July 1st, 2010
01:17 PM ET

Confidence is key on 'Top Chef'

This time on "Top Chef" it’s all about confidence.

And what better way to shake the cheftestants confidence than with the widow-maker of ‘Top Chef’ dessert.

As expected, stunned faces fill the "Top Chef" kitchen as it’s announced Johnny Iuzzini will be judging the chefs' pie making skills. If you’ll remember, dessert is a genre of food that’s sent the last two cheftestants packing.

It’s always odd to hear chefs say they can’t bake pies – or they have never baked pies. But no matter for us, they have to do it now, and they have to do it in two hours. And really, with all the talent here, the least they can do is fashion some pies.

Flower, rolling pins, apples oh my! There’s a rush on pie tins and ovens.

Through the mixing and pounding and kneeding, some of the best moments come from cheftestant Tracey, who, god love her, baked too much butter into her pie. “I’ve got way too much butter in my pie. It just tastes like butter.” Tracey says as she rushes to fix pie number two for the judges. But can she get it done in time?

Utensils down. It’s tasting time:

On the bottom:
Alex: White chocolate, tapioca & chevre pie with almond crust & raspberry puree
Tracey: Blueberry almond crunch pie with light cream & almond brittle
Ed: Banana cream pie with salted peanuts & celery spuma

Above the rest:
Kenny: Bananas foster pie with currants & Chinese Five-Spice (Winner)
Kelly: Spiced raspberry & dark chocolate ganache tart.
Stephen: Curried Apple-Date pie with saffron

Since this episode seems to be about confidence it’s only fitting there are some chefs with enough to go around. During the quickfire Ed takes shots at Alex saying he has no technique, his cooking is under developed and he is a slob. And after his quickfire win, Kenny lets everyone know that once he starts winning challenges and gets into his groove, it’s over. But let’s remember the producers know how to use foreshadowing.

But if you need confidence, take it and run with it. You’ll need that confidence to make it through the season.

Elimination Challenge: prepare a picnic for Capitol Hill interns that include 1 main dish & 2 sides.

And as a special treat, the chefs get to prepare and serve it on grills. They get to serve outside at George Washington’s Mount Vernon home.

But no matter, as long as it’s not a dessert…

Above the rest:
Arnold: Sesame lamb meatball with tabouli salad & gazpacho (winner)
Angelo: Vietnamese lettuce wrap, smoked egg salad
Amanda: Dry-rub baby back ribs, grilled asparagus, bacon hazelnut vinaigrette
Ed: Spiced tuna loin with lentil hummus

Congratulations Arnold!

On the bottom:
Tracey: Italian sausage slider, tomato, cucumber & red onion salad
Kevin: Grilled marinated flank steak, rice & beans, tomato & avacado salad
Tim: Pork two ways: Dry loin & wet baby back ribs, grilled vegetables
Stephen: Bacon wrapped sea bass, ratatouille & olive pine nut couscous

Ultimately though, Tracey sealed her own fate not having confidence in herself and what she put together. She was sent packing. And in memory of my favorite chef from the DC cast – here are 5 of her funniest quotes from this episode.

“Nobody likes being called out in the bottom. I felt like I was called out for something embarrassing, like living in a trailer park.”
“How do you turn this grill down”
“There isn’t anything worse than mine.”
“It just tastes like butter.”
I get a whole bucket of lemons, and I think I make some good lemonade.”

Thank you Tracey, you were a joy and a pleasure. Two chefs may be joining after next week’s elimination. So, you’ll have company soon.

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Filed under: Top Chef

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. shirley

    i would not dare taste some of the stuff they cook.

    July 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Judging Jerks

    This season has "jumped the shark".

    July 9, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Clete

    Its a show. Its a show about cooking. It a show about cooking probably interrupted ninety-five times a minute by commercials. I think i'll go out for a pizza.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Karen

    I know this is probably the fourth posting on this subject – but please learn to spell and proofread!! The article was painful to read.

    July 3, 2010 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ted

    Cheftestants? Isn't that a little rediculous to combine two words to make one? It's supposed to be cute, right? Personally, it seems to me that when people do that they are a) trying to be clever, or b) trying to show off to their little friends how clever they are. C'mon guys, grow up and stop making a mockery of the English language.
    Thanks.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. davec

    My second favorite pie is apple pie. Can you guess my favorite?

    July 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JAe

    The article was interesting but please learn how to spell. You make pies with FLOUR not FLOWER and you KNEAD not KNEED dough.

    Spell check and proofread people.

    July 2, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      Except, both flower and kneed will be in the dictionary. Different meanings, of course, but I have rarely seen a spell check that will correct incorrect definition in a sentence.

      Although it is entertaining to read such glaring errors.

      July 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sallyc

    "Flower?" I think you need flour to make a pie! That said, I wish there had been a double elimination this week so Stephen would be gone; his food appeared to be just as bad as Tracey's. Oh, well, if two are being sent home next week, he's pretty sure to be one of them.

    July 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |

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