Top Chef: Thali Time
May 31, 2023 2:54 PM - Season 20, Episode 10 - Subscribe

There's nothing like preserved fish in the morning, which is exactly what the chefs have to cook with for this week's Quickfire Challenge. The chefs enjoy a night off as famed chef Asma Khan treats the cheftestants and Padma to an Indian thali dinner. For the Elimination Challenge, they must use six different flavor profiles to create their own Thali platter to impress a panel of chefs from India and judges Padma, Tom and Gail.

Summary from IMDB.

Amar wins the quickfire with a smoked haddock salad despite his lack of preserved fish knowledge. And then wins the main challenge despite his lack of Indian cooking knowledge.

Victoire really loves Asma Khan; she's star-struck ("Oh my god!") when she enters, with huge respect for her work in promoting women in the kitchen. But unfortunately she oversaffrons her rice and doesn't add salt to her kachumber because she didn't taste it in the thali, and has to pack her knives. Also on the bottom: Gabri (bad lentils, good kachumber) and Buddha (bad rice, good dessert).

Also: They were in London when QE2 passed away, and that disrupted the filming a bit.
posted by Superilla (5 comments total)
Sad to see Victoire go, but she really seemed to struggle with this one. Half the time watching her cook was amazing, and the other half felt off, I'd love to see what she produced when she was either fully comfortable with the format/language, or at her own restaurants.
posted by Carillon at 4:09 PM on May 31, 2023

This was a fun episode. I love a good thali and am fortunate to have restaurants that serve them near me. I just wish they had more time to describe each dish. Since there were so many, they just said "dal" and didn't give it the same multi-adjective description dishes usually get during judging. I want to salivate over all of the things!
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:16 PM on May 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

Padma just tweeted out that she's leaving the show as of the end of this season:

"I feel it's time to move on and need to make space for Taste The Nation, my books and other creative pursuits."

Damn it. I've seen smarter people than I suggest that it's been her influence the past few seasons that have moved Top Chef away from the conveyor belt of jerks and into a more supportive, and multicultural show. She's someone who the more I see of her, the more I'm impressed with her.

That said, Taste The Nation is a very good show, and Padma's great on it -- much looser than the Top Chef formula allows.
posted by Superilla at 10:53 PM on June 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Here's the NYT article on Padma's leaving.

I went back and watched season 1 of Top Chef, before Padma. The host they had was fine, it's hard to judge the season when they were still finding their way. But it's clear Padma really made the show her own. I'll miss her, I have my doubts the show can go on without her. Maybe this is end.

Taste the Nation is great! If you like that Marcus Samuelsson has a very similar show No Passport Required, on PBS.
posted by Nelson at 7:48 AM on June 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

I love Taste the Nation and I am happy for Padma to be moving on. It seems like a good move for her. I don't have any idea who would replace her and I am not sure how long I will keep watching the show tbh. We'll see!
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:57 PM on June 7, 2023

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