Well, we're not above eating a little crow. A few chefs we'd dismissed earlier in the competition completely hit the mark this week. Maybe the producers are toying with our emotions and creating ups and downs, but it seems the race isn't locked for Dale, Stephanie, and Richard (whom many of you've mentioned as the most likely final three). Of course, this week was different — not exactly the Top Cheffiest of Top Chef episodes. Note: We reveal the winner and loser after the jump... The contestants were cooking with kids from Art Smith's Common Threads program, which works to educate kids on healthy food and bring families together around the table. So, the elimination challenge had the chefs making a nutritious, easy, family-friendly meal with only $10 to spend. There was more than one comment on the rising cost of food. And we're sure $10 doesn't go too far at Whole Foods. The dishes that came out — the good ones, at least — were colorful, approachable, and still introduced something new and different to the kids who were helping out. Edamame, beets, and fennel all made an appearance.
Antonia won with her whole wheat pasta (above, left), and Nikki (Nikki!) was in the top three with her roast chicken and vegetables (above, right), which was praised for being a tasty one-pot meal. Antonia also won the quickfire, by the way, with a humble rice salad. And thus what we mean about it not being the Top Cheffiest of Top Chefs. The elimination challenge was all about home cooking, which we at The Kitchn are wholeheartedly about, but it didn't really fit with the purpose of the show. Stephanie, whose peanut butter-and-tomato dish did look awful, was criticized because she was clearly a restaurant cook who didn't make anything at home. Hmm. Isn't Top Chef about the creative, restaurant-quality dishes that inspire us? What do you think? Do you think Mark deserved to go for his curry? More Top Chef Coverage: