Top Chef
Chefs at Sea

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | 1 USERS: A+
Anchors Away

The final five cheftestants learn they are leaving Seattle and going on a cruise to Alaska. Once on the ship, they learn about their Quickfire Challenge: guest judge Curtis Stone asks them to create a one-bite dish to serve 200 guests on the "Welcome Aboard" party using iceberg lettuce.

The first challenge is using an all-electric kitchen since you're not allowed to have open flames on a ship. Curtis has good things to say about each dish, but ultimately chooses Sheldon as the winner for his Vietnamese pork lettuce wrap, which included pickled iceberg lettuce hearts. Padma tells Sheldon that he'll have an advantage in the next challenge.

The cheftestants have dinner on the ship and then get their Elimination Challenge: reimagine surf and turf. Sheldon's advantage is that he gets first choice of proteins, and no one else can use the same ones. Here's what they served:

Brooke: mussels and frog legs with celery root and fennel puree, papadums, and shallot chutney. The judges are impressed by the creativity as well as the flavors, and think it's a modern take on surf and turf.

Stefan: braised pork belly with beer sauce, parsnip, and eel ravioli. Tom and Hugh Acheson are less than impressed with the crunchy pork, but Curtis defends it as being culturally appropriate in Europe. Padma likes the creativity of the ravioli, but the judges complain that they can't taste the eel.

Josh: scrambled scallops with braised pork belly and bacon. Josh originally wanted to do a pasta dish with the scallops but the sauce wouldn't set up so he scrambled it. The judges like the flavors, although Padma thinks it needs more surf and less turf. They are all impressed that Josh went outside the box since he's usually so traditional.

Sheldon: Korean BBQ filet mignon, tempura lobster, sesame cabbage kimchi, and teriyaki sauce. The judges aren't impressed by the tempura, which is soft and cold, although they love the kimchi.

Lizzie: cabbage stuffed with suckling pig and scallops with mustard sour cream. She has equipment issues and barely gets her food plates in time. The judges note that the cabbage isn't cooked enough (equipment problem) so the cabbage roll falls apart. That said, all of the various elements are very tasty.

The winner comes down to Brooke or Josh; ultimately, the judges choose Brooke because they thought she came up with a completely new combination of proteins with great flavors. Lizzie and Josh are safe – kind of surprised about Lizzie, because the judges didn't seem to love her execution.

So the loser is either going to be Stefan or Sheldon. Sheldon's dish was uninspired and his tempura was soggy. Stefan didn't really marry his two proteins and his pork belly was too crispy. And then Padma gets to tells Stefan to pack his knives and go. Wow. So none of the returnees made it to the finals, unless one of them comes back via Last Chance Kitchen (no spoilers here!). I wonder if that will affect the producers' decision to do that again. I liked seeing familiar faces but I would have rather seen cheftestants who really got eliminated on a fluke and deserve a second chance.

Top Chef




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