This week on Top Chef the chefs discussed their progress in the game. The six remaining cheftestants are getting more and more competitive every week. Doug commented that Katsuji is his favorite fellow contestant and that they will probably remain friends for life.
As the chefs arrived for this week’s quickfire challenge they were introduced to New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski. He then announced that he wanted the chefs to make him the best dish they can, incorporating sausage that they had to make on their own. George settled on creating a sausage inspired breakfast dish. Katsuji used liquid nitrogen in the making of his dish. Mei chose to make an Asian sausage salad for her dish. About halfway through the allotted one hour time George realized most of the other cheftestants were working faster than he was. As a result, he chose to make sausage patties as opposed to an actual sausage.
At the end of the hour time period the chefs presented their dishes to Padma and Rob. While presenting his dish George put his foot in his mouth when he told Rob he is not a fan. After sampling each dish Rob announced that Melissa’s dish was not substantial enough for him because he wanted a big meal and she made a salad. Gregory also received criticism for his dish. Doug’s dish was praised by Rob, as was George’s. Rob then declared George the winner of the quickfire.
Tony Maws (Craigie on Main) was then announced as a guest judge for the week’s Elimination Challenge. This involved each having to cook a dish inspired by a famous author. A New England work of literature had to be chosen by each chef. They were told they would be cooking for many authors and literature experts.
Gregory chose Edgar Allan Poe while Katsuji chose Stephen King. George chose Dr. Seuss and Mei chose Henry David Thorough. Melissa chose Nathanial Hawthorne, Doug chose Emily Dickinson. Padma then announced that the winner of the Elimination Challenge would get $25,000 in prize money.
Katsuji said that George had made a boring choice by choosing Dr. Seuss and that that wouldn’t help him make a statement. Tom showed up to question the chefs about their dishes for the Elimination Challenge Mae made a roasted vegetable dish because Henry David Thoreau was a vegetarian. Melissa created a seared halibut dish with a dark mushroom broth. She stated that she wanted her dish to look like a vegetable garden. She also confessed that though she and Mei have become friends she wants to win this competition. Gregory stated how important presentation is and stated that he thought his dish had a good shot at winning this round. He created a seared beef tenderloin dish to represent Edgar Allan Poe. Tony said his meat wasn’t quite well done enough. Author Brendan Fitzgerald didn’t buy Gregory’s idea that his dish represented Poe’s Raven.
Mei stated that the judges should be able to figure out who inspired the dish before having to be told. Her roasted vegetable dish was meant to represent a snowy night. Gail said she recognized technique and flavor in the dish. Tom also agreed that the dish was flavorful and her technique was good. Melissa presented her fish and vegetable dish to the judges and stated that her dish represented the various seasons, a theme of the books written by Nathanial Hawthorne. When Katsuji presented his dish to the judges he failed to remember that he had picked Stephen King. He said that his dish represented Carrie, which short ribs and white beans. Tom “jokingly” called it the most unappetizing dish he had ever seen but he also said the flavor of the dish was good. Padma declared that Katsuji’s execution of his dish was beautiful. Doug made grilled carrot bisque to represent his author and Padma declared it delicious while Gale called it intense.
Padma then called the cheftestants to the judging table. Tom admitted that this challenge was hard but no one seemed to have a problem with it. Mae, Melissa and Doug’s dishes were chosen as the judges’ favorites. Padma then let Tony announce that the dish that stood out the most was Mae’s dish, gifting her with the $25,000 prize. After being on the bottom of the challenge last week Mae said it felt good to achieve a victory this week.
Gregory was scolded by Padma over his Raven. Gail said she loved the idea of Katsuji’s dish but it seemed conflicted and Tom said the sauce was too thick. Tom acknowledged how hard the challenge was this week and Padma then announced that Katsuji was being sent home. Tom commented that Katsuji’s dish was “a little messy.” Katsuji said he was grateful for his experience on Top Chef. Katsuji said he went from arriving in the U.S. with nothing but now runs his own restaurant.
Of all the contestants remaining many viewers likely won’t enjoy the show as much now that Katsuji is gone. No doubt his supporters will be rooting for him to get back in the game via Last Chance Kitchen, a mini online Top Chef series that gives eliminated chefs the chance to return to the kitchen. Since George won the Last Chance Kitchen last week it is quite possible Katsuji will win the next one when the season resumes new episodes after the start of the new year.
As we take a two week pause from the show due to the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays viewers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next. Only time will tell which eliminated contestants make it back into the game and which ones get sent packing in the weeks to come. As the competition heats up with its last few participants, viewers will eagerly wait to see if George can maintain his standing on the show or if he will be eliminated again.