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Top Chef: Wine Pairings And Guest Judge Buzz Aldrin With A NASA Challenge!

September 01, 2010 08:36 PM by Jennifer


It is down to the wire on an all new episode of  Top Chef on Bravo, where the five remaining contestants face challenges using their knowledge of wine, as well as one inspired by NASA! Keep reading to find out who made it to the finale!

When the contestants arrive in the kitchen for their first challenge, they see bottles of wine on the table, and host Padma Lakshmi introduces them to Dana Cowin, Editor-In-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine. Ed immediately recognizes her, saying that he is her friend on Facebook, but she has no idea who he is! She wants the contestants to create a pairing of a dish with a wine, because she said only 10 percent of them are perfect, and 10 percent are awful. She wants to see if they can be in the perfect 10 percent. As each chef chooses their wine for this high stakes quickfire, Padma tells them that since this is their final quickfire challenge, the winner receives a trip to London!

As the chefs start to cook on tonight’s Top Chef on Bravo, , reality sets in that these are the last challenges before the finale, but panic also sets in, Kevin realizes that the pork belly he chose to use is not going to be done in time, so he decides to switch to quail, which doesn’t exactly go with the wine he chose.

When it comes time to be judged on their paring, Tiffany is up first, and presents her cocoa and black pepper crusted rib eye with risotto, paired with Two Hands Shiraz. Dana Cowin next visits Kevin, who grilled his quail with a fennel salad to go along with a Tangley Oaks Merlot. Angelo serves his sauteed Foie Gras, also with a fennel salad, to go with an Evolution white wine.


When they get to Kelly’s dish, she presents wild boar tenderloin paired with a Federalist Dry Creek Zinfandel. Lastly was Ed, who also did a wagyu rib eye, but with a mushroom ragout, and paired it with an Il Poggione Rosso. Dana thought Kevin and Kelly had the least successful pairings, while Angelo & Tiffany clearly shined! The pairing she chose as the winner was Angelo, and he wins the trip to London!

But the other chefs shouldn’t be disappointed, as the final challenges will be taking place in Singapore! For their elimination challenge, Padma sends them off to a training center for NASA, where they watch a feed from the International Space Station. As the NASA food scientists show them  the freeze dried food that is available to eat on the Space Station by taking it out and letting it float around, they are told that the food for NASA really needs to be updated, and they are looking for a new zero gravity dish to add to their menu. The winning dish will be sent to the Space Station and fed to the crew on a future shuttle mission.

They also have another surprise, their guest judge, Buzz Aldrin. The chefs must be careful about the ingredients they use for this challenge, because not to many things freeze dry well. The chefs get their ingredients, and the next morning they find a note that says there is a car waiting for them, and the winner of the challenge gets to keep it!


As they arrive in the NASA kitchen, the chefs starts to prepare their meals in very cramped quarters, which is making everyone a little edgy. As Kelly finishes cooking, she comes out to present her dish, and is met by judges Anthony Bourdain, Chef and World Traveler, Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, Astronauts Sandra Magnus and Leland Melvin, and food scientist for NASA Vickie Kloeris. She then presents her pan roasted halibut dish, which they all loved. Next up was Ed, who’s yogurt marinated rack of lamb was good, but the bone on the lamb presented a problem, due to it having to be tossed away. Kevin then presented his grilled New York strip with crispy onions, which they also loved, and would freeze dry well except for the onions. As Tiffany presented her dish of pan seared halibut, the judges took a bite and were not impressed with her mixture of mushrooms and coconut sauce. Last but not least was Angelo with his ginger lacquered short rib. Buzz Aldrin liked this one too at first, but the candied ginger was a little sweet.

As they face the judges table, Kelly got many compliments, while Angelo told them he felt like he made love to his short ribs, which is a little bizarre. They thought Kevin had a great but safe dish. As the judges deliberate, it hits home that one of them is not going to the finale in Singapore. When the judges bring them back out, they walk in with anticipation to see who is declared the winner of the challenge, and a new car! He wanted the car bad enough, and Angelo won it and is moving on to Singapore! The down side to this is that someone must go, and be the last chef out before the finale, and tonight, that chef was Tiffany! She had great dishes all season, but not the one that would make her the next Top Chef!

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Photo credit: BRAVO

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Top Chef: Wine Pairings And Guest Judge Buzz Aldrin With A NASA Challenge!”

  1. Lisa Princ Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I am sad to see Tiffany go…Angelo is so full of himself I hope he does NOT win.


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