Top Chef Episode 6 Recap: The Philadelphia Cream Cheese Incident

Ding, dong, the Sich(el) is gone, greatly reducing the risk of the judges finding a head pube in their dishes. It also means that the villain spot is wide open, and what do villains have? That’s right, a deep, dark secret.

“Hey Michael, SUCK MY DICK.”  Nina, are you hiding something?

No time to worry about that, we’ve got a Quickfire to attend, hosted by none other than John motherfucking Besh. Stephanie Cmar, Kristen Kish’s bestie who slept her way back onto this season, is intimidated by his hair. Travis says that his mom has a huge crush on him, and Mrs. Gastro tells me that she can see why old ladies might find him attractive. He looks like a goofball, but he does have a winning smile. I am mostly intimidated by his teeth.

The cheftestants hop in their TOYOTA vans and head out to Covey Rise Farms, where they get 20 minutes to create a dish that highlights the Creole tomato. Patty complains about the time crunch. Everyone else is bothered by the heat. But if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen, right?

But they’re on a farm, silly!

Then just get the fuck out of New Orleans.

Our hero, Nick Elmi, doesn’t show in the Quickfire, even though Besh thought his dish was refined. Nina proves yet again that she’s this season’s Paul Qui and wins immunity with a chilled watermelon and tomato soup. The cheftestants are then treated to a night on the farm before they must prepare a farm-to-table family style dish using PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE–because when you think of farm-to-table, the first thing that comes to mind is a brick of white fat wrapped in foil from your grocer’s dairy section.

In addition to the judges and John Besh’s teeth, the cheftestants are also cooking for the executive chefs who run Besh’s empire of kitchens, and this week’s cruel twist is the banning of butter. The cheftestants can only use PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE, cream, and milk–which is no problem for Travis because he’s going to cut his vegetables in a creative way.


Instead of Colicchio casting his steely blue gaze of disappointment in the kitchen, Besh makes the intimidation lap. It’s chaos as usual, and before the dishes are even served, we know who will be on the bottom. Overall, many of the dishes totally shit the bed, which was a bummer for the farm fresh ingredients. Justin’s home field advantage pays off again, and though he didn’t really highlight the cream cheese, his roasted duck breast was the best of the entrée bunch. He gets to share the high praise with Nina and Dr. Elmi this time around. The judges loved Nick’s funnel cake with peach flavored cream cheese, but Nina still manages to best him, and she gets the $10k even though she probably doesn’t need it.

As expected, Sara, Bene, and Travis are on the bottom. Sara fell victim to poor time management, Bene steamed his vegetables into a wrinkly face, and Travis’ wacky cuts were anything but impressive. After a brief deliberation, the judges are unanimous in the decision to give Bene the boot. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but I doubt he would have made it much longer anyway.

So we’re down to 12, and Dr. Elmi’s heating up. It’s nice to be interested in Top Chef again, don’t you think?

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