October 06, 2010 09:25 PM by Lori Wilson
Nine pastry chefs compete this week on Top Chef: Just Desserts, where the challenges include making the ultimate ice cream sundae and deriving inspiration from the group Lucent Dossier Experience. While this week brings the usual drama, there are two unforeseen surprises in store as two chefs go home.
At the house getting ready for the day, Zac notes there are two sides to Seth Caro â€“ warm Seth and freak out Seth â€“ and he can’t handle the pressure. Meanwhile, Malika states she hates cooking when she’s there and feels uneasy about what she’s doing. She doesn’t want to make any decision out of emotion though, so for now she decides to stick it out.
At the Quickfire Challenge in the Top Chef: Just Desserts kitchen, the pastry chefs are presented with guest judge Gale Gand, who is the Executive Pastry Chef of TRU in Chicago. Gail Simmons tells the contestants they will be making the ultimate ice cream sundae. Seth is stoked and thinks he can whip something up in 15 minutes and win. However, the wind is taken out of Seth’s sails when he learns they will not be making their own ice cream and using Breyer’s instead. He seems to have a mini-meltdown and Heather thinks he might not be able to control his behavior.
Back in the Stew Room, Seth gets agitated because he feels he was forced to throw out his paper cups earlier in the season and now he needs them. He has another outburst and then exits the room. All the chefs declare they are sick of Seth’s antics and Morgan doubts he has the emotional maturity for the competition. They all want to put it behind them, but then they hear sirens.
An ambulance arrives to tend to Seth, who is lying on the ground. He explains he couldn’t catch his breath and fainted, resulting from an anxiety attack. Seth is deemed unable to continue the competition by the producers and Johnny comes to tell the rest of the chefs about the latest development. This seems to lighten the mood for all chefs and they get back to work.
It’s now down to eight chefs, as they reconvene in the kitchen to make their desserts. Each chef pulls an ice cream scoop to pick their ice cream flavor. They each have 30 minutes to create their ultimate sundae and the usual craziness ensues.
Gale Gand and Gail Simmons return to judge the sundaes. Gale’s least favorites come from Eric, Danielle and Erika, but Zac, Yigit and Morgan earn high praise. Ultimately, Morgan, who made a hot chocolate drink accompanied by a frozen ice cream sandwich, wins. This causes him to tear up since he created his ‘Sunday’ in honor of the day he gets to spend with his son.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs are split into teams of three to create a two foot tall showpiece, three different plated desserts and a flambÃ© dish. Since Seth left, they bring back Heather C., who was eliminated last week. Morgan, Yigit and Zac are made captains since they were the top three in the Quickfire. The three teams end up consisting of Zac, Heather C. and Malika; Yigit, Erika and Danielle; and Morgan, Heather H. and Eric.
The chefs are also informed they will attend a Lucent Dossier Experience show, where they will draw inspiration for the flaming showpiece they need to create. Heather sums the performance up best by dubbing them Mad Max meets Cirque Du Soleil.
Back in the Top Chef: Just Desserts kitchen, Heather H. opts to do the showpiece for her team, while Eric worries they are being too traditional with it. Meanwhile, Malika and Zac are wary of Heather C.’s involvement, while she feels left out of the planning. Zac takes charge of their showpiece and makes a chocolate mask of his face. Over on the third team, Yigit gets frustrated with Danielle because he feels she isn’t paying attention to his instructions, which takes away from his own work when he has to babysit her.
During the judging portion of the show, The Lucent Dossier Experience performs, as Hubert Keller joins in on the evaluations this week. The main points of the judging seems to be that Morgan didnâ€™t need to work hard, since he had immunity from the ice cream challenge, but he stepped up anyway; Yigit’s team didn’t flambÃ© their dessert in front of the judges â€“ a major faux pas; and Malika’s Saffron Panna Cotta was the best thing she has made yet.
At the Judges’ Table, Morgan, Eric and Heather H. are called in first and told they are the wining team because they took them on a mystical journey reflective of the Lucent Dossier Experience. Morgan’s Mango Panna Cotta wins this challenge as well, which annoys Heather H. since she feels she did more than him, taking away from her individual dessert. In the Stew Room, she says he’s not a team player, but he points out she volunteered to do the centerpiece.
Gail Simmons returns to the Stew Room to summon Yigit, Erika and Danielle to the Judge’s Table where they are called out on not flambÃ©ing their dessert. Heather C., Zac and Malika are brought in next and while Malika is being praised for her dessert, she asks to be eliminated. She wants those who truly want to be there to stay since she isn’t feeling the joy in the competition. The judges reiterate how exceptional her dessert was, but Malika knows this is the right thing for her and says her goodbyes.
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Photo credit: Bravo