Top Chef Recap: Don't Call Out the Judge

Quickfire Challenge

This week the chefs start out by being sent to a high end meat purveyor in Chicago to break down some dry aged rib eye. My mouth was watering the whole time.

The chefs are given their outfits, tools and are told they have twenty minutes to break down their dry aged hunk of meat into seven beautiful steaks. Yum. After twenty minutes the chefs are told to pack up their meat and head on over to the kitchen.

In the kitchen we meet our guest judge Rick Tramonto, owner of Tru and Tramanto's Steak and Seafood. The chefs are told they have to cook the perfect steak to Chef Tramonto's specs in thirty minutes.

After the judge throughly inspects the steaks, he gives the win to Spike for his perfectly butchered steak. Will this hurt or help him in the end?

Elimination Challenge

After the Quickfire, the chefs are told they will take over Chef Tramonto's restaurant for the night to serve their hand picked menus made from ingredients found in the restaurant. Each chef will make an appetizer and an entree to serve at dinner. As the winner, Spike is able to pick his proteins for the challenge. Not a bad advantage. 

At the restaurant the next night, Spike chooses the tomahawk steaks he used for the Quickfire challenge, as well as frozen scallops for his appetizer. The rest of the chefs go through the remaining ingredients and quickly come up with their dishes.

After a little cooking, Chef Colicchio walks in asks each chef what they are making. Lisa tells the chef she is making some peanut butter mashed potatoes. You can see him cringe a little bit.

Chef Colicchio asks Spike if he was he happy with his choices and kind of tells him he was an idiot for choosing frozen scallops. Spike defends his choice and says if he can make this look good, he can make anything look good. Immediately after though, he talks about how he is now second guessing himself.

Right before the chefs are ready to start their dinner service, they are introduced to their guest judges - Harold, Ilan and Hung -- the past three winners! It's nice to see some familiar faces again. Will they  be easier on the cheftestants or extra critical?

At dinner service, the chefs go through their tasting with thoughtful commentary. The cheftestants make it through service relatively easily with Colichio at the helm. And just for the record Harold holds his utensils weird.

Judges' Table

Richard was told his appetizer was excellent, however his entree was undercooked. Stephanie was praised for her appetizer as well. Lisa's appetizer, on the other hand, was not well received due to her cold prawns. Her peanut butter mashed potatoes were actually well liked despite all logic.

Spike was called out for using the frozen scallops which was a dumb move. Instead of shutting his mouth, Spike decided for some reason it would be a good idea to shoot it right back to Chef Tramonto, saying the frozen scallops were in HIS walk in and he would expect the chef to let only the finest ingredients into his kitchen. That might have cost him severely.

After some major debate, It was decided that Stephanie's menu was good enough to give her the win and send her to the finale (with a copy of Chef Tramonto's new book and a plethora of G.E. appliances). Richard's appetizer and Antonia's entrees were also tasty enough to send them as well.

Ultimately Spike was sent home for using crappy frozen scallops. Let's just say I'm not too happy Lisa is going to Puerto Rico for the finale.

Until next time (in Puerto Rico!), Happy Eating!


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