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Top Chef recap: Creole Lady Cream Cheese

One chef continues a winning streak; other chefs bring out Tom’s wrath with bad vegetables

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Top Chef
David Moir/Bravo

Top Chef

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons
Reality TV

We all know Nina is the front-runner, but nobody knows it better than Nina herself. After Michael got eliminated, Nina accused Michael of slacking off because he knew she’d pick up the slack — that doesn’t make sense, because Michael knew they were being judged individually. Nina went on to tell the camera, “Michael, suck my d—,” and “Sorry, booboo, you’re a douche.” She’s suddenly making it harder to hate Michael.

Even though Nina is cleaning up in the challenges, she shouldn’t get too comfortable. In each season that I’ve been recapping Top Chef, the judges always sacrifice one of the best chefs around this point in the competition, perhaps to garner some extra attention for Last Chance Kitchen. As Tom and Padma always say — and only sometimes enforce — “You’re only as good as your last dish” (i.e., “Chefs who take chances get punished, and boring chefs who consistently skate by can make it to the finale”). Will they get rid of Nina as a stunt elimination? I think it’s more likely they’ll get rid of Shirley as the attention-getting elimination, so we can see her fight her way back from LCK.

For this week’s Quickfire Challenge, Padma brought in the dashing John Besh, a Top Chef favorite. Past contestants have gushed about Besh’s looks as if he were hotter than Ryan Gosling — two seasons ago, Heather even said she’d turn down thousands of dollars for one night with him, a terrifying thought — but this year we just got one tasteful mention of Besh’s glorious locks, which is the perfect amount.

Padma and John drove the chefs to an idyllic farm, where they’d have only 20 minutes to make a dish that showcases the Creole tomato, a thin-skinned, meaty breed in which locals take pride. Travis struggled because of the heat. Stephanie, for some reason, had trouble thinking of a dish. But Bene, on the other hand, had plenty of experience this season with tomatoes, since he used them even when not advised. (See: “Captain Vietnam”).

NEXT: Attack of the creole tomato…