Top Chef
Culinary Games

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Frozen Food

The first round game is to cook a dish while riding in a ski gondola. Well, that's a great test of their culinary ability. Except that it's not a test of any sort of culinary ability. It doesn't test creativity. It doesn't test their ingredient or preparation knowledge. It sort of tests their ability to think on their feet, I guess. It's a terrible challenge. Anyway, they will start making a dish, and at one point, have to jump out and grab a new ingredient and incorporate that into their dish, and then serve the dish to the judges.

So they all run to the gondolas. Paul is the first one in. The gondola pantry is surprisingly well-stocked, honestly. Paul is feeling a little motion sick, but he's going to push through, and decides to cook lamb. Sarah goes next, and realizes that she actually has a ton of choices on what to make. First, she goes for salmon, but it has too many scales, so she ditches it. She keeps picking things up and putting them down, but she knows she needs to pick a direction soon. Beverly decides to go with a cold dish. Aw, what a cop-out. Lame. Lindsay is the last to enter a gondola, and knows that she needs to make some changes due to the high altitude. Also, the burners are all tipped at different angles, so she has trouble getting the pans to stay balanced. That happens in restaurants all the time, right? Oh, wait, it totally doesn't.

Paul is the first to the midpoint and has to hop out and choose an additional ingredient. All of the ingredients are in jars, so it takes some time to go through them all, lift the lids, and see what's available. Meanwhile, their gondola is still moving so they have to make a decision before their gondola leaves the station. Paul chooses wasabi paste. When he returns to his gondola, he sees that his lamb isn't cooking how he wants, so he takes the loin off the rack to try to get it thoroughly cooked in the time he has. Sarah is next to choose her ingredient, and she can't find anything she wants at first. She ends up choosing prune juice to use to deglaze her chorizo. Her problem is that the gondola is so cold that everything is freezing up on her. Beverly hops out and quickly chooses horseradish to go in her sauce with white anchovies. Lindsay hopes for produce for her additional ingredient, but nothing is jumping out at her. She ends up also choosing the horseradish and put it into vinaigrette and hope it doesn't overpower her other flavors. She's struggling with keeping her pots and pans on the work surface since everything is so uneven.

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