Top Chef Recap: Padma Wears a Bikini, and the Cheftestants Are Mean to Conch | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Top Chef Recap: Padma Wears a Bikini, and the Cheftestants Are Mean to Conch

Last episode, Carla was thrown off. First Fabio, then Carla? Who could I possibly root for? Richard? Antonia? I'm a little depressed.

Quickfire Challenge

Back in the sunny Bahamas, we have Mike, Richard, Antonia, and Tiffany left -- boy versus girl. Padma and Lorena Garcia from America's Next Great Restaurant greet the cheftestants. Padma says this quickfire challenge is about consistency and precision. A great chef can make a great dish the same way a thousand times over.

Divided into pairs, each team must make 100 identical dishes in one hour. The winning team takes home $5,000.

It's boys versus girls. Mike says the boys are the favorites. Doesn't Mike realize that every single time someone gets cocky, they lose on this show? It's almost as bad as Antonia being "the hammer." Here are the dishes the teams decide to make:

  • The boys are doing a pork Bolognese with pecorino cheese and homemade pasta.
  • The girls are doing a seared beef tenderloin salad with lentils.

Padma and Lorena pick dishes at random to taste for consistency. Mike said that if he had to do the girls' dish, he could have sent Richard for a six-pack of beer to celebrate the win while he did the dish himself. Smack talk! Hey Mikey -- what did I say about jinxing yourself on Top Chef?

And the girls win! HAH! HAH! Every time the boys talk trash, they lose -- when will they learn?

Elimination Challenge

Padma is in a bikini. She introduces everyone to some Bahamian boat captain -- which Mike Isabella says is Sammy Hagar. Padma is in a bikini, which makes my husband "whoop" and makes me throw something at his head. Did I mention Padma is in a bikini? Because everyone else does.

The cheftestants are headed to some deserted island with Captain Sammy Hagar and no Padma. Clearly, the bikini shot was some tease.

The cheftestants get to the island, and they have to pick from boxes of ingredients. Along with the ingredients are snorkel gear. That means they have to dive for their own conch, since conch has to be served in the dishes. Tiffany is afraid of sharks. Richard doesn't want to see Mike without his shirt on.

After they catch the conch, they have to cook on the island using fire. Richard is freaked out -- no electricity... no liquid nitrogen! HAH! 

Then the cheftestants are murdering these poor conchs. It's just brutal -- hammering the shells, shattering the shells, boiling the conch out of the shells. Where the f**k is PETA? Poor conchs are still breathing out of their shells. The cheftestants look like they've been through hell and back. They're sunburned, sandy and sweaty. The fires aren't hot enough to cook on. Maybe the conch are cursing them as they slowly die....just saying.

The guests arrive all in white, looking fresh and amazing. Tom Colicchio looks really sexy, by the way, all in white. So does Padma. Hmm. Gail Simmons looks cute, but not sexy (sorry Gail).

  • Richard serves sweet potato linguini with conch. They all like the sweet potato "noodles".
  • Antonia serves a seared snapper with conch ceviche. The ceviche was really spicy - but they like it. Tom says the problem was that the conch was chopped too small to taste it and the fish was either overcooked or undercooked.
  • Tiffany serves a coconut chowder with snapper and conch, topped with conch ceviche. The chowder was cold. Some people liked it, some are indifferent. Tom says it was a good dish but it wasn't developed enough.
  • Mike serves a banana leaf steamed grouper and warm conch vinaigrette. Tom says that the fish didn't need butter. Gail says she's obsessed with the braised pineapple.

Judges Table

Tom says what was really impressive what that there was not one grain of sand in any of the dishes. Padma said that Antonia's plate was the most conventional. Antonia said that was a good thing because it's her dish and people can identify her dishes.

Tom said he thought that Richard's "pasta" was really good and that he actually thought it was pasta for a while. Gail said she likes Tiffany's idea of chowder, but that it was cold. Tom said the chowder was a little on the sweet side. Gail said that she thought Mike's pineapple was a really great dish. Tom didn't like the butter in the dish, but liked the dish overall.

The winner of the challenge is Mike. Padma asks Tiffany to pack her knives and go.

Next week - the last supper meal and Michelle Bernstein is back.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss

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