At the very beginning of this week’s episode, the cheftestants seem to notice a clear divide between men and women. The men keep getting voted off while the women can just sit back and relax.
Ed seems to want to invoke some kind of bro code, but before that happens we get the quickfire challenge.
Legendary French chef Escoffier had five basic sauces: tomate, bechamel, hollandaise, espagnole and voloute. So the cheftestants are assigned one of the sauces and have to cook a dish with a new sauce that stems from their mother sauce. Or as Padma puts it: “Ready for the mother of all quickfires?”
Yes they are! Chris concocts a butter poached halibut with voloute, Ed makes a cauliflower bechamel, but it is Grayson who wins the challenge (and immunity!) with her hollandaise sauce and ravioli with scallops.
For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants have to act as one team and create a four-course menu for two hundred guests. Two of the courses have to feature steak. They have 30 minutes to plan the menu, three hours to prep and three hours to cook.
The highlights? Ty-Lor cuts himself and has to get four stitches (apparently it is a requirement for every Top Chef season that one chef has to injure himself), Beverly employs a strategy that is wholly rejected by Heather, and Whitney makes the decision to not cook the potatoes for her gratin before the following day. And her dish turns out to be a disaster.
A Good Note?
As the judges state when they get Sarah, Dakota and Beverly’s gaspacho entree, they hit a good note. Which cannot be said about most of the other dishes. Chris J, Paul and Ed deliver a yummy-looking grilled New York steak caepaccio with raw tomatoes and asparagus that doesn’t find many positive echoes from the judges. The steaks for the main course are either incosistant, cold, overcooked or just pain amateurish, depending on who you ask. The dessert is acceptable, but according to Tom, “Overall I expected more”. Well said, sir!
Victory and Defeat
The winners of the challenge were Nayesha, Heather (inexplicably) and Chris. Chris’s steak was cooked perfectly, Heather’s not so sweet dessert was good and very moist, and Nayesha’s compound butter was everything the judges hoped for during this challenge.
In the end, it’s Heather who (also inexplicably) wins the challenge. Ty-Lor, Whitney and Ed are at the bottom. And because of her undercooked gratin she is sent home. Top Chef is not a “chick party” anymore, but everyone has to step up their game for next week.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)