Top Chef
Maui Wowie

Episode Report Card
Carla Sparks: B+ | 67 USERS: C-

Shirley's dish is up first; her deconstructed Spam musubi has a good crunch, according to Sam Choy. Louis made a Spam mousse with some fixins. Padma says that it's "silky in my mouth," and I bet he just died. Nicholas made a charred Spam broth with pancetta, seaweed, dried shrimp, fish stock and clam juice. It sounds gross? Nina's breadfruit and teriyaki Spam croquette seems to go over well.

Sam Choy delivers the results/opinions. He says Nick's broth was sodium-challenged but unique. Nina's croquette had a nice mango slaw topping. Louis's dish was outstanding but could have used more Spam flavor. Shirley's musubi was tasty, even though he has had about a million. The winner of this challenge is Nicholas, which makes me want to beat a desk lamp into whatever is nearest, but good for him I guess. It's not immunity.

It's time for the final challenge, which will only send two chefs into the final finale. Tom and Padma give the chefs a little background on Hawaii (it's an island!) and the outrigger canoe (they were used to get here!), plus that pigs, chickens and 24 species of plants and fruits are known as "canoe crops." The chefs will be catering a party to celebrate and feature these canoe crops. Tom reiterates that they need to push themselves because of the double elimination. The chefs push themselves toward the canoe to get their produce and Shirley falls. Louis is nice enough to stop and help her.

Back to the canoe, though. It's a fresh, but limited pantry. Nina is comfortable working with "island" ingredients. Shirley is worried all four dishes will taste too similar, but notices she's the only one cooking pork. Louis is working with opah, which is a fish similar to tuna but not one he has worked with. Nina accidentally started breaking down Nick's fish instead of her opah and he was just waiting for something like that to happen, I'm sure. Sabotage at its least intentional! I'm sure Nick wanted to do his fish three different ways.

Nicholas wants to feature all the ingredients he can get his hands on, so he's working with steamed opakapaka, seaweed jalapeƱo and chicken skin salad with a sweet jous. Go away with your overcomplicated and ingredient-heavy dishes, Nicholas. Louis is a nice change of pace and a fresh face in this competition. He's also so nice. I hope he sticks around.

The chefs head to their Hawaiian villa, which is pretty swanky. Then, they go for a little volcano hike. They soak in the humidity and the moment.

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Top Chef




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