The Quick Fire Challengeo Head judge, Chef Tom Colicchio enters the competition challenges the chefs to create a winning dish in less time than it took Colicchio to create his:
o Everyone looks either terrified or stupefied. Angelo looks like he’s passing gas.
o Tom shows off his flawless cookin’ skillz, showing more speed, efficiency and organization than all of the Top Chefs combined. Tom Colicchio’s stock has probably doubled since the airing of this episode.
o Tom finishes his dish (Black Sea bass w/clams, tomato & zucchini) in 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
o Padma makes it clear that serving raw fish won’t cut it.
o The Prize: Immunity… AND a Toyota Prius!
o Antonia claps, Carla grins, Tiffany sports disbelief, and Richard Blaise has the exact same expression he always has. :-
o Marcel makes another arrogant comment (shocker)
o Padma announces “Your 8 minutes and 37 seconds starts now” and it’s every chef for his/her self.
o Everyone runs to the fridge, while Marcel steals Tom Colicchio’s leftover Black Sea Bass and gets mucho praise from Tre and Colicchio!
o Jamie decides to do pan-roasted clams. Stupid, stupid girl. If you can’t fix chickpeas in 24 hours, what makes you think you can pan roast clams in 8 minutes??
o Some of the chefs (2) weren’t able to plate their dishes in time. Dale T. says, “I have nothing. And it tastes like dodo.”
o Antonia plates Seared Ahi Tuna w/Tarragon and Tomato salad; Richard Blaise plates a Foie Gras w/Aromatics and Port; Tiffani F. plates New England Clam Chowder w/Celery & Cream; Fabio copies Tom Colicchio’s dish and plates Clams, Fish, Zuchini & Tomato Broth; Angelo plate Crudo (raw fish) – won’t bother with a description; Tiffany D. plates a Pan-Seared Bass w/Tomato Relish; Tre plates a Grilled Beef Tenderloin w/Seared Foie Gras (Tre, are you married?); Carla plates Shrimp w/Mango; Dale T. attempts to plate Pad Thai, but fails; Casey plates a Brown-Buttered Spice-Rubbed Fillet w/Tomato Relish; Marcel plates Black Sea Bass w/Dashi Broth (he may have stolen Colicchio’s fish, but at least he didn’t copy Colicchio’s dish); Mike Isabella plates a Branzino; Jamie plates a clam;
o The Bottom 3 Quick Fire Chefs: Dale T., Angelo, and Jamie (shocker)
o The Top 3 Quick Fire Chefs: Mike Isabella, Marcel & Richard
o The winner: Mike Isabella!! [Personal note: Being happy about Mike Izzy’s win shocked me. I found him soo incredibly obnoxious on his season of Top Chef. But he’s actually toned down his behavior on Top Chef All Stars, which makes him pretty lovable.] Yay for Mike Isabella!
Elimination Challenge: The Chefs take on New York City’s China Town!
o The Chefs take over dim sum restaurant, Grand Harmony, and work together as one team to make an assortment of dim sum options to be served continuously to China Town locals over a China Town lunch rush. Why not just have the chefs hunt a real unicorn and cook it seven ways in six hours? That sounds far easier than this challenge.
The chefs divvy up their dishes. Jamie opts to do a scallop dish, because she didn’t learn her lesson in Top Chef Season 5. Fabio is very entertained by this and goes on a “Jamie should stay away from scallops” rant. Mike Isabella chooses to be a leader and takes on the expediting role. Caring Carla and Cool Casey decide to take the floor (pushing the food in carts and taking heat from angry China Town people – I say this because anyone who knows good dim sum would expect this bad food from a bunch of Americans, experienced or not). Dale and Angelo decide to do two dishes a piece and Jamie jumps aboard, which everyone knows is a BAD idea.
The chefs get their drink on; Dale L. misses his girlfriend and baby; Tiffani F. announces her bra size (36DD), Jamie looks hamm-m-m-merrrred, Antonia gets jalapeno in her eye and Tiffani F. tries to use her enormous bra to wipe it away, which wipes the guys from the room instead. Here’s to female bonding.
