Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Top Chef: Chicago" 5/28

After this episode, only four chefs will make it to next week's episode in Puerto Rico. This week's guest judge was Rick Tramonto, the chef/owner of Tru & Tramanto's Steak and Seafood.

Quickfire: The remaining five went to a butcher shop called Allen Bros. While having their butcher outfits on, everyone had to cut enough small pieces of their slab of meat so that the bones were cleaned. After that, they had to go back to the Top Chef Kitchen and cook and butcher a perfect steak (aka Tomahawk Chop). Tramonto loved steaks that were medium rare.

The ones with the worst steaks were Stephanie Izard and Richard Blais. The winner was...

...El Cheapo, Spike Mendelsohn!

Elimination Challenge: Everyone had to run the guest judge's steak restaurant for a night. They each had to do an appetizer and an entree, and could only use the ingredients they found in Rick's kitchen.

Spike won this week's Quickfire, so he got to choose the first protein for his appetizer and entree. He chose the tomahawk steaks and the frozen scallops.

Overseeing the action were the three past champions of this show- Harold Dieterle (Season 1), Ilan Hall (Season 2) and the most recent one, Hung Hunyh.

Appetizer: Grilled and chilled prawns, lemon zest and tomato salad with crostini
Entree: NY Strip Steak with apple caramel sauce and peanut butter mashed potatoes

Appetizer: Hamachi with crispy sweetbreads, radish, avocado and yuzu
Entree: Beef filet with potato puree, turnips and pickeled brussels sprouts

Appetizer: Seared scallops with hearts of palm and oyster mushrooms
Entree: Tomahawk chop with sweet potato puree, brussels sprouts and cipollins

Appetizer: Sweetbreads with golden raisins and pine nuts
Entree: Beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms and applesauce

Appetizer: Mushroom and artichoke salad, poached egg and bacon vinaigrette
Entree: Bone-in ribeye with fennel and cipollins plus shallot and potato gratin

According to the comments I heard on all the dishes, Lisa, Spike and Antonia did the worst. The winner was...

...for the THIRD TIME IN A ROW AND FIFTH TIME OVERALL, Stephanie Izard! She got a cookbook from Rick as a prize, as well as an array of GE kitchen Monogram appliances that were similar to the ones used inside the Top Chef Kitchen.

In addition to her, Richard Blais joined her in the final four (because he had the best appetizer this week). The third person in...

...Antonia Lofaso (she had the best entree of the night)! Thus, it comes down to El Cheapo and Lisa Fernandes. Whether David Dust likes it or not, the last entrant into this season's final four is...

Lisa Fernandes
Spike Mendelsohn


But Spike should be back on the two-part season finale that begins next week, where he and a few other eliminated contestants would probably help out the remaining contestants. In the end, only one will win over $100,000 in cash and prizes.
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