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Top Chef: Martha Stewart Judges the Quickfire Challenge

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Courtesy Bravo

Wednesday’s Top Chef started off with an exciting cameo appearance by culinary queen Martha Stewart, who presented the quickfire challenge. Chef-testants were asked to create a one-bowl wonder, in 45 minutes, to serve during the holidays.

Hosea presented Paella. Fabio fooled around with polenta. Stefan served up veal goulash. Melissa presented pork tenderloin that peculiarly reminded her of the apple orchards back home. And Jamie served her signature — scallops.

Martha scorned Jeff‘s potato risotto as “pungent,” while Ariane made a filet mignon with cauliflower puree, amusing Martha with its butter-less-ness and earning her the prize.

For the elimination challenge, the chefs were assigned themes based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” They had three hours of prep time to make food for 300 at an Amfar benefit. Broadway star Natasha Richardson hosted the event and helped judge the chefs.

When it was time to start cooking, the chefs found a warm fridge and all the food inside had gone bad. Hosea’s pork was ruined and Rhadika‘s ducks were done-zo. But disaster was averted when the chefs found pork and duck legs in the TC kitchen and all the contestants chipped in to help their colleagues out.

At the event, the Top Chef judges, Kenneth Cole, Maggie Rizer and others sampled the dishes. Eugene’s poisson cru (somehow connected to five golden rings) was too sweet. Jamie’s scallops were slimy. Fabio’s crab cakes were too dense. And Ariane’s deviled eggs were a huge disappointment.

The judges were insulted and annoyed, but awarded Hosea the winner.

Judge Tom Colicchio couldn’t hold back and barged into the stew room, angry and aggravated, expressing his frustration to the group. No one was sent home, but only because they were all losers that night.

Tell us: Were you disappointed with the non-elimination? Who should have been sent home?Courtesy Bravo