hello and welcome to another top chef tuesday!
There are only seven chefs left (six after this episode) and we are finally treated to a challenge that features Indian food! I’ve been looking forward to this one all season. What I was NOT looking forward to was an awkward montage of mourners in London’s capital paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, whose death apparently made the logistics of Top Chef a little challenging.
Quickfire winner: Amar
Elimination challenge winner: Amar also!
It was a rare Top Chef sweep! And it goes to Amar, who has firmly cemented himself as one of my Top Chef front-runners. I have to be honest and say I pegged him as an early pick to get eliminated, after all, he’s had too much fun. But that seems to be when he does his best cooking.
This episode’s quickfire featured Kippers and other sorts of smoked fish. Our cheftestants had to make some sort of tasty meal out of this. Amar impressed the most with his smoked haddock salad.
We’re here for the elimination challenge, though. Before they start cooking, Padma and guest judge Asma Khan treat our chefs to a thalis, which looked so freaking good. Our chefs obviously knew this would be the challenge, and so they picked and prodded at the dishes and asked loads of questions about the cuisine.
A classic Top Chef rule for many years has been: Never cook Indian food for Padma. Now? They have no choice!
Some embraced this: Amar, Ali, Sara and Tom. The first three finished in the top, and I really though Ali’s mango chutney would put him over the line. Meanwhile, Sara took a more inspired approach by blending the Indian-style thali with her own southern cooking.
Still, it was fun-loving Amar who won the challenge. I will say that shrimp and crab curry looked incredible. He’s now on two Elimination challenge wins, putting him level with Ali and Buddha.
Speaking of Buddha, this is the first time we see him struggle and he even forgot to put one of his dishes on the thali for Padma (a big no no!). Still he did just enough to survive. Even Gabri, who made one of the worst-looking tamarind dishes I’ve ever seen, did enough to skate by also.
Unfortunately that left Victoire, whose dish had no redeeming qualities. And she even messed up on the rice. The judges also hated her onion and cucumber salad.
She heads to Last Chance Kitchen to face Charbel. Meanwhile, next week brings a special double elimination as we finally reach the endgame.
Fitzie looks forward to chowing down on some Indian food once he regains his sense of taste.
Front-runners: Ali, Amar, Buddha
In the hunt: Sara
Straggling behind: Tom, Gabri
Fitzie’s track of the day: Call It Like It Is, by Bailen
And now for your links:
Dan KP: Pressure piles on Daniel Levy in hunt for new manager
Michel Vorm on why Feyenoord’s Arne Slot would be a perfect fit as next Spurs manager
NYT ($$): The Premier League Crucible Produces Something New: Ideas
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