After a brutal double elimination challenge, fourteen cheftestants remain.

The problem I have with defining a dish as being traditional is many culinary creations have region specific ingredients. Cultural aspects of regions play a huge role in how a dish tastes, there is no doubt.

With the chefs being tasked with created a traditional stuffing dish, there is nothing more challenging. Problems arise for the chefs when it is revealed the contestants do not have access to cutlery and utensils. With all cutlery and utensils removed from the Top Chef kitchen, the chefs had no choice but to improvise tools from what they had at hand.

Tre, in creating a southwestern style stuffing with bacon, cheddar, bell pepper, and chili powder, won the quickfire challenge and earned himself a cool $20,000 for his efforts.

As the season progressed, the elimination challenges were only getting tougher.

Divided into two teams, the chefs were tasked with individually cooking dishes for the tennis players in the U.S. Open.

  • Orange Team: Antonia, Carla, Dale T., Fabio, Marcel, Mike, Richard
  • Yellow Team: Angelo, Casey, Jamie, Spike, Tiffani, Tiffany, Tre

Anyone for tennis? New balls? What could possibly go wrong?

In head-to-head-match-ups, with the challenge scored as if it were a tennis match, it was up to the individual teams to designate which representatives to play off against the opposing team’s challenger. Like a tennis match, the first team to obtain four points was the victor.

  • Round 1: Casey vs. Fabio
  • Round 2: Tiffani vs. Dale T.
  • Round 3: Angelo vs. Marcel
  • Round 4: Tiffany vs. Antonia
  • Round 5: Spike vs. Richard
  • Round 6: Tre vs. Carla

Even though all the competing chefs prepared a dish, because of the challenge format, there were a few chefs which did not serve their respective dishes. Though the chefs that did not serve were ineligible to win, they were also safe from elimination.

With an extraordinarily delightful African groundnut soup with baked sweet potatoes, adzuki beans and peanuts, Carla was the winning chef. Carla received a trip to Italy.

Unfortunately for Spike (tomato tamarind soup, olive oil poached shrimp, pineapple, tomatoes and dill), the judges felt the dish was not executed to the standard.

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Shain E. Thomas, recently graduated with an M.Sc. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of North Texas, is currently working on an M.Sc. in Library Science. Shain, the senior editor of "Harsh Light," is also the U.S. Correspondent for "The Welshman" and a regular contributor to the "North Texas Daily."