'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 5?
'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 5?
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Week four of Top Chef Duels was a tense one with two bona fide nemesis', Stefan and CJ, competing. Good-natured banter was replaced with a hostile back and forth that left a bad taste in my mouth. The two did make amends of sorts, each finally giving the other his due.

It was the first, and probably the only time, the cheftestants went foraging for twigs and berries to incorporate into their food, and the first clean sweep this season. I'm certain that myself and the fans were as surprised as Stefan who stated that God himself couldn't have cooked better than he did. CJ just really embraced the concept of the challenge more so than Stefan.

Stefan moved on to compete against Mike Isabella in The Knockout, and, despite his embarrassing performance against CJ, he remained fully confident that the ultimate prize was still firmly within his grasp. Given that Stefan owns four steakhouses, the meat-centric challenge was a gift to Stefan from the Top Chef gods. But, Mike sent Stefan packing and into an even earlier retirement than he had planned.

Week 5 has Top Chef Masters season five competitor David Burke going up against Takashi Yagihashi  the "Fan Favorite" from season four.

Takashi Yagihashi

This Chicago-based chefs accolades are numerous. His restaurant, Takashi, received a rating of 29 in the Zagat guide, the highest food rating in the city. In 2010, the eatery also earned a star rating from the Michelin Guide in Chicago. He opened his Michelin Bib Gourmand Award-winning restaurant, Slurping Turtle in 2011.

Why He'll Win: He's graced the cover of "Food and Wine," appeared on Iron Chef and The Martha Stewart show. Takashi won three Quickfires and one Elimination challenge during his season of Top Chef Masters.

Why He'll Lose: He's been very successful with Japanese cuisine, but he could get thrown if he's forced to stray too far from his comfort zone.

David Burke

His notable achievements are exhaustive: inducted into the Who's Who of Food &
Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation, nominated to "Best Chefs America," (an honor bestowed by one's peers) and recognized by Restaurant Hospitality magazine as having one of the "Coolest Multiconcept Companies in the Land." In addition to being a chef and entrepreneur, Burke is an inventor; he received a United State Patent for his process of using pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks.

Why He'll Win: He is a widely-recognized and highly-respected pioneer in the food world. Burke is an innovator, so it should be hard to present him with a challenge that he won't respond to in a creative way.

Why He'll Lose: There is an old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none." When it comes to Top Chef Duels, it's all about staying focused and excelling at the task at hand. Burke is very cerebral when it comes to food, and he may have trouble getting back to the basics.

My Prediction

Master chefs are tough. They tend to spend more time being the face of their brand and leave the actual cooking to their sous chefs and other kitchen staff. I'm going with Takashi since Burke fared poorly during season 5 of Top Chef Masters. This culinary great only prevailed in one Elimination challenge.

Top Chef Duels airs Wednesdays at 10pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)