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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top Chef: All-Stars, Week 3: David Chang and a Kitchen Packed with Sweaty Amazeballs

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM

click to enlarge David Chang. - DAVID_SHANKBONE/FLICKR

Hey, all-stars: Meet New York's finest chefs, then emulate them in their own kitchens.

That was the main mission of last night's third installment of Top Chef: All-Stars. It was balls to the wall and an all-around amazeballs episode as two top cheftestants were on the chopping block.

The episode began with David Chang, chef and owner of the Momofuku Group, as guest judge. The Quickfire Challenge was a mise-en-place race, then creating a dish using the ingredients (lamb, garlic, and artichokes). The teams were randomly drawn and the competition began (no immunity given, but each member of the winning team would receive $5,000 per member). Fabio killed the garlic crushing, but it was Richard who took his team to victory with a crispy lamb chop with artichokes three ways.

Teams stayed the same for the Elimination Challenge, but they were now competing against one another to create a dish for one of New York's finest chefs. The team that got Marea had to prepare Italian seafood for the judges and Marea chef /owner Michael White. The Chang crew had to master French Vietnamese in the Má Pêche kitchen. The team with David Burke Townhouse had to make over-the-top, wow-factor American cuisine. Team wd-50 had to go all Wylie molecular-gastronomy crazy.

The stakes were raised and the steaks would be grilled: Two chefs would be going home. Plus, douche-y Marcel got to be in the kitchen where a sous chef had accused him of culinary plagiarism. Dale T. embraced that Wylie was an egg slut and made a dish called "breakfast," featuring a sunny-side-up egg dumpling, braised pork belly, milk ramen with bacon, beef, and pork. That, my friends, was the winning dish, and Dale T. won a trip to New Zealand.

That was far more exciting than the trip the lowest three cheftestants had to make to the Judges Table. The other Dale was asked to go home with his popcorn-and-peanuts-in-his-jazz-hands food. The other person asked to leave was Stephen, who was much more about fashion than being a chef anyway. "Fashion's become a major obsession of mine. Could be worse, could be like cocaine or heroin, so...." Good point. Anyway, speaking of amazeballs, next week's episode will have the all-stars preparing food for the U.S. Open. Relax, we'll be watching and recapping it all for you. Serve it!

Read more from Carina Ost at CarinaOst.com. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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Carina Ost

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