Top Chef

Top Chef Recap: Woking It Out

Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

Last night’s first half of the Top Chef finale brought us to Singapore, where our final four cheftestants — Angelo, Kelly, Ed, and weird-hat-wearing Kevin (strike one) — took a tour of the city’s street-food market, otherwise known as the most appetizing food we’ve seen all season. Angelo, who of course knows different dialects, thinks it’s destiny that the finale is in Asia.

At the end of the tour awaited, of course, Padma, Quickfire in hand. She instructed the chefs to make their version of Singapore street food using only a wok and local ingredients, all of which were labeled in Cantonese (shockingly, Angelo couldn’t read them). Padma called Kevin out for having never used a wok before, pointing out that he had plenty of notice that he was going to Singapore and could have practiced, which, DUH. Strike two. The win — and the last-minute immunity — went to Ed’s stir-fried noodles with black-pepper sauce, lobster, and gai lan. Angelo was unsurprisingly pissed, being the king of Asia and all.

For the elimination challenge, the chefs had to work as a team yet again to create a cohesive menu for a party for Food & Wine magazine, where they would have to cook the food to order. Despite being given $200 to shop in an awesome local market, Ed pocketed jam from the hotel breakfast. He then gave an odd monologue about how he used to have a learning disability and he is taking this time to prove to the people he grew up with that he’s not a “fucking idiot.”

Tom certainly thought all the chefs were idiots when he strolled into the kitchen during prep and found out that each was only planning one dish, and ordered them all to make a second when Ed announced he was making two dishes. Kelly then sliced her hand open on something and bled all over the floor, and potentially all over her food, because it took her a while to notice. After prep the chefs went prawn fishing in a pond, and Kevin refused to touch them. Personally, we wouldn’t, as they look like giant bugs, but aren’t chefs supposed to be okay with these things? Strike three, Kevin, strike three.

The chefs, astonishingly, didn’t kill each other during service, choosing instead to take their frustrations out on the confused servers. But despite the yelling, the food went out fairly well. The win went to Ed’s “holy Asian extravaganza,” especially his “perfect stoner food” banana fritters with red-chile paste. Does Tom do more than just drink at judges’ table? The judges loved Angelo’s lamb tartare, though his spicy shrimp broth with ginger was a little too thick and salty. Kevin’s congee with 63-degree egg was a huge hit, though his clam chowder needed more heat. Kelly’s guava-apple salad was a judges’ table favorite, but her roughly handled fish (and the judges’ recent apparent inability to send women to the final episode) sent her home.

Next week: the finale! Finally! We find out the twist! Angelo is sick! Old chefs, which better not be the twist as it happens every season!

Top Chef Recap: Woking It Out