Quickfire: the chefs are met by an airport bus that takes them to Pearson airport. They are taken to the tarmac where they have to create a dish based on a destination served by the airport. They pick suitcases to determine the destination. The winner gets a trip to Bali, Indonesia.
Nicole chooses Barcelona, Spain. Danny gets Bangkok, Thailand. Matthew gets Sydney, Australia. Geoff chooses Mexico City, Mexico. Dennis chooses New Orleans, USA. Jonathan gets Tokyo, Japan.
On the top: Geoff and Dennis.
On the bottom: Danny and Jonathan.
And the winner is Dennis.
Lisa reminds the chefs to bring the luggage back to to kitchen.
Elimination: The chefs have to cook a six-course Indian feast. The chefs have to prepare a dish inspired by a specific region in India, which is inside their luggage.
Nicole has to prepare a dish inspired by the Punjab. Jonathan gets Delhi. Matthew gets Kerala. Dennis has Goa. Danny has Bengal and Geoff gets Mumbai.
The guest judge is Vikram Vij and Russell Peters is a special guest. The winner will get a $5,000 prize. The chefs also get to ask Vikram and Lisa questions before they have to cook.
Geoff goes first. He makes a brown butter potato cake with mango chutney. Next is Nicole who serves a saag paneer goat curry pakora but doesn't get it all plated in time. Danny is next and he serves a slow-poached grouper with fried gourd chips, lentil beans and naan bread. Matt serves a braised beef with coconut curry, banana chutney and jasmine rice. Jonathan's dish is a roasted pistachio and cardamom braised chicken korma on a saffron and lime cake. He also serves a mango and baby banana lassi. Dennis makes a rosewater and coconut milk rice pudding with ginger tamarind ice cream.
On the bottom: Nicole, Geoff and Jonathan.
On the top: Matthew, Danny and Dennis.
The winner is Matthew and Geoff is sent home.
Is it just me or is this a weird challenge so close to the end? Indian food is so complex and this challenge was so specific and nobody was particularly knowledgable about the regional cuisine. On Top Chef US, they usually save the ethnic challenges for the finale, where the chefs have a chance to prepare themselves and study the indigenous cuisine before they arrive for the finale.
Also, it's a small thing but I thought it was strange that Matt made jasmine rice instead of basmati. And it's the second time that he has excelled at an Indian food challenge.
I thought Mark McEwan was particularly hard on Nicole for not finishing on time and being sick. She missed getting goat on a few dishes. It wasn't like she didn't get any food on half the dishes. She only missed by probably 10-20 seconds. And I know that being sick is no excuse but I think it should be taken into consideration. You can't help but be a bit sluggish when you're sick and she managed to make a delicious dish even though she couldn't taste or smell. She should have received acknowledgement for that.
And can someone tell Mark McEwan to stop saying "pleasant" when describing a dish? It's the most awkward and meaningless description. So the food was edible and not complete crap? How edible? One step above McDonald's? Equivalent to the food at a chain restaurant? Two steps below North 44? It doesn't give us any insight at all as to what the dish was like.
I'm glad it was Geoff who got sent home. He hasn't made anything memorable the entire season. Though I thought Jonathan was pretty lame in the quickfire and a bit obnoxious in the elimination. I don't think Vikram appreciated his attempt to elevate the plating.
Next week, Real Housewives of Vancouver? Oh dear!