Who would have guessed that on a show based around cooking, this week’s quickfire challenge was based around drinks? Cocktails are an added bonus to appetizers, but they can’t just be any cocktails. Not only does the food have to be delicious on its’ own, it has to taste good and blend with a specific Bombay Sapphire cocktail. Nobody said cooking was simple.
As the 12 remaining cheftestants walked into the cocktail-filled kitchen, their cooking brain cells started to become aroused. They knew they were going to have to tap into a different part of their talents, if they were even familiar with “mixology” at all. “Usually you do wine and food, but these are cocktails, not wine,” said a nervous cheftestant.
Guest judge and global master mixologist for Bombay Sapphire gin, Jamie Walker, gave his two cents on how he feels about mixology (the art and science of cocktails and drinks). Balance is the most important concept to keep in mind when pairing an appetizer and a cocktail, according to Walker.
With full access to the Top Chef pantry, the cheftestants wasted no time on this quickfire challenge. Casey was feeling adventurous and decided to go on a whim, cooking an appetizer of French toast to pair with her cocktail. We’ll see if deliberated decisions or spontaneous ones are preferred in this challenge.
Hung was not in agreement with Walker regarding the quality of his dish, for it was one of Walker’s least favorites, but Hung later revealed that Walker must have merely been confused.
Casey’s impulsive french toast blew the judges away with the burst of flavor, balance, and creativity. She took home immunity for the next round.
With 12 feisty and competitive cheftestants in one kitchen, one wrong comment or bad move can really throw off the dynamic. The judges were apparently geared up and ready to push the cheftestants’ buttons.
The whole group had to pair up in teams of three, and create one course, using one ingredient, prepared three different ways. They had two hours to cook at Miami Chef Barton G’s newest restaurant.
Stressed about time, getting along, and the rigid guidelines of this challenge, all the cheftestants were definitely on edge. Casey’s partners Howie and Joey felt that she wasn’t putting her full effort into their dish because she had already won immunity.
Lia, Hung, and Brian's shrimp dishes were the judges' favorites. They were both impressive and delectable, with Lia claiming the title of winner. Colicchio also extended to her a personal invitation to the Hamptons to be the guest chef at a charity event.
Dale, Camille, and Sara M. prepared dessert, but Camille simply didn’t have the power to win over the judges’ tastebuds this week, and was asked to pack her knives and go home.
As the tension and temperature in the kitchen rises week by week, the cheftestants become more pressured to become Top Chef of Season 3. And after watching these past few episodes, we've definitely learned that they're willing to pull any and every string to win that title. We'll see what happens next week.