This episode of Top Chef
raises the steaks significantly higher than before. Did I say steaks? I meant to say FISH steaks!
The chefs enter the kitchen to find Padma standing with the incredible French chef Eric Ripert (who had a recent appearance on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
on the Travel Channel), who is a widely known and accomplished chef and owner of restaurant Le Bernardin. Today's Quickfire Challenge involves precision, technique and speed, so the chefs will have five minutes to clean and filet three types of fish at a time. The first is cleaning and de-boning two sardines. Fabio, Leah, Hosea and Stefan move on to round two; arctic char. Here Stefan and Hosea both move on to the final round of freshwater eel. Though the fish is dead, its overactive nervous system causes the fish to still move while they are working with it. Stefan has been filleting eels since he was in the womb, which meant he took home this Quickfire Challenge win. Though he does not receive immunity, he does get an advantage for the Elimination Challenge.
The Chefs are invited to Le Bernardin for lunch to sample six of Eric's top fish dishes. After the six fish courses, the chefs expect to be getting dessert, but are presented with the knife block instead. Because Stefan won the Quickfire, he got to choose which dish out of the six he sampled that he will be preparing. He chose the lobster dish which appeared to be the simplest. The rest of the chefs drew knives to find out what they would be cooking. They had time in Eric's kitchen at the restaurant to recreate the dish and have Eric taste it before the actual challenge. Eric gives them pointers on how to improve the dish to make it as close as the one they had during lunch before they have 15 minutes to prepare it for the judges. Service ran smoothly, and the only chef who seemed to be under the gun was Carla, but with the help of this incredible group of chefs, she made it out on time.
The winners and the losers were apparent immediately, so it was no surprise when Fabio, Stefan and Carla were on top. Stefan, again, wins the Elimination Challenges and some sweet prizes like Chef Eric's book On the Line and an invitation to do a tour of Eric's restaurants for a week, and finish the week at the Food and Wine Festival. Giggidy GIGGIDY! The bottom chefs were called in and though Jamie made it apparent that she knew what her mistakes were, she was still sent home. Team Rainbow has officially been disbanded.
Next time: this is the home stretch to be in the final four. Tom tells them they will be cooking for an incredible group of people including JACQUE PEPIN! However, in the scramble to prepare their dishes quickly, Fabio seriously cuts himself and has a baseball glove-sized bandage put on his hand. Yikes! Don't miss it!
Story by Kristin M. Koltz
Starpulse contributing writer