We are now three episodes into the latest Top Chef season - and this episode came with a double elimination. I think we’re having a good understanding of who the main competitors will be this season. But first, some housekeeping:
Was there a Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sighting? YES! Yes there was! Of course we had to wait until the very end, because it showed up in the preview for this coming week’s episode! It appears the remaining cheftestants will be paired in teams to cook outside the world’s greatest football stadium.
And next week’s guest host? LEDLEY KING.
Alright now with that out of the way (for now) let’s get to this week’s episode.
This week did not feature a Quickfire. Instead hosts Tom and Gail took our cheftestants on a field trip / pub crawl to have a few pints (some pubs more generous than others) and, more importantly, to eat traditional pub fare.
I only remember two stops - The Jack Horner and Trafalgar Tavern. What? Are they too good for Green King?
Our chefs were split into seven pairs, each needing to recreate a pub classic.
- (WINNER) Buddha and Luciana: Fisherman’s Pie
- (ELIMINATED) May and Dale: Scotch Egg
- Gabri and Begona: Bangers and Mash
- Sylwia and Victoire: Toad in the Hole
- Amar and Ali: Fish and Chips
- Sara and Tom: Shepherd’s Pie
- Charbel and Nicole: Sunday Roast
As has been the case this season, the bar is set incredibly high. But Buddha finally came to play, delicately placing little scales on his and Luciana’s cod that also featured a pomme puree, mussels and champagne sauce. Begonia and Gabri were right there with their creative take on bangers and mash, featuring an onion cookie. But it was the fisherman’s pie reimagined that won over the judges.
Now for the bottom: Dale and May never seemed to gel in this challenge. And call it a production issue, but we could see their elimination coming a mile away from how they disagreed over which dish to cook, how to cook it and seeming communication issues for the rest of the day. Their main fault was a soggy egg. No one likes that!
It’s almost as bad - but not quite as bad - as soggy fish and chips. Which also put Amar and Ali in danger. The judges loved the dish except for Amar’s soggy haddock. Gotta be better than that.
But at the end of the day - it’s an uncreative take on the Scotch Egg that sent May and Dale home. Double eliminations suck, and I think May is gone too soon. The two worst chefs in this challenge were on different teams, but it’s Amar who goes through another round.
Now! On to fitzie’s Top Chef rankings!
Favourites: Begona, Buddha, Gabri — Buddha has his first challenge victory. Begona and Gabri have been top three in two of three challenges so far. A solid start.
Other contenders: Ali, Luciana, Charbel, Tom — Charbel and Ali both won challenges, and I’m not dinging Ali for this week’s near-elimination. Tom and Luciana both have featured at the top of elimination challenges.
Middle: Sara, Sylwia, Victoire — None of these three have made much of an impact yet, bar for Sara’s quickfire win in Episode 1. They need to step it up.
Bottom: Amar, Nicole — Amar’s only notable dish so far nearly sent him and MENA Top Chef winner Ali home. He’s lucky to still be here. Nicole, who made a very good yorkshire pudding, has been quite forgettable this season.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Shine, by Lettuce
And now for your links:
Sami Mokbel on how Antonio Conte’s reign turned sour
Alasdair Gold’s latest video on Daniel Levy’s ‘blunt’ goodbye message to Conte and more
A look at the manager payouts Tottenham have given out over the years
Lionel Messi takes centre stage in Argentina’s outpouring of joy
How Univ of Michigan head coach rebuilt university’s women’s football culture