All of tonight's chefs are very special- they were all contestants on the very first season of "Top Chef"! And here they are now:
Rick Moonen- RM Seafood in Las Vegas (Charity: Three Square)
Wylie Dufresne- wd-50 Restaurant in New York City (Charity: Autism Speaks)
Graham Elliot Bowles- Graham Elliot Restaurant in Chicago (Charity: American Heart Association)
Jonathan Waxman- Barbuto Restaurant in NYC (Charity: Citymeals on Wheels)
Mark Peel- The Tar Pit in Los Angeles (Charity: Doctors Without Borders)
Ludo Lefebvre- Ludo Bites in L.A. (Charity: C.H.A.S.E. for Life)
Quickfire: Create a dish to pair with a Stolichnaya cocktail.
The mixologist is Charlotte Voisey, and the guest judges here this week are Alexis Bellino, Lynne Curtin & Tamra Barney from "The Real Housewives of Orange County".
Wylie (Russian Tea Room)- Arctic Char w/ lentils, bacon, crispy potatoes & lemon yogurt
Jonathan (Lemongrass Mojito)- Pork tendeloin & Poblano-stuffed srhimp w/ avocado butter
Mark (Ginger Figgle)- Mussel custard w/ Kaffir lime & figs
Rick (Forest Fruits)- Cream biscuit berry shortcake
Graham (Coriander Mule)- Crudo of black cod w/ an Edmame & red onion salad
Ludo (Nutmeg Applik Mojito)- Roasted pork chop w/ rosemary, thyme & garlic
The winner of this challenge with the first FIVE-STAR rating of the season is...
...Jonathan, meaning $5,000 goes to his charity! Everybody else got four stars apiece.
ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Create an upscale version of traditional pub food.
This week's budget at Whole Foods Market is $250 within a 45-minute time limit. Also, filling in for James Oseland on the judges' table is Gail Simmons.
Ludo: Beef tenderloin, potatoes confit and roasted peanuts w/ Miso & Guiness caramel
Rick: Chicken-fried sable w/ lemon confit tartar sauce, twice-fried potatoes & fennel slaw
Wylie: Bangers w/ smoked mashed potatoes, onion jus & snow peas
Graham: Roasted beef tenderloin w/ Chanterelle puree and a bacon-kidney vinaigrette
Mark: Seafood sausage and onion sauce w/ lobster broth & mustard greens
Jonathan: Lamb w/ mashed potatoes & Parmesan cheese
FINAL SCORES: The winner of this challenge got a FIVE-STAR rating from Gael Greene and 4.5s from everybody else, for a $10K-winning score of 18.5...
...it's Jonathan again!
I will tell you right now Rick got the same score from everybody. That means if it's a quartet of fours, he's in the Champions Round...
...AND IT IS!