving him props but I am just waiting until Katsuji takes all the credit.

              Well that didn't take long!

              Everyone is mourning the loss of Silvia Barban, she was kind of awesome. She had an unfortunate naming incident: you can't give American bbq attendees slimy anti-pasta and call it potato salad. You just cannot. They have to be able to mentally prepare.

              Oh. Oh well Jim is a newlywed and his wife is not only Chinese, but female. I was not expecting that. Why did I think Jim was gay? I can't think, but there it is: he is not. Although, rumour has it that heterosexual marriage doesn't preclude existing on the LBGTQ spectrum. Look how lovely!

              He creates food that nobody eats and that makes me sad. Only people who come to the Governor's mansion get to eat his food and it doesn't sound like many. Poor lonely Jim

              Sheldon's ready to DO THIS! Yay no crippling back pain, was it the wasabi bumps?

              Time for Quickfire! We've got the U.S. Surgeon General with them, who everything thought was a boat captain. I mean

              Dr. Vivek Murphy calls the chefs changemakers: ahhh we're doing a healthy eating challenge. Plus maybe working out at the same time. DON'T WE HAVE ENOUGH CHEFSWEAT IN THE FOOD, DR. MURPHY?? Don't we?? Shirley doesn't want to make healthy comfort food, damnit

              The chefs draw knives to see what dish they'll be making, it looks difficult, but not impossible. You can totally make lasagna, pizza and spaghetti and meatballs healthy! Oh. Padma adds vegetarian to their list of rules and everyone's hearts sinks. Not me, I'm a carnivore but I watched Blackfish last night and now I'm questioning eating ANY animals.

              John and Jamie are excited, Jamie's got a vegetarian kiddo so he already has some ideas. The physical exercise part is that they can only grab one ingredient at a time, so now Jim's excited: he's been training! What's a "treadmure" Jim?

              Sheldon has NOT been working out, he's been focused on eating. Katsuji is so out of shape that he's actually changing his recipe so that he doesn't have to grab as many ingredients. It's like you guys are doing a commercial for the U.S. Surgeon General!

              Emily is liking the extra time for planning in between dropping off ingredients. and then Sheldon goes down hard. And then pops up and plays hurt. Dang, Sheldon, you just got your back fixed!

              Jamie's working on his vegan Sloppy Joes which I am reserving judgement on while humming Lunch Lady Land from Adam Sandler.

              Jim's making chicken-fried eggplant, yum! I would eat those. He was a vegetarian back in university, "sticking it to the man" and I don't know exactly how those concepts work together. Was Big Beef on his back?

              It looks like Katsuji is making spaghetti and meatballs completely out of zucchini sure! I can see the noodles, kinda, but zucchini meatballs?

              Casey's struggling with the crust on her "chicken" pot pie, but there's no time!

              Katsuji's looked better before judging but I can't resist a captioned photo!

              John used curry powder in his burger, Padma asks if he was profiling, since she and Dr. Murphy are both Indian. Noooo

              Sylva's something or rather looks gross

              And now Casey's StruggleBus pot pie

              I'd eat Jamie's Sloppy Joes!

              But what in Sam Hill did Jim do smearing his stuff everywhere??

              Judging time! Least favourites were: Sylva's chicken and dumplings, Casey's pot pie and Katsuji's spaghetti and meatballs

              On top are: Brooke's lasagna, Jamie's sloppy joes and Emily's meatloaf. The winner of immunity is: Jamie! Yay!

              The main challenge will be based on the work of Edna Lewis. Jim knows all about this Southern cooking legend, but so.many of the other cheftestants do not. How do Jamie and Emily not know? They're in Charleston!

              Side note: it was lovely to see Emily in the top again in the quickfire, get that confidence up, lady and show us what you got!

              The two guest judges this week are people deeply touched by Edna Lewis, one is Alexander Smalls (Imma call him Biggie Smalls: you'll see why)

              who tells us that Edna Lewis was instrumental in the farm-to-table movement. I love Miss Lewis' smile doesn't she look like she has a secret? In a good way?

              The chefs will be presenting and cooking in the same kitchen Edna Lewis worked in thirty years ago, the guest judges sticking around to impart wisdom. Padma and Tom get very angry when the chefs aren't properly respectful to visiting dignitaries.

              I'm worried about how much we're learning about Jim this time, let this not be foreshadowing. I really like him, he has it in him to go to the end for sure, chicken innards and all.

              Toni and Biggie explain the essence of Edna's cooking style: the recipes are written seasonally and are like poetry. They're certainly beautiful. In season and local, which sounds like common sense, but it certainly wasn't the norm 40 years ago.

