Top Chef Episode Recap

I hope everyone has cooled off from last week. And if not, this week's episode might help.

Quickfire Challenge

This week's Quickfire put a huge smile on my face as soon as the chefs walked into the kitchen. They were greeted by this week's guest judge Koren Grieveson, owner of Chicago's Avec restaurant, and sixteen pitchers of delicious beer. The challenge for the chefs is to create a dish to pair with one of the sixteen beers. Mmmmmm. My mouth is watering already.

While tasting the dishes, Chef Koren seems to have a great poker face and doesn't say much.

Spike didn't win the chef over with his boring tapas and clams plate. Richard and Stephanie both did well by using ingredients in their dishes that were similar to what was in their chosen beer (duh). But the winner was Jen with her beignets. Clearly she channeled her emotions from losing Zoi last week and used them for good. Good for her.

Elimination Challenge

The chefs are sent to a Chicago Bears game to tailgate for the fans. Who can't relate to that? 

At the store the next day, Nikki has the right idea by immediately going for the sausage and pepper hero.  For the none sausage eaters she grabs some shrimp to play it safe. This doesn't make Mark too happy, who by the way receives the quote of the night: "They are really taking my gig. How can I throw a shrimp on the barbie when they are already doing it?" (Barbie is Australian speak for BBQ, of course.)

Ryan discloses he doesn't like sports and considers himself a metrosexual. He's going to have a tough time with this challenge. Back in the kitchen Ryan says he is making some poached pears for dessert. Richard, on the other hand, goes straight for the burger.

Jen decides to make some chicken skewers, Greek style ala Zoi. O.K., now it is getting a little too mushy.

At the challenge, Dale's ribs are flying off the rack. Some past Chicago Bears players show up for some food. Gal Sayers, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Richard Dent swing by to grab some grub. And we all know these boys can put away some ribs.

Antonia makes a jerk chicken sandwich with a small pineapple slice and fried banana which the judges liked. Sounds good.

Spike makes the  mistake of trying to schmooze and asks the fans about the last time the Bears won a Super Bowl. Not a good questions apparently. Sore subject for the fans!

By the time the judges come to Nikki's station, she's nearly out of food and cannot serve the judges the peppers and onions with her sausage. Was this because her food was so great, or perhaps because she didn't plan well? Either way, running out of food before the judges get there is never good.

Richard Dent really liked the burger, while "The Refrigerator" really loved Lisa's Skirt Steak and Dale's Ribs.

Judges' Table

After the comment cards are tallied, Dale, Stephanie and Antonia come out on top. Overall the judges chose Dale with the best dish and the winner of this challenge. As a prize he gets a Chicago Bears Jersey with "Top Chef" emblazoned on the back, and a Webber Gas Grill. Pretty sweet!

Nikki, Mark and Ryan are sent in for the bottom three. Although Nikki dropped the ball with the judges, I was surprised she was scored so low by the fans considering she had the ultimate tailgating food. I guess she just made it really poorly? On the flip side, Ryan was questioned for his dessert which (surprise, surprise) was nowhere near what tailgaters want to eat.  He clearly missed the mark (not to mentioned he said he wanted to add "California Flair").  Mark opted for using a charcoal grill to add a smoky flavor to his chicken skewers, however Chef Colicchio mentioned that the sauce masked that flavor anyways.

Ultimately Ryan was sent home for completely missing the mark of cooking real tailgating food. Probably might have been all right without the California flair. Sorry dude.

Until next time, Happy eating (those ribs!).
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