Top Chef Chicago: Blind Tastings and... Bacon!

Every year, Top Chef does a Quickfire challenge where they blindfold the chefs and have them identify or distinguish between ingredients. We love it, we wait for it, and we occasionally dream of having a game night at home where we do the same thing.

This season's edition had the contestants tasting ingredients like soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, and caviar to determine which of two is high end and which is less expensive.

After the jump, we reveal the winners (and loser) — plus confirm our belief that bacon makes everything better.

Pin it button big
Antonia won the Quickfire, but her team lost the elimination challenge, in which each group created a first course based on one of four elements: Earth, Water, Fire, or Air.

Zoi was sent home for making bland, under-seasoned mushrooms to go along with Earth's beef carpaccio. And Lisa won for team Fire's spicy, grilled shrimp with pickled chili salad and miso-glazed bacon. Her contribution? The bacon! She overlapped the pieces on a sheet pan and weighed them down so they'd stay flat while cooking. Then she brushed on a glaze made with miso and maple syrup. Simple, but all of the judges agreed that the bacon made the dish.

Pin it button big

They also seemed wowed by the unique presentation. Well, we've been dipping our bacon in syrup ever since we can remember, and we've also seen Ina Garten glaze bacon. So here, a little high-low comparison of our own...

At the end of the show, they let the cameras run on an all-out, after-hours screaming match. Dale is bitter that Lisa won... Spike thinks Antonia steamrolled over his idea to make butternut squash soup... We thought it looked like a B-roll that the producers mistakenly aired.

How are you feeling about these contestants? Are the attitudes and arrogance turning you off?

And who's making bacon with us this week?

More Top Chef coverage:

(All images: Bravo)