Top Chef Tuesdays: S08 E03

Join me on my blog for Top Chef Tuesdays, as I recap each episode. I'm aware that Top Chef All Stars has already been airing in the US and we Canadians are a couple (*ahem - maybe more than a couple) episodes behind. So please, all you folks who are ahead of the watching, please, no spoilers. I'm recaping in my own personal opinion and it is all in good fun. Please join me in the comments.


The room goes silent and the chef's eyes get large, star struck, by the appearance of Chef David Chang. Apparently, he's the bomb!, the hot diggity dang of the culinary world. My mind drifts back to my childhood, when I first laid my eyes on the actor River Phoenix, and bingo, I squee along with the all stars. I get it, I really, really get it.

No time is wasted and we are into the Quickfire Challenge. The chefs are put into 4 teams of 4 and will competing, relay style. Faced with racks of lamb, garlic and artichokes, the chefs are to "Mis-en-place" or prep the 3 ingredients to Chef Chang's standards and then create a dish.

This is where I watch awe, wondering if the food network hit fast forward. In my mind, O Fortuna is playing to the chaotic, yet beautiful symphony of slicing, chopping, mincing, cooking and plating without a cut finger to be seen. The chefs are like the roadrunner on speed. meep, meep!

This is where the tale of the tortoise and the hare comes in. Just because you are the first team to get all your prep done does not mean you will ultimately win. Oh no. The Blue (Stephen, Tre, Spike and Richard) team takes with crispy lamp chop and artichoke done 3 ways leaving the hare (Green team) in the dust.

Elimination challenge offers the chefs a moment of rest and eating instead of cooking. Each team will dine at some of New York's finest restaurants and then create a dish that would be worthy to be on the restaurant's menu.

We see chefs sniffing, gawking, critiquing and finally eating all the heavenly looking dishes. Stephen is confident that he will be able to pull off a dish since he frequently eats at the coastal italian Marea Restaurant. Fabi'oh' is worried about having to cook french and vietnamese food which is everything opposite of his style for Ma Peche restaurant. Marcel seems like a shoo-in for wd-50's avant garde and modern take on classic foods where Carla is afraid she won't pull it off. And the team of Jamie, Dale, Casey and Antonia feel that david burke townhouse's modern american food will be tough but doable.

It is pretty funny to see the judges getting in and out of taxi's to go the 4 different restaurants and eat a total of 16 dishes. They must all have notebooks they scribble in when the camera isn't on them, to keep track of everything.

At judges table, Dale T, Angelo, Antonia and Tre are called in to find out they are the Top 4. Antonia did a "good rift on peas and carrots" with the scallop, Angelo's dish was exciting and the white chocolate used on the marinated fish was "genius". Tre's swordfish "steak" was "the star" but Dale T's take on eggs won everyone over.

I don't know what it says about myself, but I get much more enjoyment trying to anticipate who will go home versus who will win. The bottom four consisted of Stephen, Tiffani, Fabi'oh' and Dale L. This time, not one, but two competitors will go home. Da da daaaaa!

The judges felt that Tiffani's melon with ham and cheese dish was watery and mushy and "a parody not homage" to wd-50's restaurant. Fabi'oh's roasted lamb was heavy handed and lacked confidence. But those two were safe. Stephen's overly perfumed salmon dish and Dale L's sickeningly sweet "circus" french toast sent them both home.

I was surprised that both left humbly and quietly, unlike Jen's dramatic swearing stomp last episode.