Top Chef Recap

By Jason Lee

February 12, 2009

This is what passes for a smile for Leah.

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This week on Watch What We Say: The last supper means that someone goes home

In episodes past, we've seen the Top Chef house filled with a variety of things - drama, smoke, adultery, chefs - but today, it's filled with one thing and one thing only: tension. With only five chefs left, we're going to see four happy chefs and one disappointed by the end of this. Everyone is still reeling from Jaime's elimination last week, though Stefan is rejoicing, feeling that because another talented chef went home, the path is that much clearer for him to take home the title.

As for the women in the competition, Leah (for the umpteenth week) says that she needs to start cooking good food. She said that she loves cooking and needs the validation of doing well in this next Elimination Challenge so that she can do well in the finale.

Carla, on the other hand, admits that she got into cooking late in life. In her early adulthood, Carla used to model but would always buy cookbooks. "Models eat?" I scribble in my notebook, though in retrospect I guess that it's entirely possible to love to cook without loving to eat.


We head to the Top Chef kitchen and we see molecular gastronomist, Wylie Dufresne. He's vexed a number of innovative Top Chef contestants like Season 2 runner-up Marcel and Season 4 finalist Richard and I'm curious to see what spin he'll put on this Quickfire.

Actually, there's little to no spin. The Quickfire is standing motionless. As we saw in the episode leading up to the Season 3 finale, the chefs must cook breakfast...though they have the requirement of using one of Wylie's favorite ingredients: the incredible, edible egg. I just hope this time around, pompous Hung isn't around to knock over a bottle of truffle oil and then deny he did it (I still haven't forgiven you, Hung!).

Stefan makes an incredibly complicated looking dish, with eggs done two ways, poached and as part of a panna cotta. "Clever," says Wylie. Leah makes a quail egg with potatoes and caviar. "Nice," says Wylie. Carla has done a take on Green Eggs and Ham by cooking eggs with spinach and jalapeƱo oil - a dish that Hosea strongly criticized for being overly simplistic. "Pretty," says Padma. Hosea does a trio of Japanese dishes, but all with eggs in them ...a salmon roll with an egg white as the wrapping, egg sticky rice and a tempura fried egg. "Neat idea," says Wylie. Fabio hates breakfast (he got tripped up on the breakfast challenge earlier this season) and does sunny side up eggs two ways. Wylie seems concerned that there's no egg in his dessert.

Wylie is quick and decisive in what he liked and didn't like - understandable given that he's appeared on this show for the past four seasons. On the bottom are Fabio, who stepped around the idea of breakfast and eggs, Hosea, who didn't tie his three dishes together, and Leah, who was weighed down by a heavy, greasy potato ravioli.

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