Top Chef Recap: 9/5

Top Chef is heating up week by week, and this week was definitely one of the more interesting ones. With a small budget and limited time, the chefs need to be quick and careful – a combination that can be very dangerous.

Off to a sentimental start, Hung expressed how much he missed Trey. He thought it was a mistake that he went home, revealing that “[he’d] lose to him rather than anybody else if [he] had to lose.”

Snappy guest judge Michael Schwartz was the definition of a tough critic, and felt immediately felt comfortable letting the chefs know how he felt about their food. Let’s just say there was no censoring.

“Looking good and making the most of what you have is what Miami is really about” Lakshmi prepared the chefs for their Quickfire challenge.

They were instructed to use their skills and creativity to make the most of what they have: 20 minutes to cook $10 worth of food.

Howie ended up disliking both of his dishes to such an extent that he was embarrassed to serve them. His pride told him to throw out the dishes he had created seconds before time was up, and he was left with nothing to serve the judges. Not a good impression to say the least.

Casey’s take on banana pudding and Sara M’s free form ravioli simply did not win over the judges’ palates like Brian’s spam and fried onions. He took the title of winner this week.

The elimination challenge was one of the hardest challenges thus far; it required the 7 chefs to work as a team. Now there’s a challenge.

They were to put on a show, working together to cater an “ultra-exclusive” party created by Pure nightclub. Guest designer Esteban Cortazar along with 60 of Miami’s most beautiful and fashionable elite were also included to help the judges critique the food.

With only $350 total and 30 minutes to shop for food, the chefs were on a tight schedule and budget to cater to 60 people.

Howie’s mushroom hors d’œuvre was, according to Colicchio, not up to par with presentation. It didn’t look or taste appetizing, which would eventually lead to his decision to withdraw from the competition. However, Lakshmi quickly shot him down by reminding him that it’s not his decision to make.

“Our job is to find out which dish was the worst dish here,” Colicchio coldly and boldly informed the tired chefs.

Casey’s steak was worthy enough to help her claim winner and a 17” Macbook Pro. Talk about motivation to win.

Howie, as he must have expected, was asked to pack his knives and go home. Looks like his initial attempt to withdraw was a preview for his real elimination.

Although Howie has, without a doubt, been a pain throughout the season, he honestly admitted when being interviewed at the end of the show that he let the show get to him and put him in a mindset that made everyone his enemy.

Let's see... who’s going to miss him?

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