October 27, 2010 08:40 PM by Lori Wilson
Week seven of Top Chef: Just Desserts requires the pastry chefs to work in teams as they compete in a relay and Dessert Shop Wars. Doing their best impress to the judges, the stress gets to everyone and the mighty Team Diva begins to crumble.
At the Quickfire Challenge, the six remaining pastry chefs are told by Top Chef: Just Desserts judges Johnny Iuzzini and Gail Simmons that immunity will no longer be given out to the winner. The pasty chefs are then divided into two teams after picking colors out of a cookie jar. Coincidentally, the self-dubbed Team Diva – Heather, Yigit and Zac – end up on the same team. This of course makes them happy, but the other team – Danielle, Eric and Morgan – seems to have had enough of them. Gail and Johnny inform the chefs that each member of the winning team will win $3,000.
The teams huddle up to form their plans and then the Dessert Relay challenge begins in a flurry of baking activity. The relay requires them to create 12 perfect tart shells, create eight perfect silver dollar sized buttercream roses, separate and whip six egg whites to firm peaks, which have to be stiff enough to hold over their heads for ten seconds without falling out and finally, they will have to stretch strudel dough over the entire length of the table and then roll it. Team Diva wins after taking a slower approach to pulling out their dough, which enables them to finish quicker because they didn’t create any holes, which the other team did in their haste.
For the Elimination Challenge, the teams are pitted against each other in a Dessert Shop War, which is much like Top Chef‘s Restaurant Wars, where the teams run competing dessert shops. Each person on each team is responsible for three items on the menu and one dessert much be a bread item. Upping the ante, the winning team will go home with $30,000.
After they’ve quickly come up with their plans of attack and have gone to Albertsons, it’s back to the Top Chef: Just Desserts kitchen. Once there, Morgan grows annoyed over two bags of missing lemons from his stash. He accuses Yigit of taking them and then gets stressed out about running behind on his creations. Danielle and Eric both worry an unraveling Morgan will be their undoing during the challenge.
Finally open for business, customers enter and order their desserts as the Top Chef: Just Desserts guest judge Nancy Silverton accompanies Hubert Keller, Gail Simmons and Johnny Iuzzini as they critique each team’s pastry shop. First up is Team Diva. Hubert and Gail note they didn’t fill up their display case, which looks sad, but they do like all their fun extra touches. Heather struggles in the kitchen as she plates the desserts and snaps at Zac when he tries to help, encouraging her to get her judges’ plates out. She tells him to shut up at least three times, which he is none too pleased about. The first sign of a crack in Team Diva.
When the judges critique Morgan, Danielle and Eric’s pastry shop, Gail states she likes the look of their display case, but is disappointed with Danielle’s subdued attitude, especially compared to Yigit’s high energy demeanor in the front of the house. The judges, as seems to be typical lately, are most impressed with Morgan’s desserts overall.
Once the Elimination Challenge is over, both teams face the Judges’ Table together. Danielle is chastised for her lackadaisical demeanor and weak coffee flavor in one of her desserts. Eric is brought to task for his loaf dessert, while Morgan is of course praised for his creations. Over on Team Diva, Zac receives nothing but compliments, while Heather is criticized for her fingerprints on her plates and her lackluster flavors. Yigit, meanwhile, is told his pastry dough was too thick, but Heather steps up and takes responsibility for it. Team Diva’s disappointing display case is pointed out, while the other team receives compliments for their pastry shop’s atmosphere.
In the end, Nancy announces that the shop they all would return to would be Danielle, Morgan and Eric’s, who win the $30,000. They rejoice and during his aside, Morgan expresses his joy at Team Diva finally be broken up. Once Morgan, Danielle and Eric are sent to the Stew Room, Heather is told she didn’t measure up this week and is sent home. As she says her goodbyes, Yigit is reduced to tears, but Heather says she wouldn’t change anything for the world.
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Photo credit: Bravo