"Top Chef", an already sweet little
number from the folks at Bravo, just got a little sweeter, as pastry
chefs from across the country play the game with cakes pies, tarts, and
today... chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. At the end of the ride,
an even sweeter deal: a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at
the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, a 2011 Buick Regal, $100,000 from
Godiva Chocolatier, and the title of... "Top Chef: Just Desserts".
Let's meet the combatants!
- Malika Ameen, 35, Chicago
- Seth Caro, 34, Chappaqua, NY
- Heather Chittum, 37, Brooklyn, NY
- Erika Davis, 40, Tamms, IL
- Heather Hurlbert, 40, Seoul, South Korea
- Danielle Keene, 29, Los Angeles
- Tim Nugent, 41, Alburgh, VT
- Tania Peterson, 39, Cambridge, MA
- Yigit Pura, 29, Ankara, Turkey
- Morgan Wilson, 37, Sonora, CA
- Eric Wolitzky, 38, Rochester, NY
- Zac Young, 27, Portland, ME
Judging the creations will be acclaimed
pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, Top Chef Masters finalist Hubert Keller, and
food and lifestyle columnist Danielle Kyrillos.
Like "Top Chef", the rounds are split
into two: the Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge.
Create a signature dessert. The winner
gets immunity from elimination. You have 30 to shop, 90 to cook. And
check your recipe books at the door. They're not allowed.
And because this is "Top Chef", it's
NEVER as easy as that. Gail and Johnny want you to transform your
signature dish into... a cupcake. You have 75 minutes left... GO!
Tania - Chicory Mousse Cupcake with
Mesquite Flour & Creme Fraiche Caramel
Heather C - Carrot Cupcake, Creme Fraiche Cream Cheese Icing & Fried
Zac - Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Lemon Curd & Blood Orange Marshmallow
Danielle- Chocolate Cupcake with Mint Chip Filling & Toasted Meringue
Eric - Devil's Food Cupcake with Buttermilk & Coffee
Tim - Pistachio Semifreddo
Seth - Steamed Malaysian Coconut Cake with Basil Buttercream & Candied
Morgan - Dark Chocolate Souffle Cupcake, Supreme of Tangerine & Caramel
Malika - a whole lot of nothing.
Least favorites were Malika, Tim, and Zac.
Best of the best were Seth, Tania, and Heather C. The winner.... SETH.
The chefs are going to work with
chocolate. And lots of it. It can be very temperamental, but if you
create the most luxurious chocolate dessert ever, it may prove to be
very profitable. You have to impress a room of 50 chocoholics, including
Mr. Chocolate himself, Chef Jacques Torres. You'll have four hours to
cook in the kitchen and one to serve in the dining room.
One of the major issues with the chefs is
the ovens. Seth is coming into this with immunity, so you expect him to
take it easy... he isn't.
Tania's dish is turning into a chocolate
hummus, which is totally NOT what she wanted. She's hoping that she can
get on with taste alone.
The tasters and the judges arrive... and
so does the chocolate.
Morgan - Chocolate Fried Pie with Milk
Chocolate Bourbon Flan
Heather C - Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with a Mini Whoopie Pie
Eric - Spiced Brownie with Ancho Chile, Ginger & Cinnamon
Heather H - Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier
Zac - Chocolate Fondant Brownie Sundae
Tania - Flourless Chocolate Torte with Earl Grey & White Chocolate
Danielle - Chocolate Tart with Hazelnut Brittle
Seth - Madras Curry & Chocolate Palette with Raspberry Gelee
Yigit - Flourless Chocolate Genoise with Custardless Ice Cream
Tim Chocolate Cake with Ganache & White Chocolate Cream
Malika - Bittersweet Chocolate Layer Cake with Braised Cherries &
Erika - Chocolate Caramel Banana Crunch Bar
Seth, Heather H, and Zac are called to
the Judges Table. All three... are the TOP THREE in this challenge! The
winner, the one who embraced the chocolate decadence.... HEATHER H!
She's charged with calling back three of her colleagues... Danielle,
Tania, and Morgan.
These... are the bottom three. Danielle's
dessert was impossible to eat, and using a freeform idea made it explode
onto the plate (and not in the good way). Tania's mousse had a very
gritty texture. The judges really liked the chocolate layer and wanted
more of that. Morgan did notice that his flan separated. And helping it
out just added to the jarring contrast.
Morgan's biggest problem was himself. He
spread himself too thin. Tania had plenty of time to remake a broken
mousse. Danielle was a bit defensive with her dessert.
Morgan has the technique. Danielle needed
to take some time about construction. Tania didn't correct her errors.
First out the door in "Top Chef: Just
Desserts"... TANIA. Please pack your tools and go.
Things are just starting to heat up in
the TCJD kitchen. Come back for another helping next time.
To see this episode in its entirety,
or to get recipes from this episode, go