The chefs go shopping at a Chinese grocery store: Tiffany D. feels confident about the challenge because she spent a month in China; Fabio sees turtles in a fish tank and reminisces about taking his pet turtle for walks on a Chihuahua leash – he thinks turtle soup is mean; Antonia offers to work on Jamie’s long bean dish with her and Jamie, probably seeing this as an opp to push her work on someone else, greatfully accepts (can’t help being a Jamie-hater); Casey buys chicken feet for a fried chicken feet and waffle dish (culinary suicide unless you’re a dim sum chef).
Prep time: The chefs arrive in the kitchen of Grand Harmony Restaurant to discover two major problems:
- There is no grill.
- The temperature of the oven doesn’t go past 300 degrees F.
o During preparation, Jamie’s dumplings aren’t coming out well (shocker), Casey rushes to get her chicken feet dish completed so she can join Carla upstairs at the front of the house – she depends on Antonia to finish her dish. 15 minutes left and the chef’s don’t have their dishes prepared. Mike Isabella runs upstairs to find a full dining room of impatient dim sum customers.
Serving time:o Casey and Carla begin serving
o Susur Lee, proprietor and chef of Shang NYC, is the guest judge.
o First Course: Tiffani F.’s dish is a Chinese Cabbage Salad; Fabio’s dish is Soy Honey Glazed Ribs; Carla’s dish is a Vegetable Summer Roll; Angelo’s dish is a Shrimp & Pork Spring Roll; Marcel’s dish is a Boneless Chicken Wing
o Delay on second course and everyone is wondering where their food is. There is Chaos in the kitchen.
o Second Course: Jamie & Antonia’s dish is Long Beans w/Chinese Sausage; Dale T.’s 2 dishes are Sweet Rice w/Chinese Bacon and Cheung Fun w/XO Shrimp; Tiffany D.’s dish is a Spicy Pork w/Veggies on a Steamed Bun; Tre’s dish is an Orange Ginger Dessert w/Water Chestnuts and Thai Basil;
o The customers are upset with the lack of food and more upset after they taste it. One refers to a dish as tasteless, another calls the food “Caucasian Dim Sum” (shocker).
o Antonia is overwhelmed with her over-commitment. She doesn’t say anything to Casey until it’s too late.
o Tom Colicchio yells at the chefs for lack of service. People are leaving the restaurant. Dale isn’t doing anything to help.
o Third Course: Casey’s dish is Chinese Chicken Feet w/Scallion Pancake; Antonia’s dish is Shrimp Toast; Mike’s dish is Pork & Prawn Steamed Dumplings; Jamie’s dish is Scallop Dumplings.
Judges Table: All of the Chefs are freaking because they know they didn’t perform as well as they could. And the judges decide to switch things up a bit.
o While the Chef’s wait and chat amongst themselves, Antonia takes full blame for Casey’s dish, but wishes someone would have stepped up to help her.
o An angry Padma asks Casey, Jamie, Carla, Tre, and Antonia to join her at the Judges table first – and we know they weren’t the top performers. Jamie tries to talk her way through it, but nobody is buying her bull. And though behind closed doors, Antonia had taken responsibility for Casey’s dish, she stayed mum before the judges. The 5 chefs are sent back.
o Angelo, Fabio, Tiffany and Dale are asked to meet with the judges. Angelo, Fabio, Tiffany and Dale are the Top 4 chefs.
o And the winner is… Chef Dale T.! (shocker). No prize was mentioned.
o Casey, Jamie, Carla, Tre, and Antonia return to the Judges table. They are the bottom 5 and while we think (hope) Jamie Lauren will pack her knives, it’s Chef Casey Thompson who’s sent home!
EVERYONE, including Jamie, expected her to pack her knives. Jamie Lauren survives yet another week and the talented fan-favorite, Chef Casey Thompson got her walking papers. What a let-down.
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