              Whole Food shopping time! Nothing to report but pretty, pretty expensive food.

              Oooh Shirley is making confit wings! She had me at confit! Sylva is making southern-fried snapper with a bunch of vegetables because Edna was a gardener.

              Jim is making the traditional southern dish consomme. Let that sink in for a moment.

              Amanda was looking for a protein that would accentuate her garnish, Katsuji takes a moment to deride her choice of "high class" words. It's not like she said "utilize", jerk.

              Emily is making crispy chicken livers in a cast iron skillet, woot! I must confess: I do not have a cast iron skillet. I have a massive Le Creuset Dutch oven, but no skillet. I'm thinking it might be my housewarming present to myself when I've relocated. I don't wanna move extra stuff!

              Katsuji is taking southern cuisine at it's most basic: watermelon and fried chicken. Will there be waffles too?? Sylva sideeyes he would never present that dish to a bunch of southern chefs.

              We get a little more of his background too, he won a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America, but his dad refused to let him take it. No son of his was going to be a Domestic. I get it, I do, but I'm glad Sylva found his own way, coming into his own in micromanaging other chefs on Top Chef.

              They arrive at the historical kitchen it's inside a gorgeous brick house. Katsuji thinks Jim is the Andy Warhol of Top Chef but the only similarity I can see is the hair colour. There's no staring or dishevelment, I don't get it. Jim's working on clarifying his stock and I canea even say how concerned I am about this consomme idea.

              The tasters will be eating outside right next to the alligator-infested waters, hi Gail Simmons! Padma looks about 12, what's with the off-the-shoulder and barrett look, lady? Is she going to a cotillion?

              Hey, BJ Dennis is here too! So is Nathalie Dupree, who explains about the venue. This was a thriving plantation and Edna loved it there in her gorgeous little cottage.

              Tasting time! Jim is up first, they love everything but his undercooked peas. Whew

              Katsuji and his fried chicken and watermelon get respect, Toni thinks he did a good job. It's elevated. FINE

              Brooke's warm salad fails to impress: if she's going to do dessert, DO dessert

              Emily's fried chicken livers were deep fried, NOT panfried, which Biggie Smalls calls her on immediately. She's in trouble, the deep fried chicken livers were under-seasoned as well.

              Shirley's got those confit wings, yo! And everybody loves them

              John is pan-frying his chicken, using a technique he learned in Edna's book. Great reviews he had me at boiled in butter

              Sylva's snapper channeled Edna, ANGELS brought his crispy fish. They said that!

              Sheldon's salted pork and cabbage doesn't get much feedback after he cries during presentation. It's his mama and grandmama's recipe!

              Casey and Amanda are complete opposites Amanda flying around the kitchen looking for ingredients while Casey works carefully through to finish.

              Hugh Acheson gives her a full read:

              Casey's dumplings her chicken SINGS!

              Jamie sous vide'd. Oh noooooo. This is what sent Wesley home last season! It doesn't matter anyway, because he left off one plate: Padma isn't eating today. He is sooooo lucky he has immunity, y'all.

              The judges kibitz over the entries Jim is looking good, you guys! Brooke, who is my front-runner, is in trouble. They hate Emily's and Amanda's and I hope they dislike those dishes enough to save Brooke's unfortunately sweet chicken.

              Judging time! The three on top are: Jim, Sylva and Sheldon. The winner is: Sylva. Yay crunchy fish. It's his favourite dish to cook, so good on him.

              After the Sausage Party Top three, the bottom are all ladies: Amanda, Brooke and Emily. Amanda stands behind her dish and has to listen to it being called boring a bunch of times. Emily is really surprised to be up there and cries. Brooke handles it better and I hope she's safe, you guys.

              Packing their knives are: Amanda, whew. I really like Amanda, but I think Brooke was in troubbbbleee.

              Emily needs to regroup, I wish her well for next week! Until then, TTM oot!


              Top Chef 2013 Season 10 Finale: Who Won Top Chef Seattle!

              Weeks of challenges, trips to Alaska and cooking on cruise ships has all boiled down to this tonight on the Top Chef 2013 Season 10 Finale, as either Kristen Kish and Brooke Williamson will put their talents to the test in hopes of winning $125,000 and the title of Top Chef Seattle winner. You can watch the Top Chef 2013 Season 10 Finale with us during our Live Recap tonight and see who won Top Chef Seattle with us!

