Top Chef: Episode Four

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It was a juicy episode of Top Chef last night, full of surprises, backstabbing, accusations of cheating, and tears.

For the quickfire challenge the chefs have 30 minutes to create an amuse-bouche using only vending machine snacks as ingredients. Local culinary superstar, Suzanne Goin of A.O.C and Lucques was on had to choose the winner of the challenge. Surprisingly some of the chefs weren’t clear on what an amuse-bouche was, and made essentially a dessert. Some of the more notable dishes included:

• Ham and Swiss Cheese Quiche with a pesto dressing and a mint infused tea
• Fromage Frittata with a chiffonade of Basil, Pear and Fig Sauce
• Sunflower Seed and Carrot Loaf with Cilantro, Sesame and Squirt (yes, the soda)
• Duo of Cracklings with Lemon and Rice Pudding and Grapefruit Soda
• Deviled Egg with Corn Nuts, Deep Fried Salami, Pear Necter, and Fig Paste

For the Elimination Challenge the chefs had to divide up into four teams and were asked to create an entree, a side dish and a dessert, but the entire meal cannot exceed 500 calories. The dishes will be served at Camp Glucose, a fitness camp for children ages 8 to 18.

• BBQ Chicken Skewers with Coleslaw, Grilled Vegetables and an Old-Fashioned Fudge Cake with Fresh Strawberries
• Sausage and Cheese Pizza with Melon and Berry Skewers, a Meringue Cookie with Peanut Butter and Bananas and and a Mixed Berry Lemonade
• Chicken Parmesean, Veggie Lasagna, and Berry Cheesecake Pie
• Spiced Turkey Meatballs, Roasted Corn on the Cob and a Summer Fruit Smoothie

How about that outcome? Do we agree with the winner? Didn’t we kind of love Ms. Goin? Weren’t you just a little disappointed with what the teams came up with for the Elimination Challenge? I know I was. I found them all to be a bit uninspired. And yet the episode was totally watchable.