Top Chef Recap: Episode 10 – Puff Pastry D’oh!


It has taken me two full days to digest the craziness of this week’s Top Chef, which was chock full of spam, fruit loops, and IMHO one of the worst sins a reality show contestant can commit.

The Cheftestants started out with a supermarket sweep style quickfire challenge, where they only got ten dollars to spend in one aisle, so they were limited in their ingredients to a comical degree.

Michael Schwartz served as perhaps the snottiest guest judge they have had yet, most critically showing absolutely no respect for what in my mind was the dish of the competition so far: Hung’s fruit loop-potato-leek-smurf-village whatever it was. Bravo has for some unknown reason not included this genius recipe on their site. What gives Bravo? As far as I am concerned, this should be on the menu at every haute cuisine restaurant in America.

Instead Brian won for his spam-filled dish, which did look pretty fancy, but come on, it had spam in it.

For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants had to work on a team to cater a fancy-shmancy party on a yacht. There were some amazing-looking Hour D’Ouevres, including Casey’s beef carapaccio with shitake broth. Even Sara pulled out a shocker and whipped up a very edible-looking tomato bread pudding.

In no big surprise, Howie effed up the most, making two uninspired puff pastry appetizers – an asparagus and prosciutto cigar which looked fine but I think I could make without even reading the recipe – and some kind of mushroom puree thing that quite literally looked like shit.

It’s at this point that Howie commited the Number One Reality Show Sin. Clearly aware that he is about to be kicked off for gross incompetence, he made a grand overture and volunteered to kick himself off, for the sake of the others of course. This crap was pulled by over-dramatic Mika in Season 2, but this time Padma Lakshmi is having none of it, and tells Howie that he doesn’t get to make the decision, they do. (I guess this proves how genuine his gesture was, since instead of insisting on leaving for the sake of others he backed down and was all, ok, fine, your call.) Of course, they kick his obnoxious ass off anyway. Finally. Thank God.

PS – Did anyone notice Howie and Sara were practically making out? I totally called that one.

PPS – In the teaser for next week….the return to Top Chef of ES tastiest chef leader Tony Bourdain!

PPPS – As of this moment, he’s only the co-leader. Keep Voting!

Photo: gear patrol

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