Top Chef
The Heat Is On

Episode Report Card
Kim: B | Grade It Now!
On the Bubble

The cheftestants return to their stations with their ingredients and covered dishes. Tom asks if everyone is happy with their ingredient choices, and Ashley says that it depends on how much time they have. Padma has them lift the cover off the dishes and they find...timers. Some are set to sixty minutes, some to forty, and some to twenty. That's how much time they have to cook. Andrew only has twenty minutes, so he's freaked out. Poor Chaz has to make risotto in forty minutes, like he's Rachael Ray or something.

Padma calls for time to begin, and everyone runs around gathering ingredients and cookware. Hugh stops by Paul's station, and Paul explains that he's making grilled trout. He has twenty minutes, so that seems like an awesome idea. You can grill a fish up pretty quickly, although I don't know if it came filleted or not. Prepping the fish could add in some time. Paul interviews that he has three trailers that make street food, and he's a Texas native.

Tom stops by Andrew's table. How you feeling about those mushrooms now that you only have twenty minutes, Andrew? He is worried about cleaning the mushrooms properly and still having time to roast them. Tom tries to make conversation but Andrew is forced to ignore him in order to get his food cooked on time. I don't blame him. I'd tell Tom to buzz off. Meanwhile, Ashley has sixty minutes, but she also has oxtail, which takes a long time to cook. She decides to use a pressure cooker even though she's never used one before. I think there will be an explosion, then. Pressure cookers scare me, but if I were going on a show that is known for making people cook under tight time constraints, I would learn how to use one before I left for the airport. Anyway, Ashley's dish is Filipino, inspired by her new husband's grandmother. What's with all these people learning to cook from their in-laws? Why haven't my in-laws added anything to my culinary repertoire?

Kim is making fennel with fennel and more fennel and also some lamb. She's a sous-chef and she looks about fifteen years old. Laurent is cooking something French. He's from France! And then the chef he was working with got a contract in LA so he tagged along and never left. And he's French.

Beverly is cooking octopus, and while she has fond memories of her mother cooking it (and other Korean food) when she was young, she's only ever prepared it pre-cooked. She's never had to peel the skin off the octopus or whatever the hell she's doing. I would be nervous that the suckers would stick to me. That could happen right? What? I've never been up close with an octopus. So sue me. Hugh asks Chaz how he feels about the risotto and he brings up his wife again. Hugh points out that risotto has been the downfall of many a cheftestant and Chaz is like, "Uh, thanks for that." He claims he's not afraid of being judged because he wants to see how he stacks up.

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