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Top Chef recap: Ready to Conch

The chefs have to swim for their catch, and only three stay afloat

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Top Chef
Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Top Chef

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

Things unfolded last night, as always, with the chefs sitting in shock over the most recent elimination. I don’t remember if they mourned when Stephen the wine guy got eliminated, but if they did, it calls this ritual into question. Tiffany wiped some tears. Blais sat silently with his facial hair. Antonia displayed major self-doubt. Mike, unfortunately, sounded confident. Soon a camera lingered on the title plaque at THE COVE ATLANTIS, where we should all definitely stay next time we’re in the Bahamas.

Morning dawned, as it does every day at THE COVE ATLANTIS (bonus: The sun sinks every night). Blais wandered into Mike’s bedroom looking like an extra from an Avril Lavigne video. Did he always dress like this during off hours? I would have had a crush on him in ninth grade, I’ll give him that. But Blais! Don’t slip away! As he left the apartment, he muttered dejectedly that today’s challenge would probably involve too little time and/or equipment. It was a totally reasonable thing to say. So why did it sound like a conspiracy theory the way he said it? Because he might be going crazy, that’s why.

The judges descended to the Atlantis kitchen to meet Padma, who was dressed like Dawn from The Baby-sitters Club. She and Morning Blais would have made a cute couple. She smiled hugely. Next to her stood the female investor/judge from America’s Next Great Restaurant, a show I have definitely and devotedly been watching. The contestants on that show can’t cook at all (it’s one of the show’s charms), and I found myself feeling excited that Lorena Garcia would finally be eating delicious food. Is that creepy? I don’t know. I like to think Lorena gets excited when good things happen to me, too.

Because of the restaurant theme, the chefs were challenged to prove their “consistency” and “precision.” “Anyone can get lucky and make a memorable dish just once, but a great chef makes that dish exactly the same every time,” Padma said. I saw where she was going with this, but I wasn’t convinced. If ever there is a restaurant with the motto: We never make the same memorable dish twice. Only once, FOR YOU, I will be there. I will feel very special to be there, and never will I pull the head chef aside to tell him he’s not great. Who doesn’t want a dish cooked especially for them? That was a rhetorical question, but boom! Answered. The diners at THE COVE ATLANTIS.

Quickfire Challenge: In teams of two, cook 100 identical dishes in an hour for diners at THE COVE ATLANTIS. Be CONSISTENT and PRECISE. Mike chose Blais as his teammate and said it was because Antonia is the Black Hammer. But that’s a fake title that doesn’t actually predict anything. What about the fact that Blais is a magician chef? Hmm…chef or magician chef. That does not seem like a tough call… Left with Tiffany, Antonia weakly insisted she’d have wanted her all along.

NEXT: Mike controls the conch shell


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