A little bit of magic and lots of skill — that’s what the judges demanded on Wednesday’s Top Chef. The contestants were visited by Las Vegas illusionists Penn and Teller — and graced by returning judge Toby Young.
Quickfire: Special guest Michelle Bernstein announced the Quickfire challenge: Create a dish that showcases the “angel and devil” sides of your personality. Bernstein loved Robin‘s plate, which featured a salad and an apple crumble. “To walk into that salad was an absolute pleasure,” she said, before announcing Robin the winner. She even bested frontrunner Michael V. and Eli, who made a decadent risotto. This did not make her fellow chefs happy.
Drama Alert: After already complaining about her inccessant talking in the kitchen, many of the contestants bemoaned Mattin‘s dismissal (and sported his red neckerchiefs in tribute) and complained about the fact that Robin was still there after serving up toxic shrimp last week. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished,” she said. Robin also revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer, which influenced her winning dish. The revelation earned her no pity from fellow chefs like Mike I.
Elimination: Magicians Penn and Teller presented the chefs with their elimination challenge: to deconstruct a classic dish. Many of the cooks fretted about the task — especially the usually unflappable Jen C., who avoided Tom Colicchio when he came to check on her.
Winners: Some excelled at the task — specifically Michael V., whose elegant twist on the Caesar salad featured “exploding dressing,” and Ashley, whose pot roast was deemed one of the best pieces of meat of the night. Also in the top: Jen C., who made an impressive lasagna despite worrying that she would be dismissed, and Kevin, whose mole negro earned him another big win.
Losers: Robin had immunity and felt emboldened to experiment with her dish, a clam chowder flan that was a bust — but she was left out of the bottom. Ash, for his Shepherd’s Pie, and Laurine, for her fish and chips, were not so lucky. Ron, who didn’t seem to understand the task — or how to cook rice properly — was also called out. Ultimately, the Haitian chef was sent packing.
The Paella Monologues: How funny — or annying? — was it when Young insisted on pronouncing the “l’s” in paella? Thank goodness Michelle Bernstein set him straight! –Brian Orloff
Tell us: Did Ron deserve to go home this week? Is Robin annoying you? And who do you predict will win?Trae Patton/Bravo