The chefs are forced to only bake in black and white during this week's challenge

By Brian Orloff
October 21, 2010 08:00 AM
Kelsey McNeal/Bravo(2)

Still reeling from last week’s haute couture (and chocolate) challenge, the remaining pastry chefs were still stressing on Thursday’s Top Chef: Just Desserts.

Danielle Keene complained she was in limbo – always lurking somewhere in the bottom but never receiving constructive criticism. And Heather Hulbert was still ripping into Morgan Wilson, whom she claims is a bully and misogynist. “He’s just kind of this very annoying bug that I want to stomp on,” she says.

Her animosity festered when it was time for the Quickfire challenge – which asked the chefs to make a one-pot, savory dessert using ingredients like beets and bacon. Morgan seemed especially feisty as he ripped the beets away from Zac and (accidentally?) elbowed Heather in the mouth.

Sure, Morgan may be brash at times – and he’s obviously a serious competitor – but did Heather really need to hold up that ice pack to her mouth?

Nevertheless, Morgan scored with Gail Simmons and guest judge Michael Laiskonis, of Le Bernardin, while Heather’s dessert was panned for its undercooked beets and odd layers. In the end, though, Zac Young took the Quickfire prize for his beet cake – and it was a big one: He could either keep immunity or nab $1,000 in cash.

Faced with the prize money, Zac decided to haggle a bit, asking Simmons if she’d be willing to pony up more cash. In fact, his bargaining worked, and she raised the prize money to $5,000 – then stripped him of his immunity.

For the elimination round, the chefs had to create a black and white dessert for a bash celebrating the Los Angeles Times‘s 128th anniversary.

Some, like Danielle, went literal. She made a dessert in the shape of the number 128, with each numeral constituting a different dessert – like a truffle or meringue.

Other chefs, like Heather or Erika Davis, couldn’t stick to an austere black and white color palette, instead introducing reds or purples (Erika used blackberries instead of dark chocolate), into the desserts much to the chagrin of head judge Johnny Iuzzini.

On an upswing, baker Eric Wolitzky scored with the judges for his play on a Mississippi mud pie – and scored extra points for his elegant plating. The other male contestants also landed in the top, though ultimately Yigit Pura secured the win for his busy and flavorful plate.

In the bottom: all the women. While the judges found faults with all, Erika, who has been a strong competitor all along, was sent packing for her blackberry dessert topped off with a lemon poppy seed ice cream the judges called soapy and gluey.

Tell us: Do you think the guys will win in the end? Were you sorry to see Erika go?

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