Welcome to your weekly recap of Top Chef! Let’s get straight to business.
The episode begins with a discussion on Marcel leaving, including Mike Isabella’s commentary, to which Antonia says Mike himself is abrasive and he is at the top of her list to leave.
The chefs gather in the Top Chef kitchen where Padma and Isaac Mizrahi are waiting for them. They are told that it’s Fashion Week in New York, where Padma is showing her jewelry line and Mizrahi is showing his own line. The Quickfire is all about inspiration; just as a runway show is to attract the designer, the plating should attract the eye. They are not judging on taste, but rather by design. The most impressive plate wins immunity. The chefs have 30 minutes to cook. Here we discover that Carla used to model and even went to Paris!!! Fabio’s inspiration is a beautiful woman walking in the rain, trying not to get “messed up” by the water. The chefs struggle to wrap their head around the fact that their dishes won’t be judged, but rather by sight. Antonia’s inspiration is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Dale bout his girlfriend a picture for her Master’s degree and is basing his dish off that. Blais is doing black ice cream b/c Isaac Mizrahi usually wears black. Angelo based his dish on crocodile skin, to which Fabio commented it looked like a bag of vomit. During all the commentary it’s becoming clear that Mike is taking Marcel’s place for snarkiness. I’d have to say the LOL moment of this challenge would be Angelo spelling the word “Crocodile” across his station to represent his theme………except he spelled it “Crocadile”.
The least faves were deemed Dale, with the comment that the colors didn’t look good. Tre was told he didn’t do enough with it and Angelo was told that the painting of the words was too Mansonesque. Fabio’s plate was told he made his food look beautiful, Carla’s idea wasn’t daring but the handcrafting was beautiful. Blais was told the base of black with all the greens was beautiful as well. What looked the most beautiful to Mizrahi was Richard’s plate. He has immunity!
Time for the Elimination Challenge. The chefs will cook in a very exclusive restaurant where there’s no reservations, but rather tables are passed down from generation to generation. The chefs pull knives, with very Italian nicknames on them. Frankie Pelligrino, Frankie Jr. and Dino the Chef then came in. The chefs get to cook an Italian feast inspired by their family (the Pelligrino family). A traditional Italian meal is based on three courses. Antipasti, primi and secondi. They’re each judged individually based on their dish. They were divided by the knives they drew.
Antonia, Mike Isabella and Fabio are all Italian and feel pressure, yet excitement for this challenge. Off to Raos, the restaurant of the Pelligrino family. The antipasti group is first to cook, naturally. Carla, Tiffany and Antonia are in this group. The judges arrive and we discover that Lorraine Bracco is there as a special guest as well. Hello, Dr. Melfi! Joe, the manager of Raos, the bartender from Raos and one of the co-owners as well is there to judge. The diners immediately comment on the presentation which is good; Carla’s soup was deemed fine, but one you’d find in Wisconsin (by one diner). Antonia got good remarks too. Tiffany’s dish had a great touch by putting the sausage in the polenta. Primi course is up next. Tre, Dale and Mike Isabella are in this group.
Comments on dale’s dish were that the elements just seemed to see thrown together, Lorraine Bracco said if that was her boyfriend, “He’s not getting laid tonight”….they then said Tre shot himself in the foot with the overkill on the garnish and badly cooked rice. Secondi group is next; Blais, Fabio and Angelo were cooking for this one. Mike’s dish, one said, was the least pleasing and that his pasta wasn’t cooked fully. Angelo’s pork was tasty, but a bit too busy. Richard’s dish got raves. Fabio’s chicken was praised for being “old world”, and that his dish wiped away the stain of the previous course.
Back for judge’s table and Mike Isabella immediately starts in on Tiffany, saying her dish didn’t sound like antipasti. The three called in first were Antonia, Carla, Fabio and Tiffany. They were at the top! The winner was……..Antonia!! All of the chefs from the antipasti course were called back in; Mike, Dale and Tre. Mike was told the pasta was the worst part of his dish, Tre was told that the garnish wouldn’t cover up the poorly cooked rice and Dale’s pasta was dry, not well made and not cooked. The chef asked to leave tonight was………..Tre. The preview for next week shows the chefs going to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!!! Goodbye Tre, sorry to see you go good sir. See you all next week!