This is the episode I’ve been afraid to watch. I was one of the Top Chef super fans invited to this amazing experience, and I missed the invite email while at the beach! What a loser I am! Still, I’m happy enough to watch & enjoy this show and get a retweet from Padma!
There was a lot of fun things about this episode, though! So let’s recap! Jasper White joined Padma Lakshmi to announce the Sudden Death Quickfire– with a twist! This was a particularly fun one for me as a New England girl because it was all about clam chowder! I mocked the idea of Adam’s play on Manhattan clam chowder… because ew. New England or bust. Here’s what the cheftestants cooked up:
- Mei: Clam & Lobster Chowder with yuzu ailoi, celery & fennel
- Katsuji: Oyster Chowder with poblano, jalapeño & toasted garlic
- Gregory: Razor Clam & Sweet Potato Chowder with bacon, dashi & coconut milk broth
- Adam: Red Wine Poached Littleneck Clams, boiled potatoes, carrots, celery & tomato water
- Melissa: Cioppino Chowder with clams, shrimp, white wine, onions, leeks & garlic
- Doug: Grilled Oyster Chowder with steam clam broth & fresh jalapeño
- Katie: Clams in Lobster Stock with black tea & sourdough
Jasper announces his favorites– Adam, Gregory, and Melissa. The ultimate winner is Gregory, who earns immunity for the elimination challenge! Jasper’s least favorites were Doug, Katsuji, Mei, and Katie. Katie loses and is up for elimination.
Remember that twist I was talking about? Tom walks in holding a silver dome. Behind him are all the eliminated cheftestants. The eliminated chefs are to elect the one amongst them to go up against Katie and win their spot back in the competition. They chose George, who was abruptly eliminated in the first Sudden Death Quickfire and never got to show his skills. I’m so happy to see him get this opportunity to redeem himself! Knowing he works with Mike Isabella is enough of an endorsement for me!
Tom pulls the cover off the dome to reveal rabbit. Katie makes braised rabbit leg with Moroccan tomato sauce, while George makes roasted rabbit loin, barley risotto, glazed carrots & mustard rabbit jus. The first to two votes wins, and stays in the competition. Jasper and Tom both vote for George, and just like that, he’s achieved redemption! Katie packs her knives, joining the eliminated chefs for Last Chance Kitchen.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs are cooking for fans (minus Nicole because she was at the beach). The fun part is that Tom, Gail, Padma, and Richard are going to do the shopping for them! They draw knives to see which judge’s pantry they’ll be working in.
- Tom shops for Mei
- Padma shops for Gregory and George
- Gail shops for Katsuji and Melissa
- Richard shops for Adam and Dougie
When the judges arrive at Whole Foods, Richard makes a mad dash to proteins while Tom, Padma, and Gail leisurely shop through produce. Tom takes, like, everything, casually dumping the entire stock of eggplant into his cart. When Padma is looking for fennel, Tom’s already taken all of that too. He’s also able to hypnotize Richard into giving him the lamb. Gail admits she’s really just shopping for herself. Padma admits that she can barely park at Whole Foods within the half hour shopping time limit, then decides to mess with Richard’s unattended cart knocking all the fish over. Good times are had by all.
Without any preparation or knowledge of the ingredients, the cheftestants really have to think on their toes! Here’s what they make:
The top dishes of the night are Greg, Doug, and George. Dougie takes home the win, though!
The bottom dishes of the night are Mei, Adam, and Melissa. After all the complaining Adam did throughout this episode, I wasn’t so surprised to see him pack his knives and go!
What did you guys think of this crazy quickfire?! Did you love it as much as I did?