With only ten chefs remaining, the heat in the “Top Chef” kitchen was reaching boiling point at this point in the eighth season. Remember, we are on the flip side of an episode where we saw two highly talented chefs eliminated.
With retaining the seafood theme seen in the previous episode, the chefs visited the kitchen of seafood restaurant Le Bernardin. Relatively speaking, the quickfire challenge was a two part problem. The first part, when at the seafood restaurant, the top ten chefs faced off in a knife skills quickfire challenge. They were tasked with butchering and cleaning whole fish.
After the chefs’ dishes were judged by Anthony Bourdain and Justo Thomas, the top four chefs competed in a 45-minute cook-off. In the cook-off.
In the second part of the challenge, the four chefs were required to utilise the remaining pieces of the fish they used in the quickfire challenge: eyes, organs, cheeks, collars, fins, and tails.
The quickfire challenge winning chef, crafting a fluke back fin sashimi with cucumber and fluke liver sauce; bacon dashi with salt roasted cod collar, was Dale T.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs were formed into two teams and had 24 hours to create pop-up restaurants. Creating a restaurant is by no means an easy task. It requires skills.
- Bodega: Carla, Dale T., Fabio, Richard, Tre
- Etch: Angelo, Antonia, Marcel, Mike, Tiffany
Naturally, the winning and losing restaurants were selected by the diners. Of the chefs that worked in the winning restaurant, the individual winner, selected by the judges, received $10,000.
Dale T. somehow crafted the appetizer featuring a bag of potato Chips with fried herbs and sea salt.
For the first course, Richard and Dale T. prepared for their dinner’s consideration a raw tuna belly and fried chicken skin with chilies and lime; and a bacon, egg and cheese with homemade focaccia, respectively.
Meanwhile at Etch, for first course options, Tiffany and Angelo created the dishes. While Tiffany had crafted a frisée and shaved asparagus salad with egg and chorizo, Angelo prepared a dish consisting of crudo of fluke, grapes, pink peppercorns and lemon zest.
The second courses in both restaurants was just as insightful as the first courses were.
Even though Richard had prepared a first course for the bodega, the fourth season chef was also responsible for creating a second dish. The chef prepared a chicken-fried codfish and Brussels kraut. In addition to Richard’s dish, Tre created a dish featuring pork shoulder, grits with cheddar cheese, corona and lime sauce.
Over at Etch, Marcel and Mike were hard at work preparing their second course dishes. The second course dishes included a roasted monkfish with kalamata olives, peperonata and parsley, prepared by Marcel, and a braised pork belly and octopus with cannellini beans, conceptualised by Mike.
Also at Etch, Antonia, Mike and Angelo created to fabulous dishes. Antonia worked on a ricotta gnudi, braised oxtail ragout, arugula and lemon zest. A spectacular dish, there is no doubt. Another great dish was the one Mike and Angelo collaborated on. It was a slow-cooked lamb chop, with cauliflower purée, and turmeric with honey.
Even though the chefs are not fans of making desserts, both the bodega and the etch were required to have dessert options.
At the bodega, Fabio made an amaretto cake with candied lemon peel and cappuccino mousse. With Fabio focusing on his dessert, Carla was also working on a third course dish. Her dish was a blueberry pie with dry milk ice cream.
While Carla was creating her dish at the bodega, Marcel was preparing his teams’ dessert at the etch. His dessert was titled “Duo of Peaches.” It consisted of un-ripened peache and sweet peach with coconut foam and powder.
With the Bodega Team being the winning restaurant, the winning individual was Richard. Richard received $10,000 for his work on the Bodega Team.
Even though Marcel initially indicated he would not be making a foam, by the time he started preparing his dish, the chef had changed his mind. This was the primary reason he was eliminated from the competition.