“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.7 “Improv”

THIS WEEK’S
KITCHEN ESSENTIALS:

Quickfire: What would Willy Wonka do?
Elimination: Welcome to a night at the improv.
Padmaism: "I would lick my bowl if we weren’t in front of the
camera."

U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi — The house rises and shines. Well, they
shine as much as they can. With self-avowed metrosexual Ryan gone, some of the
housemates are feeling a little hit with the ugly stick.

Andrew: I’m waking up this morning and looking around
and obviously the room got a lot uglier. Ryan, pretty boy, left.

Antonia frets
about the one little mistake that could send someone home at this point in the
competition. You mean like leaving fish scales on or running out of food or a
having a filthy work station? Oh, wait.

Jennifer gets
on her chef gear and says, again, that she is doing this for Zoi.

Jennifer: I can’t be in the middle anymore. I need to be
on the top. Everything I’ve got, blood, sweat and tears.

OK, OK, we get
it. It’s all very noble and should certainly help you — shall we say — get some
when you two are reunited. But let’s move on.

Never skip
dessert —
The cheftestants
walk into the Top Chef Kitchen and
what greets them? Desserts. A whole table full of sweet, sugary confections
sits so close, yet so far away. Now I don’t have a big sweet tooth (I have more
of a bacon and cheese tooth), but even I want to grab a fork and gorge myself
into a sugar coma.

The
accompanying Quickfire Challenge is — you guessed it — to create a delicious
dessert. The presence of guest judge and "pastry icon" Johnny Iuzzini
brings this season’s overly gelled hairdo count to an all-time high.

Then host Padma
Lakshmi pulls out an advance copy of Top Chef: The Cookbook. My eyes
glaze over at yet another gratuitous product placement. Wouldn’t it be easier
to just get a flashing neon sign that reads: "BUY THIS!"

Turns out
whoever wins the dessert battle will be the only chef from this season to have
a recipe in the cookbook. No, this doesn’t mean they’ll have to open up a rift
in the space-time continuum. The season was taped in advance of the cookbook’s
March 20 release date. What it does mean, however, is that Padma is probably
holding up a book with nothing but blank pages.

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