I’m really behind on recaps for this week. But I want to start with a Top Chef recap because I like it the best, and there are no screaming menopausal women. Things seem to be taking a toll on the final six at this point. Melissa in particular seems to be struggling. Stephanie seems a bit defeated as well. Really all of them seem exhausted.
The Quick Fire
They judges are not easing up on the remaining chefs at all. They have to do a blind taste challenge to determine the ingredients they get to work with. These sorts of challenges are notoriously hard. They can only use the ingredients they guess correctly and the basic pantry. The top two chefs in the tasting challenge will have an hour to cook. The middle two will have 45 minutes and the bottom two only have thirty minutes of cooking time. That’s a lot of pressure. Stephanie crushed it. She got 15 of the twenty options correct. She will have an hour to cook along with Gregory who got 13 correct. Melissa also got 13 correct but since she didn’t get through all 20 ingredients, she will be in third place getting 45 minutes. Brian got 11 correct so he will also have 45 minutes. Karen and Malarkey where on the bottom with 8 and 7 ingredients respectively and have few ingredients to choose from and only 30 minutes to cook.
In the end, Bryan V and Stephanie were in the bottom. The other four are on the top but Malarkey and Melissa were on the top. Melissa won with her olive oil pistachio cake with meringue and black berries. She’s back!
The Elimination Challenge
The elimination challenge is a six course progressive meal. The guest judges are two very famous Japanese chefs. So the meal will be Kaiseki which basically is the Japanese equivalent of haute cuisine. It’s about restraint and celebrating nature. Malarkey is already terrified. I can’t say that I blame them I doubt that many of them have cooked Japanese food before. But Melissa has eaten Kaiseki in Japan. Because of course she has. The two Michelin star chefs give them a demonstration. Karen was eliminated on her season for a Japanese dish.
As the quickfire challenge winner, Melissa gets to select her course and assign the other courses. She kindly tries to give everyone what the want. She wants the steamed course. Gregory takes the rice course. Malarkey gets the soup course. That doesn’t seem to inspire him but it is definitely the course I would have chosen. The winner receives a trip for two to the Tokyo Olympics. Sadly that has been postponed for a least another full year. The dinner guests are all Olympians. Karen is a power lifter? Who knew?
Lukewarm Critiques, Lukewarm Soups
Melissa is making a Japanese chawanmushi which is apparently some sort of steamed egg custard. So why is she buying mushrooms? I am not a fan of mushrooms. Bryan V is up first with his appetizer that is a minimalist scallop dish. It’s a hit. Next, Malarkey serves his soup with spot prawns. The were not overly impressed. The critiques were varied. The worst one was that the soup it self was cold. Karen comes out third with her grilled duck dish. She a bit worried about the cook on the duck. The judges were not pleased with it.
Melissa starts of the last three dishes with her chawanmushi. The dish looks very tasty to me. The judges love it! And then, one of the Japanese chefs says she had a bit of crab shell in her dish. That’s a mortal sin. Will they really send Melissa home on the Japanese challenge? Also, it seems her custard didn’t set properly. Wow. This is not good! Gregory realizes as he is plating that his broth needs more salt and he doesn’t have time to fix it. Tom says it is underseasoned. The Japanese chef says that the broth was cloudy. Stephanie’s dessert is the final course. It’s a panna cotta with yuzu curd and orange granita. What is yuzu curd? They all loved it! And she won!
Bryan was their other favorite. The other four are all in danger. In the end, Karen finally goes home.