              Winning that $125,000 would be a nice prize for these two ladies, so I am sure we will see an all-out battle in the all-woman finale. It will be a huge battle, as they will cook the five best dishes they have to offer in front of a live audience! That audience will not only include their friends and families, but it will also include the first nine winners of Top Chef! That is a lot of pressure for these women, but they will have the help of some of the cheftestants that were eliminated during this season.

              Things will get intense and heated during the finale, but it all comes down to the Top Chef judges to see who will be crowned the winner. Tonight’s judges will be Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson and Gail Simmons. The big dogs will be in attendance, so you won’t want to miss a thing. We’ll keep you up=to-date on everything that goes down on Top Chef 2013 Season 10 tonight!

              Things kick off and the chefs are working on their first dishes, of five, so we are getting right into it tonight! For their sous chefs, Brooke chose CJ, Stefan and Kuniko. Kristen chose Josh, Lizzie and Sheldon. The first chef to win three dishes will win Top Chef 2013 Season 10.

              Brooke is feeling overwhelmed with cooking in front of everyone. Kristen is worried about cooking for so many people, since she normally cooks for ten people. CJ is burning the pig’s ears for Brooke! The time runs out and the first dish is being served.

              For Kristen, Emeril said he loved the mousse and very simple and classic and enjoyed it. Tom said it was well-seasoned and balanced. Gail said it was perfect. For Brooke, Tom said it has great flavor. Emeril loved the dish. Padma loved the dish. Hugh said the salad dressing was awesome and she knows her dressings.

              The winner of Round 1 on Top Chef Seattle is Kristen, with the first three judges all voting Kristen and she wins right away.

              On to the second dish…this is a dish where both Brooke and Kristen have to cook scallops, which is always difficult for chefs to get done right. To waste some time, we take a look at Brooke’s journey on Top Chef Season 10 and then talk to her parents and husband…blah blah. Time runs out on the second dish and time for the cheftestants to serve to the Top Chef judges.

              For Brooke, Tom said he enjoyed the combination and works very nicely and scallop perfectly cooked. Hugh said the flavor is great and well-balanced. Emeril said the combination in this drives it home for him. For Kristen, Tom said the dish is exactly what he expects from her. Padma said she does these scallops really proud. Emeril said it was a great dish.

              The winner of Round 2 on Top Chef 2013 Season 10 is Brooke, who wins after a 3-2 vote from the judges. The ladies are tied 1-1 after two dishes on the Top Chef 2013 Finale.

              On to the third dish, which can be any dish to showcase their culinary talent. Brooke is making crispy chicken fingers and worried about the judges eating food with their fingers. Kristen has fire under her butt after Brooke won the second dish. Now a chance to look back at Kristen’s journey to the finale, which was a tough journey for her, and a little chat with her family. The time runs out on the third dish and time for service.

              For Brooke, Hugh said he was not expecting chicken wings, but she explained that she wanted to redeem herself. Emeril said it was delicious. Tom said he is not sure how it all goes together. For Kristen, Emeril said he loves all the earthy tones of the dish and it’s delicious. Tom wonders why she stewed the mushrooms. Padma wishes it was hot.

              The winner of Round 3 on Top Chef Season 10 Finale is Kristen, after another quick three votes from the judges. It is now a 2-1 lead for Kristen, so it is do or die for Brooke on this dish!

              On to the fourth dish and Brooke feels it will be a tough dish for Kristen to beat, which they both will be serving dishes of red snapper. As the finalists prepare their fourth dishes, it looks like we are going to take a look at what the previous nine winners of Top Chef have done since they were announced the winner. Do you care? Tonight we will have our second women winner, which is crazy!

              As much time as they are wasting on this, I don’t think Brooke can pull out a victory in the fourth dish. We are getting closer and closer to the end of the hour folks! Back to the cheftestants and they are finishing up their dishes as the time is coming to an end and time for service.

              For Brooke, Hugh said the snapper is perfectly cooked. Tim likes the combination and nicely put together dish. For Kristen, Tom said the snapper is beautifully cooked and a very nice dish. Gail said the texture is very nice, but the leeks were difficult to cut and eat. Hugh said it was a really good dish.

              The winner of Round 4 on Top Chef 2013 Season 10 Finale is…coming up after a commercial break, so we all know what that means right?

              Votes: Gail picks Kristen, Emeril picks Kristen and Tom picks Kristen, so Kristen Kish is the winner of Top Chef 2013 Season 10! From Last Chance Kitchen to the victory. Were you surprised.


              Watch the video: Top Chef: Seattle Season 10. Bravo (June 2022).


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