We're getting there - just two more episodes!
After Tiffany's left the Stew Room, the remaining three talk about how good a competitor she was. Mike is pleased he's winning; Richard isn't worried that Mike's on a streak. As Richard said - Mike's won 2 challenges on his seasons of TC; Richard's won 8. :-)
Padma and Wolfgang Puck meet them in the kitchen...Their last Quickfire will be choice of seven Classic Quickfires from seasons past. And each chef gets to choose for another chef what their challenge will be!
Since Mike won the last EC, he chooses first:
Mike gives Antonia = Canned Foods
Antonia gives Richard = Hot Dogs
Richard gives Mike = One Pot
Antonia isn't pleased with what Richard chose for Mike, but we'll see!
Antonia goes with a Curry Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Andouille and spices.
Mike makes Pork and Beans (pork shoulder and black beans) with a spicy chili paste
Richard makes Curry Wurst with homemade Roti Bread and a Spicy Ketchup
But what's this? Padma shows up in the kitchen EARLY! Rut-roh! And sure enough - there's a twist....each chef gets to assign a classic Top Chef twist to another!
Richard gives Mike = cooking with no utensils or knives
Antonia gives Richard = Cooking with one hand
Antonia takes = cooking in a double apron...and she gets to cook with Carla!
Mike doesn't seem to have a problem, as he used a pressure cooker as his "one pot" - so he's standing around doing nothing. Meanwhile, Richard's having issues with trying to cut limes with one hand, and Antonia seems to be doing well having Carla by her side.
Wolfgang and Padma taste the items - he *really* seems to like Richard's dish, but it was a bit too ketchupy. He liked Antonia's soup, but very highly spiced. Mike seems also to do well.
The winner is Mike yet again! He wins $5,000. NOW Richard seems to be feeling the pressure (not that he doesn't always feel the pressure!)
They head out to The Cloisters the next morning, and meet up with Puck, Masaharu Morimoto, and Michelle Bernstein. They are to create a Last Supper for each.
Mike chooses Michelle Bernstein - AND gets to assign the other chefs! He gives Morimoto to Antonia, and Puck goes to Richard. He's definitely playing the game! Sure enough, however, Padma says there will be another twist - which will be revealed later. And for the first time in a LONG time in Top Chef, only TWO of the chefs will go on to the actual finale!
Richard for Puck - Goulash, Spaetzle, and Apple Strudel
Mike for Bernstein - Fried Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy
Antonia for Morimoto - Miso Soup, Picked Vegetables and Sashimi
Back at the hotel, Mike says he has it the hardest - both Antonia and Richard disagree with him. Antonia said her dishes are the toughest, and if she pulls it off, it will be kudos to her. Richard says Mike has the easiest, as he's not dealing with different cultures. Mike says he's never made biscuits before, and Antonia said "you will tomorrow!" He said "Nope, not doing that - I'll be doing my own thing" and Richard says he'll be doing the same thing with Puck's Last Supper.
THIS is going to be interesting!
Tom Colicchio shows up in the kitchen to talk to them - even *he* thinks that Mike picked the easiest dish! He thinks that Richard, who can break down a dish, might be able to manage this task easiest. He said if Antonia can pull off making Morimoto's dish, she can compete.
But it turns out the hamachi is bad - almost rancid! She has to go with tuna. Richard cannot get the lid off the pressure cooker; he knows he cannot choke in this round!
Melanie Dunea, who wrote "The Last Supper" joined the judges at the table.
Antonia serves first - Tuna Sashimi, Pickled Daikon, and Miso Soup. Soup was too salty, per Morimoto, and Gail Simmons choked on the tiny piece of scotch bonnet pepper on her tuna sashimi - effectively wiping out the taste of the tuna.
Mike is up next - he made Fried Chicken with Pea Puree, Egg Yolk Empanada, and Mustard Gravy. The batter on the white meat wasn't crispy (perhaps because he chose to sous vide the chicken first?), and Morimoto's white meat was dry, but most seem to like it.
Richard made Goulash with Spaetzle and Frozen Sour Cream, with Apple Strudel with Frozen Tarragon Cream and Ras al Hanout. This is one where everyone seemed to really like the dish (including Morimoto!) Puck said his mother would have liked this dish - high praise! I'm thinking it's going to be Richard who gets the "win" of being named first into the finale.
Padma calls them back into the dining room - and Tom announces that Richard is moving on to the final round!! YAY Richard! BUT - that envelope comes out again! Rut-roh! Richard's glad he's through to the finale - he can see Michael and Antonia are super nervous.
Padma gives the envelope to Antonia - who reads "You have one more challenge to see who claims the last spot in the finale." Tom said they have 45 minutes to create one bite - 7 diners, 7 bites. Antonia and Mike scramble back to the kitchen (while Richard just kind of stands there! LOL)
Mike is sweating in his beef tenderloin and lobster tail. Antonia seems to be hung up on curry flavors - she's using group and curried coconut flavors - a Seared Group with Coconut Lobster Broth. Mike ends up with a "surf and turf" - Tempura Lobster and Beef Tartare with Red Chili Potatoes with two sauces - a Chimichurri Sauce and a Olive Caramel Sauce.
After trying them both, Padma polls the judges - they're evenly split - three to three, until they come down to Wolfgang Puck. He like Antonia's flavors (although Tom thinks that the curry flavor was too overspiced), but he likes Mike's preparation. Who's it going to be? It could go either way! (Kind of hoping for Antonia!)
We're back...Mike looks like a deer caught in the headlights. And who's it going to be? It's Mike who gets the win - Antonia is to pack her knives and go. :-( Sorry to see her go.
Preview shows the earlier kicked off cheftestants coming back to be sous chefs....AND at the end of that preview, I *think* I see who Padma tells "You ARE Top Chef!" I won't say how, but I think I know. At least I *hope* I'm right! LOL