Tongue... tripe... hearts... to you and
me, offal. To the superchefs we met last time... Offal tasty. Only one,
Rick Bayless, joins Suzanne Tracht and Hubert Keller in the Champions
Round, though. Tonight, another will join them.
Your masterclass tonight is...
chef/owner, Alma de Cuba
Tortilla-free Latin American
AYUDA for the Arts
New York City
Michelin-star chef/owner, Annisa
New Orleans Cajun
Make It Right Foundation
Doctors Without Borders
Quickfire Challenge: Inspired by Chef
Excoffier, the father of French cuisine, you'll have to cook one egg.
From season 3, you'll have to cook and egg dish with one hand behind
your back. They'll be judged by Gail Simmons, regular Top Chef judge,
egg rancher Terry Reish, and Monica May, executive chef of the Nickel
Twenty five minutes... starting now!
DOUGLAS: Open-faced Corn Cake with
Scrambled Eggs and Ham.
MARK: Fresh Duck Egg Pasta with Egg & Olive Oil Cream Sauce. Mark didn't
have time to clean around his dish before serving. ALSO, he forgot the
olive oil That made the dish bland.
ANITA: Soft Scrambled Egg & Shiitake Mushrooms with Truffle Oil & Oyster
JOHN: Slow-cooked Egg... unfinished.
Quickfire scores are...
Mark: 2.5 stars
John: 0.5 stars
Douglas: 3 stars
Anita: 5 stars! Perfect!
So Anita has the advantage going into...
Create a delicious meal for actor and
notoriously-fanboyish game show fan Neil Patrick Harris. He's a longtime
fan of magic, and one of his friends Max Maven will be introducing this
challenge using a deck of cards.
What, besides the same thing, do these
mean? They'll have to create a dish inspired by the card you drew. You
have $250 and 45 minutes to spend at Whole Foods, two hours to prep
tonight, and one more hour to prep at the Magic Castle.
No one is willing to divulge anyone's
secrets, like a true magician. Anita, on the other hand, will create an
illusion of a scallop. She admits to not being the most theatrical of
the chefs. She, according to the other three, is the one to beat.
There's a rivalry between east-coast and west-coast chefs. This could to
John will call upon his training as a
Marine, which served him well in rebuilding New Orleans. Douglas's
mentor: Julia Child. Competition fuels him.
Meanwhile, Tom Colicchio from "Top Chef"
joins the action for moral support, not necessarily to judge. He says
that they've figured out early what most Top Chef chefs don't. Cooking
is about telling a story. It's still anyone's game.
All of the chefs are pulling out all of
the stops to try and knock out Anita.
The next day, the chefs arrive at the
Magic Castle, an exclusive club in LA that you have to be invited to get
into. It's so exclusive that you have to say a magic word to get in.
Judging today's magic acts are James Oseland,
Gael Greene, and Gail Simmons. Included in the diners section are NPH,
Max, and Ed Alonzo.
Dinner time. First up is Mark's mystery.
Mark: Tai Snapper in Parchmen with Garlic
Mashed Potatoes & Leeks served with scallion oil and dassai sake. Things
transform in the oven, so Mark doesn't really know what's in it. But
it's bold and clean with a bitter finish.
Next, John will surprise with...
John: Salmon Tartare with Cauliflower
Blini, Salmon Roe Salad with Horseradish & Creme Fraiche Sorbet, and
Tempura-Fried Lobster wrapped in Smoked Salmon. A lot of surprises in
Next, Anita has an illusion...
Anita: Braised Dailon with Kombu Caviar &
Steak Tartare. It's supposed to look like a scallop, but it reminds of
the famous sawing-a-lady-in-half trick.
Finally, we go to Douglas's spectacle...
Douglas: Duck Four Ways - Oyster Ceviche
with Duck Broth, Empanada with Foie Gras, Duck Breast, Duck Soup in a
Flaming Coconut. Presentation is terrific.
It's still anyone's game as we go to the
Critics Table. John's dish was about surprise, so he used techniques
that he was not known for. The blini was a bit too cold, it was a shock
to the system. His lobster was perfectly cooked, though. Gael thought
that Anita's dish was like a surrealistic painting. James thought that
the broth tied everything together with the daikon. Douglas didn't want
to cook anything different than what he was used to. Douglas cooked a
classic ceviche. Mark's mystery was less than Mediterranean, but in a
good way. All the elements really worked in his dish, especially the
sake. It was the perfect contrast.
Remember, this is for $10,000 for
John had half a star going into the
elimination round... Diners give him 2.5. Judges... 9 more for a total
Mark had 2.5 stars going into this
round. The diners give him 4 more... and the judges give him 12 more for
a total of 18.5 to take the lead.
Douglas had 3. The diners... 3. The
judges... 7 to give him 13. Not enough to beat Mark.
It's all on Anita now. She had the lead
going into the Elimination Challenge with 5. Diners give her 4.5. She
needs 9.5 to move on to the Champions Round. The judges give her... 13
to win $10,000 for her charity! That Quickfire really put her out of
Next time, another four superstars and
another possible 25 regular stars will separate one of them from the
Champions Round. Until then... don't forget the mint.
To see this episode in its entirety, go