'Top Chef' recap: More Than Dippin' Dots

tom-colicchio-padma-lakshmi-top-chef-dc-320.jpgOn "Top Chef," thee Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish based on a wine pairing. Kevin has the least successful pairing, mostly because he wanted to make pork, but screwed it up and had to substitute quail at the least minute. Kelly's is also not good because of her stupid blue cheese emulsion. The tops are Angelo with a foie gras and Tiffany for her beef dish, and the winner of a trip to London is Angelo.

After tonight's challenge, the remaining cheftestants will be going to Singapore to finish out the competition. The final Elimination Challenge at Goddard Space Center is to design a dish meant to be eaten in zero gravity, meaning that it can be freeze dried and sent into space. They are advised not to use too much sugar, to have small pieces, and to make it spicy.

Here are the dishes and judge reactions:

Kelly: pan-roasted halibut with artichoke and fennel barigoule and a salsa verde salad. The fish is well-cooked, and while freeze-drying the liquid might be a problem, one of the astronauts likes the crunch of the artichokes.

Ed: yogurt-marinated rack of lamb with eggplant puree and couscous croquette. The food is cooked and seasoned well. Ripert thinks it's too complicated, but Bourdain (did I mention he's a guest judge?) thinks Ed nailed Morocco. The astronauts note that it would be difficult to dispose of the bone in space.

Kevin: grilled New York strip with bacon-jalapeno marmalade and corn puree with crispy Vidalia onions. The flavors are good, but the NASA lady nixes the onions, because they couldn't be made crisp.

Tiffany: pan-seared Alaskan halibut with coconut curry, snow pea shoots and jasmine rice. Ripert doesn't see the connection between the ingredients, but he loves the fish sauce.

Angelo: ginger-lacquered short rib with the side dish of the season, pea puree, and horseradish crème fraiche. Tom thought it was successful except for the candied ginger, and Ripert thinks it's too acidic. Bourdain thought it was sophisticated.

The judges have a hard time naming a loser, because the dishes were all good ...

Photo credit: Bravo


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