'Top Chef' recap: You're Hot and You're Cold

top-chef-texas.jpgQuickfire Challenge: Team up with a Top Chef Master to create an Asian dish. The cooking is done tag-team style, with each chef getting two turns at the dish and they don't get to talk to one another when switching places. And while people are cooking, Padma and guest judge Emeril are peeking at them through a window? It's all kind of weird. Anyway, the cheftestants are last to go, so they are really in charge of how the dish finishes. Sarah wins for a crab and fish dish that Emeril feels had all of the proper Asian notes, and she gets twenty grand. I don't know why they bothered having a Quickfire this week. It was an interesting challenge but kind of pointless.

Elimination Challenge: Cook a dish and a cocktail for a "Fire and Ice" party, so the dish has to contain both a hot and cold element. There's very little drama in the kitchen, which is nice for the cheftestants but kind of boring to watch (and recap). Here's what they served:

Paul: King crab with lobster broth and lemon snow and his cocktail is "the Pan Am" featuring Kaffir lime, Thai chilies, palm sugar and rum. Tom is really, really mad that Paul put arugula in as a garnish, because he thinks every ingredient should have a purpose. Everyone likes the cocktail, but the soup gets varied reactions.

Sarah: five greens filled pasta with garlic, chili and spiced sformato (like a denser soufflé). Her cocktail is an "Agrumi": gin, kumquats and mango. The judges note that the sformato is semi-frozen, which isn't ideal, but think the pasta is great. They like the cocktail, but don't think it pairs well with the dish.

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