Top Chef Tuesdays: S08 E12

Join me on my blog for Top Chef Tuesdays, as I recap the highlights? 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.


Richard is bummed with Dale going home since he wanted to go to the end with him. I'm still not impressed with sending Dale home last week. Seems like if you cook mediocre food, you can make it nearly to the end since you are out of danger from the bottom but you will never be on top.

Padma's ears must have been ringing, since she appeared right when Antonia asked "is Padma coming?" causing the chef's to go in a tizzy because she "freaked their freak". Maybe Antonia does have a 6th sense, as the others put it.

They are given their quickfire challenge of creating a dish using only what they find on the ferry's snack bar and in the time it takes to get to Ellis Island.

Richard's dish was hot dog/beef jerky sandwich and he used an MRE packet? He carries around an MRE packet? He's ready for war I guess :) The judges thought it was tasty and creative.

The judges felt that Tiffany's dish was a throw away, since she made nacho's with cheese (that was something already available on the ferry!) and popcorn with candied mangos and pineapple. That's definitely below mediocrity, if you ask me.

The judges thought Antonia's technique for grilling on the hot dog grill was creative but grilled cheese with apples and raisin bread isn't enough to win the challenge. I gagged when I saw Mike's "peasant" bread soup. I thought his comment that he wouldn't even serve it to his cat was spot on.

Carla took the prize with her orange and papaya salad with carrot/rosemary juice. I was wondering where she got the rosemary but found she had rosemary chips she soaked to infuse her juice. Clever and the judges thought it was innovative and refreshing. Richard thought otherwise and was bitter over the win.

Elimination: Create a dish based on your ancestry. The chefs have had their lineage researched by a genealogist and were presented with stories of families that came before them. They are also surprised with having their own families come for a visit.

Richard has Irish/English background. Apparently, he had a relative that was a chemist! and another that owned a meat market. Runs in the family, huh? Tiffany and Carla both have southern roots. Carla finding out that she had a great-great grandfather that was in the civil war and was a printer who owned his own business really touched her heart. Mike and Antonia are Italians (Antonia is also 1/4 Jewish). Not only that, they discover that they are related to one another. They started calling each other cousins. That was just too funny.

Mike presented gnocci with pork ragu. Antonia had veal with fava bean risotto and rapini. The judges were impressed since both gnocci and risotto have been foods that sent past chefs home this season.

Tiffany's short ribs with stewed okra and mustard greens converted Tom into a Okra lover. Richard also presented short ribs but with bone marrow and potatoes and Carla had pork should with fried grits and cheddar biscuits.

Antonia won the challenge and then the judges did something that surprised everyone. They could not pick out any weak dishes and they eliminated no one. That meant that instead of 3 finalists going to the Bahamas, it was all 5 of them competing in the final challenge.

I wasn't cool with that. I still think they should have sent people home. I know, I know, they were all good but this is a competition, people! I think they just wanted to add extra shows to this season. Guess they got me hooked in for a bit longer.