Wolfgang Puck as a guest judge
The Austrian-born überchef was one of the liveliest guest judges in Top Chef history. ”I would throw him with the steak in the fryer, too!” he said of one cheftestant, who deep-fried a cut of beef. And that was before the doughnut-throwing incident, when Puck tossed one of Laurine’s bacon beignets across the room to prove that it was hard as a rock. More Puck, please!
The boys go swimming
Granted, it was a scorching day in Vegas, and everyone was relieved to have finished the bachelor/bachelorette party challenge. But there’s still no excuse for the boys’ impromptu dip in the pool. The only time we want to see skin on Top Chef is when it’s on a chicken, thank you very much.
Preeti makes pasta salad
We have plenty of sympathy for chefs who mess up cooking stuff like cactus or kangaroo. But pasta salad? After the military base challenge, Preeti got a well-deserved ticket home for turning out a dish that looked like it was spooned straight out of the salad bar at Sizzler.
Tom spits out Mattin’s raw fish
When it comes to food, Tom Colicchio is no wimp (even if he does sometimes lift his pinkie while eating). But even he cried uncle when he got a mouthful of Mattin’s undercooked cod during the campfire challenge. And he wasn’t the only one: Chef Tim Love said the dish actually made him sick. Adieu, Mattin.
Ash compares Mike V. to Picasso
Mike V. may have overcooked the pancetta-wrapped halibut during the family dinner challenge, but that didn’t lower Ash’s opinion of him as a teammate and a cook. Asked if he minded playing second fiddle, Ash promptly threw himself under the bus: ”It’s sort of asking if you mind washing paintbrushes for Picasso, in my opinion. Frankly, I think Michael is amazing and I don’t mind washing paintbrushes.” Sadly, Ash’s unrequited love affair was cut short when he was kicked off the very next episode.
Robin vs. Eli
Temper flare-ups are inevitable when the cheftestants start to feel the pressure each season. But when Eli and Robin got into a petty spat over dirty dishes at the house (ending when he stomped out of the kitchen in a huff), it felt like these pros were acting more like little kids.
Brother vs. Brother
Both of the Voltaggios cut their culinary teeth working for Charlie Palmer. So when the star chef showed up as a guest judge, the super-competitive relationship between the Brothers V. immediately went from heated to nuclear. Neither of them was able to eke out a win in the episode, but that didn’t stop them from spending most of the show bickering and fighting like…well, brothers. And thank goodness: Their sibling rivalry has turned into Bravo’s best feud since Jay McCarroll vs. Wendy Pepper on season one of Project Runway.
Kevin’s bacon jam
Now this is what we’re talking about. In a snail-themed Quickfire challenge, Kevin had the audacity to serve chef Daniel Boulud a dish of classic French escargot paired with Southern-style bacon jam. That sounds about as appetizing to us as Braised Turd, but apparently it was a triumph: Boulud loved it. For his creativity and skill, Kevin won immunity and a seat at the table during elimination — and an unofficial spot among the front-runners in this ultra-competitive season.
Jen feels ”broken”
Top Chef isn’t usually a show you watch for the dialogue. But after the judges at Restaurant Wars told Jen that her sub-par sauce had ”broken,” she uttered one of the great lines in the show’s history: ”I’m feeling pretty broken right now.” The moment underscored Jen’s slow-mo meltdown over the last few episodes, taking her from the top of the pack to a frequent member of the bottom three.
Padma makes Natalie Portman blush
Things got a little spicy (and we’re not talking seasoning) when Natalie Portman dropped by to judge vegetarian dishes. First Padma commented that one of the dishes had a sauce that felt like ”a little prick on my tongue.” Moments later, she described the accompanying garlic blossoms as ”big in your mouth,” prompting Tom to quip, ”It went from ‘a little prick’ to ‘big in my mouth.”’ Which left things wide open for a kicker from one of Portman’s pals: ”That’s what usually happens!” Groan.