Top Chef Episode 10 Recap: This Thing’s Still On The Air?

Welcome back (again), readers! Whether you’re actually still interested or just need to see this through, I will continue to be your Top Chef Sherpa. With five cheftestants left, things should be interesting, right?


Although they’re all pretty darn good cooks, this season’s crop of cheftestants continue to be a bunch of duds in front of the camera. Thankfully, Andy Cohen’s on the scene for the Quickfire to liven things up.

This week, the final five’s first task is to make ramen (the instant kind, not the kind we were obsessed with in 2014) for Cohen, Padma, and Cohen’s college roommate, who makes being on TV look really hard. The poor guy is more awkward than a Mormon bartender. To make things difficult, the instant brick of noodles can only be enhanced by the contents of a college student’s dorm room fridge. The winner doesn’t get immunity, but they do get $5,000. Highlights of the fridge contents include a half-eaten pepperoni pizza and an entire chef salad (what college kid happens to have a whole chef salad on hand?). It’s basically luck of the draw with who gets what, and Mei and Doug wind up with terrible ingredients that translate into terrible ramen. Others fared better. Cohen and his super awkward and totally not gay roommate mentioned liking cheese and meat (who doesn’t?), two things that Skrillex and Kapnos happened to get, so they’re on top in this haphazard Quickfire. Melissa wins with a ramen carbonara made with cheese powder and fritos.

The cheftestants are then sent back to the stew room to watch some old Julia Child footage. We can already see where this is going when Jacques Pepin rolls in with some Top Chef-sponsored wine to discuss making a Julia Child tribute dish for the elimination. The cheftestants ask some stupid questions, then get to work. Most of them keep within the confines of classic French, even though they’re only allowed 3 hours for prep/cook and another hour just before service. Not exactly enough time for braising, but how dare you use a pressure cooker? Kapnos cares little for classic technique (because there’s no time). Skrillex chooses the path of righteousness. They both blow it. Hipster Urkel makes the smart choice by cooking a coq au vin and really nails it, but Mei’s decision to riff on a duck a l’orange (which also happens to be my favorite imaginary restaurant from the first Ducktales) with five-spice gives her the edge and a two-week win streak.

Doug, in a bit of foreshadowing early in the episode, admits that his whole roasted foie gras (no longer banned in California!) was a big risk and would either land him at the top or send him packing. I’ll give you one guess on how that turned out. He made a run there for a brief moment (and it really should have been Skrillex or Kapnos going home), but you can’t expect to win if you doubt your dish before it even makes it into the oven.

Four chefs left. And if my math is correct, there are 20 dishes standing between one of them and the title of Top Chef. Good luck, dorks.

All Top Chef coverage [f8b8z]