September 14, 2011 08:45 PM by Lori Wilson
Week four of Top Chef: Just Desserts tasks the chefs with transforming their kitchen into a “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” edible fantasyland. While the chefs love and embrace the challenge, two are sent packing. Keep reading to find out who embraced the challenge the most and who failed to impress.
The chefs receive Gail Mail, which invites them all to the movies. Matthew assumes a Quick Fire is in their immediate future, so he chooses his snacks carefully and saves them in case he needs to create something on the fly. Despite his preparedness, there is no Quick Fire. They enter the theater, which is full of other people there to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. After the screening, Gail emerges and invites four of the original “Willy Wonka” cast members – Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Paris Themmen (Mike TeeVee), Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde) and Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket) – to stand with her. The cheftestants are blown away as the actors recall how amazing it was to be surrounded by the edible sets. In honor of the DVD release of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s” 40th Anniversary collector’s edition, the chefs are tasked with transforming the Top Chef: Just Desserts kitchen into a Landscape of Pure Edible Imagination.
The chefs head back to the kitchen and map out their vision. Chris suggests they divide into creative and production teams. As they continue to brainstorm, Chris shoots down several ideas, which of course annoys some of the chefs, including Katzie and Rebecca. Rebecca feels that the creative team, including Orlando and Chris, have too much going on and are paying too much attention to Chris’ chocolate fountain. She worries they won’t be able to deliver on their promises. As per usual, Craig runs into some problems and since Sally feels like she has to look out for him, she starts to feel stressed.
As Top Chef: Just Desserts judge Johnny Iuzzini drops in, he learns that Rebecca is working on golden eggs, Melissa is making whoopie pie flowers, Carlos is working on edible wallpaper, and Megan is working on candy bar bites with bourbon. Johnny Iuzzini worries about the last one because it’s not exactly kid friendly. He then announces to the kitchen that two chefs will be sent home after this week’s challenge.
With the added pressure of knowing two people are going home this week, the chefs races around trying to put their individual creations together. Matthew notes it’s every man for themselves. Katzie seems to have trouble with her beehive, which Orlando takes note of and declares in his aside that he isn’t a fan of hers. As Melissa tries to put her donuts on poles for display, she accuses the creative team of not pulling their weight when she has to construct it herself. Some of the chefs feel they’ve bitten off more than they can chew with the waterfall, which took too long to create and put some chefs behind on their personal creations.
As the judges and the original “Willy Wonka” cast members enter the “World of Wonder,” the chefs note how impressed everyone looks. Gail calls it an extraordinary wonderland and introduces guest judges The Food Network‘s “Sweet Genius” host Ron Ben-Israel and Hubert Keller. Gail also introduces a group of kids who will taste test the creations. As the room is sampled, Craig’s gummi bears don’t impress, Melissa’s donuts are a miss, but her flowers are a hit, Katzie’s beehives and carrot patch bowl everyone over, especially since they aren’t a direct replica of something from the movie.
Everyone is impressed overall, but someone must go home. In fact, two chefs must pack their tools. The judges call in more than half the group and tell them they made their favorite and least favorite desserts. Matthew’s lollipops, Katzie’s beehives and carrot patch, and Carlos’ PB&J macaroons and edible wallpaper were their favorites. Craig’s gummy bears, Melissa’s donuts, Sally’s orange dirt, and Megan’s bourbon pops and lavender shortbread were among the judges’ least favorite desserts. Carlos stands up for Megan to point out she helped so many other people with their successful dishes, which unfortunately cost her.
Ron declares that Katzie won because she encompassed the spirit of the challenge the best. Of course, she made a couple of great desserts as well. Since Craig laughed about his failings regarding the challenge and made a tasteless gummi bear, he is told to pack his tools. And despite Melissa’s tasty whoopie pies, the judges can’t overlook how bad her donuts were, so she is sent home as well.
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Photo courtesy of Bravo
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