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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top Chef: Just Desserts, Week 4: Separating the Nuts from the Cherries

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 10:29 AM

click to enlarge Clowns like this Lucent Dossier dude are scary. So are half the cheftestants on Just Desserts. - MR. NIGHTSHADE/FLICKR
  • Mr. nightshade/Flickr
  • Clowns like this Lucent Dossier dude are scary. So are half the cheftestants on Just Desserts.
Last night's Top Chef: Just Desserts might have aired on a Wednesday but it felt just like sundae, as contestants were kicked off the top for being too nutty. It all began with guest judge Gale Gand, executive pastry chef at Chicago's Tru, whose Quickfire Challenge seemed simple enough: Make the ultimate ice cream sundae.

O.G. Gail (Simmons) did not want "just ole bananas and nuts," and when Seth learned he couldn't make his own ice cream (it was a Breyers challenge) he responded by topping it off with a "weak sauce" to the judges. We are always ones for phallic imagery so this kind of language got us in the mood ... for the challenge.

It was no surprise to us that Seth did exactly what we asked of him last week: He brought the crazy back. This time over the fact that he couldn't get his paper cups back from the show's producers. He stormed off, and the next thing the contestants knew they were hearing ambulance sirens. Seth had passed out from an anxiety attack; the producers said he was not (mentally) equipped to compete. That's it. Everyone's favorite crazy Dexter/Marky Mark lookalike was sent home.

The contestants took like a minute to absorb this, and when they reentered the competition kitchen they looked far more relaxed. They drew ice cream scoopers and got working on their sundaes. Our new Superman crush, Morgan, won this challenge with his "Sunday Snack" (Oreo mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich with chocolate milk). And he won our hearts with his story that Sunday is his custody day with his son. Sunday, son day, and sundae: that's three cherries. We have a new love ― ca-ching!

For the Elimination Challenge, since Seth was gone and the show couldn't have an odd number of contestants, last week's loser Heather C. was brought back. The challenge was super confusing. After much TiVo rewinding we believe the challenge was this: In teams of three, contestants had to create desserts inspired by vaudeville troop the Lucent Dossier Experience. A pastry showpiece had to be made, along with a separate dessert by each group member, including a flaming one. (By the way, we died laughing every time the camera went to Zac when the word "flaming" came up.) For his team's showpiece, Zac wanted his face, in chocolate, to be at the center of things. Flaming ...superstar!

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman Morgan who took this challenge, despite having immunity, with his mango panna cotta, açai fluid gel, and passion fruit sorbet. This man can do no wrong.

The woman that can do nothing but wimpy was Malika. She eliminated herself to be with her kids and get back to cooking in an uncompetitive environment.

The cheftestants went in and out of the competition like crazy this week, proving that pastry chefs are nutty. We'll be tuning in until the end to see who gets to finally be topped off ...with a cherry.

Read more from Carina Ost at Mission Fruition. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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Carina Ost

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