Things seem to have cooled down since we last met with the Top Chef: Just Desserts contestants. With no tempers boiling over this week, or pastry chefs ejecting themselves from the competition, Wednesday’s episode focused on the cooking – not such a bad thing after weeks of histrionics.
Even a Quickfire challenge, which had the contestants baking the ever-precarious soufflé, failed to rattle anyone in the kitchen. Instead, eggs were cracked, ovens lit and soufflés risen for Gail Simmons and guest judge Sherry Yard, the pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck’s vast culinary empire.
On top, Morgan Wilson, whom Yard says achieved “good height and flavor,” as well as Yigit Pura, who boasted that he makes the dish all the time, even at home for his boyfriend. (Lucky guy!)
Ultimately, Yigit claimed the win for his chocolate soufflé with passion fruit and vanilla bean ice cream, which Yard said introduced a nice acidity into the dish.
While Zac Young thought his frozen soufflé – known as a “soufflé glace” – would nab him a Quickfire win, instead he landed in the bottom. But the loss didn’t deflate his perkiness (or ego) once the elimination challenge was announced. The task – to create edible fashion, namely a dress, and two petits fours that would resemble accessories – positively energized the chef, who announced, “I know I’m the one to watch in this challenge.”
Actually, that honor went to Morgan, who landed in the top again, though Zac didn’t fare too badly.
Inspired by the shoes they were given to build their dresses around, the guys made stylish and wearable garments. Morgan’s was created with chocolate medallions that, when stitched together, resembled paillettes. The macho chef was proud of his handiwork, even quipping, “I wish I could put it on.”
Zac’s look, a burlesque warrior dress, was inspired by his dominatrix-like shoes. It too impressed the judges. “Zac, you’re a silly little bastard,” judge Johnny Iuzzini said with a grin.
Yigit’s feathered confection – a swan-like mini-dress made out of white chocolate pedals with blue embellishments – earned praise for its meticulous craftsmanship.
The winner, though, was Morgan, who also grabbed a bonus $20,000 cash prize.
Less fortunate: Heather Chittum, who struggled with a garment made puzzlingly out of vegetables, including radishes and lettuce. She explained the concept but didn’t, apparently, grasp that she was on a dessert competition and needed to incorporate sweeter elements into her outfit. So, she was bounced – for a second time.
Tell us: What did you think of the challenge? Which chef has what it takes to win the competition?