Top Chef: Hoop Dreams
February 8, 2019 1:34 PM - Season 16, Episode 10 - Subscribe

'Top Chef' alum Ed Lee drops by for a Quickfire that's part trivia, part culinary creativity. Coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats host a concession-stand cook-off in Rupp Arena. Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis joins the judges.
posted by kanata (11 comments total)
 
This is my least favorite elimination challenge they do. It always goes to a tie breaker and the chefs are always at a disadvantage due to cooking equipment. Just let these chefs cook in a regular kitchen.

I feel sorry for Sarah. Yes it was a game but it can't feel good to have 5000 people cheering against you.
posted by kanata at 2:15 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


The real loser here is Padma's questionable style choices.

I don't think using a mix that's just flour, salt, and baking soda is so bad. However, out of curiosity I looked at a few waffle mixes and all that I glanced at had more ingredients than that. Sugar, milk powder, and usually a mix of grains.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:32 PM on February 8


Yeah I looked at the specific one she bought (I think)— contained buttermilk powder, which I bet was the killer. No acidic liquid ingredient, which would in theory cause the issues they mentioned.

The elimination was a squeaker but I can imagine Michelle’s rib texture. Hell, I’ve accidentally made them like that myself. Trying to squeeze ribs into that short amount of time is a questionable decision unfortunately worth elimination.

I can also imagine how Sarah feels about the razzing. Big difference getting booed at center court versus Tom’s raised eyebrows. And Justin didn’t really let up, huh?

I don’t know if it’s because of the eventual outcome but Eddie sure is a goldmine for the editors.
posted by supercres at 4:09 PM on February 8


Anyone who has watched any old seasons of Top Chef knows: don’t buy boxed mix. It sends you home every single time. So don’t 1) buy a box mix and then 2) whine about people putting you down. It’s a competition. Sarah played poorly.
posted by lyssabee at 7:10 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Yeah it can't feel great to be bood, but seriously box mix? Like haven't you seen the show before?
posted by Carillon at 10:41 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


Eric, who's been relatively low-key and non-braggy compared with the other contestants, is now coming into his own.

Having said that, I am the Kiss of Death to Top Chef contestants. Whoever I decide I like in a particular episode is always told PPYKAG. So Eric will probably be in LCK next week.

Has there been a Sudden Death Quickfire this season? I hate those. It seems such an unfair way to leave the contest, on the back of a 30-minute challenge, where one small mistake can send you home. At least with the Elimination Challenges if a chef's messed up, it's because a carefully thought-out plan has failed.
posted by essexjan at 9:31 AM on February 9


I did think "noooooooo" as soon as she picked up the box mix. I think her chicken saved her.

I really enjoy Eric and his take on challenges and how he knew all about the cubes. I just love when the chefs nerd out about their love of the food ingredients. As someone not exposed to anything but boiled English veggies growing up and a phobia about them ever since it inspires me to get closer to trying new foods or seeing them differently.

Eddie is growing on me as I see him less of a villian and more as just a really permanently stressed person that gets in his head too much. They definitely are relying on him for his take on things more than the other chefs. If he is indeed the winner I do hate it when they foreshadow it so much.
posted by kanata at 9:46 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


It's not always easy to tell how much of the contestants' persona is genuine to them vs produced in post. And of course we can't taste the food for ourselves. Which is why I try to pay attention to how the contestants interact with each other.

I noticed early on that all of the other contestants (and the judges, too, for that matter) seem to genuinely really like Eddie, and they all seem to respect him as a chef, too. I don't know if he'll be able to keep from getting in his own way, but I'd be happy to see him take home the prize.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:43 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The pan over to Eddie just eating sushi at Whole Foods was priceless. He really is presented as the one with the most anxiety, so just watching him literally stand around and not compete was entertaining in its own merit.
posted by xtine at 9:31 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


After Nini left I had to attach to someone else, and that person is Eric. He has the combo I always think will win, which is that he has classic technique so he can pull off complex and interesting dishes, but he can add/use an ethnic zing that the judges aren't used to eating. But my prediction skills have failed in the past - somehow white guys cooking meat Italianly are just really good at winning!!!! - so we'll see.

I felt bad for Sarah, because it seemed like her breakdown was probably more "I've been in this competition for a while and I am exhausted and stressed and this is the thing that broke me down" than really about the specific catalyst. I mean, grabbing the box mix was a mistake any Top Chef viewer could see a mile away but I'm sure her emotional regulation muscles are very tired by this point.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:42 PM on February 10


Man, you cannot go on Top Chef and then get hurt when you are mocked for using a box mix. (And at least from what we saw, which admittedly may be incomplete, the crowd was yelling "Home-made!" not "Your box mix waffles are crap!")

Listening again to the comments made while the judges ate, I actually suspect that hissy fit saved Sarah--the comments made while eating Michelle's food did not seem adequate for a knifing. Sarah escalated the drama and got kept.
posted by praemunire at 9:34 AM on February 11


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