This week on Top Chef, four contestants remain. As they arrived at the Top Chef kitchen they were introduced to Wylie Dufresne, who would be judging this week’s quickfire, the final one to take place in Boston. They were tasked with creating a bean dish that reflects Boston’s style.
Mei said that seeing Wylie inspired her to put eggs in her dish because he loves eggs. George exclaimed that he had to improvise his dish because he didn’t have access to the ingredients he would have liked. At the end of the quickfire challenge, George presented his tomato base with chickpeas and other ingredients. Mei made a black beans and corn dish that included poached eggs and bacon. She told the judges she pureed beans to make the foam she used in her dish. Melissa made tenderloin accompanied by chickpeas and bacon butterbean puree. Gregory created navy beans with ham and vegetables and he could tell the judges didn’t like his dish. Wylie said George cooked his beans very nicely but he wasn’t sure the pork was necessary. He told Mei that the beans should have been the star of the dish and they weren’t. He then criticized Gregory’s use of avocado in his dish. Wylie then chose Mei as the winner of the quickfire challenge.
The Elimination Challenge was to create an innovative dish that is a daring choice for any chef. The chef that wins the Elimination Challenge gets $10,000 and moves on to the Top Chef finals. After making this announcement Padma then dismissed the chefs for the day.
The chefs were then shown shopping for the ingredients they would need for the Elimination Challenge. Gregory said that he would be using Asian flavors in his dish again.
Back at the house Gregory talked about how winning Top Chef would help him leave his difficult life in the past. Mei then said that she went to nursing school because her family wanted her to but she dropped out to go to culinary school instead.
As the chefs arrived the next day to start preparing their dishes Melissa said that since she was guaranteed a spot in the finals she could relax during this challenge and make something she enjoys. Gregory said that even though he started off the season strong the last few challenges have been a struggle for him. Melissa said that she would be happy to go to the finale with Mei because they have become friends throughout the course of the competition. Tom and Wylie then showed up to supervise the chefs. Wylie asked Gregory what was going to be innovative about his dish and he said the texture of the salmon he was using would.
Gregory had to serve his dish to the judges first, though he was running behind in having the dish ready. He said that he felt nervous about this. He then presented his salmon dish to the judges and Padma told him it was delicious. Melissa then presented her dish to the judges and Wiley said the duck she used was perfectly cooked. He then said that even though the dish was good he felt like Melissa stayed in her comfort zone when making it. George then presented his dish to the judges, who expressed displeasure with it. Mei presented her dish to the judges next. Tom said that he liked it and Wiley said that there was only a little broth but the flavor of it was delicious. Padma called Mei’s dish a breath of fresh air. Richard Blais said Melissa made the dish that tasted the best. Wiley then said that he would give the $10,000 to Melissa. Toms aid that George did not step out of his comfort zone by cooking ox.
As they arrived in the stew room the chefs anxiously awaited their fate in the competition. Once they were at the judge’s table, Tom said that some of the chefs didn’t step out of their boundaries enough to do well in the challenge. Padma then said Mei and Melissa had the best elimination challenge dishes. Mai said that she felt she had pushed herself to the limit throughout the competition. Tom said Mei’s dish was very complex and that he liked it. Wiley then announced the $10,000 was being awarded to Melissa, based on the execution of her dish. Padma then told Mei she is going to Mexico for the finals of the competition.
Tom told George and Gregory that he struggled with their dishes and that George made the same thing too many times. Wiley told Gregory his dish was restaurant worthy but that it could have been plated better Tom said Gregory’s dish was perfectly cooked. Padma then announced that George was being sent home, leaving Gregory to move onto the finals, taking place in Mexico. Padma said that when George got eliminated and got back into the competition he earned everything he achieved throughout the competition. He said he was proud of himself for making it to the final four anyway. He then said he wanted to go home and be great at what he does.
Gregory said that he has worked himself to the bone and is grateful he is moving onto the finale. One more last chance kitchen takes place between Doug and George in Mexico.
Next week the three remaining chefs are seen experiencing Mexico. Mei said that she should have practiced her Spanish before arriving and to her, not winning was not an option because she had to be the one to win the competition.
The top chef finale in Mexico will likely be the most interesting and competitive part of the competition. With the heat being turned up it will be interesting to see if Mei, Melissa, and Gregory get along like they have up until now or if the tension of being in the finals causes anger and arguments among the three of them that they never experienced before.
Editor’s Note: Top Chef Boston does it again, having us believe we’ll know who’s survived Last Chance Kitchen to join in the finals, but we have to wait until next week. It’s down to George and Doug. Since George hasn’t made the best decisions on Top Chef, Tom Colicchio thought it would be fun to have Doug choose between clams and octopus (the two dishes that sent George packing). Doug chose clams and now we’ll see who joins Melissa, Mei and Gregory (who played it way too safe and lucked out) in the finals in Mexico next week.