It’s Halloween in… July, probably? This season of Top Chef filmed in the dead of summer, yet Padma forced all the chefs to pretend it was late October, just like how on Project Runway everyone pretends only two — I’m sorry, four — designers show at Fashion Week. The hot weather is the only reason I forgave the unforgivably lame costumes on display later in the episode.
The Halloween festivities started with a super-scary theme… moms! Gail’s mother Renee and Padma’s mom Vijaya arrived in the Top Chef Kitchen to assist in a team Quickfire Challenge, which had the chefs split into two teams, Team Simmons and Team Lakshmi. The moms — both adorable, by the way — picked ingredients and appliances that were totally covered in Reynolds wrap for their respective teams to use. Mama Simmons and Mama Lakshmi, who clearly had experience grocery shopping for their families, grabbed as many items as they could as the chefs shouted directions at them. Personally, I was appalled by the lack of “please”s, “thank you”s, and “ma’am”s.
Once the teams had their hauls, they had to unwrap everything (not a very interesting part of the challenge) and make a dish that would be worthy of a $10,000 prize. But seriously, $10,000 split seven ways? Bene hoped to buy a nice pair of shoes with the winnings, and that’s about all he’d be able to afford with that amount, depending on how nice. I’m not sure I’d even get out of bed for this challenge. (Who am I kidding here? No one).
I’m mad that there are still 14 chefs left in the competition, so I’ll skip past a lot of the individual dishes. Bene, Brian, and Nina of Team Lakshmi failed to impress with their bean, chili, carrot, okra, cherry, and strawberry soup with too many ingredients — sounds like Vijaya did her job too well. Carrie of Team Simmons dazzled Gail with her sabayon, which she whipped into a creamy lather without a whisk, just by mixing super-fast with a spoon. Gail ended up betraying her mother in the worst possible way by giving the win to Team Lakshmi. Honestly, the teams were so large that the decision was pretty much arbitrary anyway, so you might as well give props to the woman who gave you life. Let’s all take a moment to imagine how terrifying our mothers would be if we pulled the same thing.
NEXT: Andy Cohen and Tom dressed as Gatsby, or one half of a barbershop quartet. Lea was a sexy kitten. Not impressed by any of these choices.