Top Chef
Culinary Games

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Frozen Food

The next part of the competition isn't until the next day, so they all get to check into their hotel, which is really nice. Paul realizes that he failed really badly in the first round and he considers it a wake-up call. Sarah and Paul are worried about the last two challenges, and they note that Beverly has already competed in a winner-take-all challenge and won it, so they can't underestimate her. Sarah interviews that Beverly is "that silent horse." What does that even mean? Is there a saying about quiet horses that I've never heard? I'm guessing she means dark horse? Sarah also says that Beverly attacks like a tiger. What is with the animal metaphors? Sarah is weird.

So the next morning, Sarah, Paul, and Beverly trudge back up to some mountaintop to find out what the second section will entail. Padma introduces them to Jon Montgomery, Olympic skeleton dude. That doesn't mean that he's really skinny (although he is quite fit) - the skeleton is like the luge, except you go head first. It's INSANE. I thought they were going to make the cheftestants do it, and then I remember that this show hasn't completely transformed into Fear Factor yet. Instead, Padma rather giddily explains that their pantry consists of food items encased in giant blocks of ice. So they have to chip out their ingredients. Tom tries to pretend like this has anything to do with being a good cook by saying that sometimes you have to use flash frozen ingredients. Well, yes, but you are allowed to properly defrost them, and unless you have a freezer from the '50s, they aren't typically encased in giant blocks of ice that you have to chip away. Not only will this make the ingredients taste terrible, it limits their ability to cook them. I'm assuming they don't have running water, which can help food defrost faster, since they are cooking outside. This challenge is even dumber than the last, and is going to result in some bad food, I think.

Beverly admits that she's never used an icepick, as Padma explains that they only have an hour to thaw their food and cook it. Sarah interviews that she has to win this challenge, because she doesn't want to go head-to-head with Beverly in the final challenge. Is she admitting that Beverly is not a terrible chef? That would be a first.

Paul and Beverly run right for the crab legs, but Paul gets there first. Beverly says that some of the ingredients are so frozen in the ice that you can't even tell what they are. They start tossing blocks of ice around and Beverly grabs a pan and starts whacking the ice with it, which doesn't seem very effective. Sarah doesn't have her block of ice in the sun, which seems like a tactical disaster and she's having trouble getting her ingredients out. Paul starts helping Sarah and Beverly smash ice blocks, even though he already has all of his own ingredients. Sarah explains that she chose mostly vegetables for her ingredients because they can thaw as they cook. I don't even know how any of them are supposed to have a decent dish from this disaster.

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Top Chef

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