Top Chef: Dinner in Zero Gravity
May 11, 2022 9:57 PM - Season 19, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The chefs get an early start as they head to the Houston farmers market to meet Padma and Quickfire guest judge Claudette Zepeda. For this Quickfire Challenge, the chefs have to put their own fresh take on fajitas, a Houston classic. The best fajita dish will win $10,000 courtesy of a sponsor. Next, the competition reaches new heights in the Elimination Challenge as the chefs voyage to the Houston Space Center to meet up with Melissa King and a few experts in space cuisine. If they want to blast off to victory, they’ll have to create a stellar new menu item that they would crave if they were on a multi-year mission to Mars that meets both NASA and guest judge Marcus Samuelson’s culinary standards.

Me: This summary is from the Bravo website; sponsor redacted. I love this show in general, but boy the product placement can get ham-fisted.

Padma, interrupting: Brought to you by Chef's Choice Hams, the all-natural ham that has a leg up on the competition.

Editors: 12 close up shots of a ham, logo facing camera, just sitting there on the counter while the cheftestants do other things.
posted by Superilla (9 comments total)
 
Good quickfire, sponsor aside. Reasonably straightforward, with the tricky problem of balancing shopping and cooking time.

I love how nerdy some of the chefs were; Evelyn was super excited about going to the space station, Jae almost crying when talking to the astronauts, Buddha just always. It was a pretty cool challenge and production leaned into it.

My wife and I disagreed over how spaceworthy Buddha's dessert could be; she thought that the smashing it with a spoon was impractical (and I agree), but I think that a liquids-in-sphere would actually be plausible, since fluids tend to form spheres in zero-g due to surface tension anyways.

Sad to see Jae go, but she sometimes seemed limited in what she cooked. The bulgogi I've had was grilled, and the browning and char from the grilling was a real highlight. I don't know why she thought it should be mushy to send into space; if she wanted something with that texture, there's probably other choices she could have made.
posted by Superilla at 10:38 PM on May 11


PAVLOVA IN SPAAAAACE. That is all.
posted by arha at 11:18 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]


On a more serious note, Jae deserved to be sent home for what she did to that rib-eye. Nothing about that plate looked appealing and I couldn’t work out from the edit just where she decided to go in that direction with that cut of meat.

The husband and I could quite agree if Buddha’s dish was an homage or a rip-off of the Snow Egg from Quay. Which is quite possibly the most famous dessert from Australian competitive cooking history (we take our televised culinary sports very seriously over here).
posted by arha at 11:33 PM on May 11


Ugggh, did not need to see Claudette again. She's been dead to me since she shanked Tanya Holland.
posted by praemunire at 11:42 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Sarah's back, baby!
posted by Spike Glee at 5:59 AM on May 12


That two part LCK, whew!

At this point, I’d be okay if anyone remaining won. Better than the dread I had last year with Gabe.
posted by inevitability at 7:41 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


Buddha's looked great, but the whole time I couldn't help but think about how crumb-y meringue can be and that adding those crumbs in space could be a really bad thing.

Also LCK!! So happy for Sarah, I will say I got nervous they were gonna do some serious BS when I saw it was a two parter with the other chefs. I forget which season it was, but I still remember the LCK that was 'you have to beat every other chef in a row to get back in', and was worried they were going to try and pull that here.
posted by Carillon at 9:18 AM on May 12


The ISS has a lot of pumps moving air around, so crumbs just end up in the filters pretty quickly.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:32 AM on May 13


One of the things I've noticed about Sarah in LCK especially in the finale is how good she is at explaining her thoughts about a dish; she's so articulate about it. Maybe others would be, since the pace of LCK is a little slower than the main show, but she really stands out.

Super glad she won; the two part challenge was maybe a little excessive (or maybe the first part wasn't important enough). If she'd won the first part unanimously and then lost the main, it could have been infuriating.
posted by Superilla at 12:07 PM on May 14


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