I’m going to be honest about this: I didn’t take notes while watching Wednesday night’s Top Chef. So I don’t have all the details that Loren generally relays. But I can tell you one very important development in the show. If you don’t want to see a spoiler, stop reading now. If you do want the spoilers (which, it’s been two days since the show aired so I’m sure everyone knows what happens), jump.
Our last hometowner, Tiffany, packed her knives and left Wednesday night. Watching the episode, I think we all knew she was the one going. Let’s start at the beginning.
For the quickfire challenge, the chefs divided into teams and had to create 100 identical plates. This was to prove that their food was not only good, but also consistent. The boys (Richard and Mike) made pasta in an hour and used it in a pork bolognese. I can barely properly cook store-bought pasta in an hour, so I was pretty impressed. The gals (Antonia and Tiffany) created a beef tenderloin salad with cilantro, mint basil, and chimichurri sauce. The girls thought the boys’ dish was too easy to plate with it all being in one bowl. The boys thought the girls’ dish was too easy just being steak and salad. Alas, the girls won. And Mike remarked that in the hour it took to make the dish, he could have sent Richard to the store to buy beer to celebrate the win of the dish, which he could’ve made alone. He’s just mad that he got beat by a girl.
Then the crew was told about their elimination challenge. They were to create a lunch using conch. The theme for their lunch was desert island. So, of course, they were dropped off on their own mini-desert island and told to cook. All the supplies they needed were on the beach (minus things such as a can opener or a good flame for their fire). They had fresh produce and beautiful fish, but no conch. That’s when they realized they had to go gather the conch themselves. Cut to a shot of Mike taking off his shirt (which, compared to Padma’s greeting on the boat in her heels and bikini was quite the contrast). The group only had three and a half hours to finish their dishes.
Richard went “traditional” with his sweet potato linguine with conch and spiny lobster (as Antonia said, “Yeah, because potato pasta is so traditional). Good ole Tom Colicchio didn’t even realize he was eating sweet potato made to look like pasta until the other judges told him.
Antonio made a seared red snapper with conch tartare and lobster nage. The judges told her that her dish seemed rather conventional. But she said that that’s the way she cooks. That’s her food. No argument there.
Our girl Tiffany made a conch and coconut chowder with sweet potatoes and conch ceviche. She finished plating a good two minutes before her time was up, and there was a storm brewing overhead. So by the time the judges got her soup, it was rather cool. Instead of having a warm soup with the ceviche as a cool finish, they had a cool soup with cold ceviche. While the temperature of the soup was an issue with all, Colicchio couldn’t get off the idea that the soup was just too sweet.
Mike made a banana-leaf wrapped grouper with pineapple and conch vinaigrette. The judges loved his dish. And he won.
That’s when Tiffany was sent home. Next week, there will be more cooking, probably more of Padma in a bikini, and a much better (and funnier) recap from Loren.