Top Chef: Holiday Vacation
April 13, 2023 12:44 PM - Season 20, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Following a quickfire involving cooking a celebratory dish with honey and mead, the cheftestants hit the road to a [sponsor name removed] vacation house in Kent to cook a family celebration dinner for their fellow chefs and judges.

The main challenge involves a shared budget, shared (massive) home kitchen and family-style dishes intended to evoke holidays.

Tom won the quickfire and took advantage of his immunity to volunteer to make a dense, unpleasant cake in the main meal.

Amar took the win with a Moroccan-flavoured lamb shank, edging out Victoire's madesu stew of beans and tomato, and Ali's Eid-al-Fitr inspired lamb kebab mezze platter. On the bottom, Gabri's bad mood led to bad mole verde, and Buddha missed the brief with a salad-covered salmon dish, but Begoña's dry Christmas leftover chicken sent her packing her knives.
posted by Superilla (9 comments total)
VICTOIRE: To see everybody sit[ting] around this table. To see the face of the judges; it's love. This is the magic and power of food.

I've said it before, I'm here to see them make friends; this was a lovely episode for that. Eating each other's food, talking about family and holidays and the shared humanity of it all. I love the extended Top Chef family thing that's been a hallmark of the last handful of seasons.

Begoña said in Last Chance Kitchen that she tasted all the dishes and agreed hers was the worst. (Spoiler note: there's a LCK return at the start of the next main episode, if you want to keep everything in order.)

Minor note: Sara's talking about how Victoire's food reminded her of her food was a lovely comment, particularly if you don't think too hard about what commonality there might have been between Congo and Kentucky.

Shoot; I just noticed an error in my post -- Ali was celebrating Eid-al-Adha, not Eid-al-Fitr.
posted by Superilla at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

Thanks for posting!
posted by sixswitch at 3:28 PM on April 13, 2023

Gabri can be so hit or miss, I'm not going to be surprised with he goes, but I think when he's on his food is so exciting. Buddha looks so confused with he's in the bottom, very much like are you sure you have the right dish?? It's funny, but I hope he actually can listen to what they're saying. He crushed the vacation challenge last year didn't he?
posted by Carillon at 3:41 PM on April 13, 2023

I thought it was incredibly awkward. It would be one thing for all the contestants and judges to sit around the table and share a meal and discuss their love of food. Doing it while, at the same time, the judges were critiquing the food as they were eating it while everyone watched was...

Yeah, it had a weird vibe and I didn't like it!
posted by kbanas at 5:54 PM on April 13, 2023

I've been enjoying watching Ali Ghzawi. He seems to be consistently cooking Middle Eastern food. Other contestants are cooking "their food" sometimes but as a special thing, prepared in an American/European way and often given a touch of exoticism. Nothing wrong with that, I love eating that kind of syncretic food. But Ali just seems to be cooking food from his region like he would at home. Very high end, diverse food. Given his background I'm sure he can cook whatever style he wants. But it's been fun seeing his choices.

(Also he is very handsome and has a great smile.)
posted by Nelson at 8:36 AM on April 15, 2023 [4 favorites]

Ali isn’t a snack, he is a complete breakfast that I want to be a part of.
posted by sixswitch at 8:16 PM on April 15, 2023 [4 favorites]

I am definitely a fool for his medames.
posted by Nelson at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2023 [2 favorites]

I already fell for one man because of his muhummera
posted by sixswitch at 10:31 PM on April 15, 2023 [3 favorites]

I would be sad if they promised me an English countryside vacation and they took me to a house that looks like every new airbnb in the US.

Food looked great though!
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2023 [1 favorite]

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