Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "The Elements"

Season 4, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: The budding chefs' taste buds are scrutinized in a taste test. Guest judge and chef Ming Tsai helps administer the exam. Later, the elimination challenge finds the contestants catering a high-class charity event using elements from the earth.
Original Air Date: Apr 9, 2008

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Season 4, Episode 5
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Aired: 4/9/2008
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The Elements Season 4, Episode 5

How do you account for taste? Celebrity chef Ming Tsai was on hand for tonight's episode that from start to finish had everyone's palate cooking overtime. My favorite challenge each season is Restaurant Wars but Antonia was doubly stoked when she won her favorite Quickfire Challenge to compare and identify 15 higher quality ingredients while blindfolded. With the highest score of 12 out of 15 correct, her immunity seemed to cause the most friction in the kitchen. The Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chefs' Ball was the setting for the Elimination Challenge, which used a theme of the four elements. Accordingly, each chef pulled a santoku knife and divided into four teams of three to create a first course that complimented water, air, earth or fire for 80 guests. Ironically, each team had a pair that worked together in last week's EC. I'm a big fan of butternut squash soup but might not have wanted to serve it to a crowd of 80 people. Keeping it hot enough rather than having the server spill it would give me pause. Antonia did say she would be on board to make a squash soup but eventually sold Spike and Zoi on the idea it may not appear to be of high quality. Only in her confessional did she speak out against it. Ultimately it was Chef Ming who said that a well-made soup would have been the way to go. The Earth team just couldn't win. Head judge Tom Colicchio wanted to get rid of both Zoi and Spike for not rejecting Antonia's input over serving a bland beef carpaccio. But to her detriment Zoi was responsible for intentionally under seasoning the accompanying mushrooms and frisée salad, which is what got her eliminated. I couldn't wrap my head around what went wrong with the fish preparation over on team Water. Richard's method of poaching the salmon not only changed its texture but also did nothing to help him get rid of the scales. Mark was called out for his vanilla parsnip purée and this is probably the third time Andrew pulled out the tapioca pearls. It's interesting that Jennifer gets by each week neither being on top or on the bottom. The Duck Breast with Citrus Salad and sparkling Pomegranate Prosecco presented by the Air team might have gone by without a negative comment had Chef Tom been a fan of the trend of serving little drinks with dishes. And it might have been a little redder had our buddy Ryan not thrown out most of the pomegranate juice. His comment must have been bleeped, but I had to laugh when Nikki told him that you draw more attention when you curse. Stephanie has only faltered once in the EC. Tonight she not only kept Dale and Lisa at arm's length but also made the grilled shrimp with pickled chilis. But it was Lisa who impressed the judges with her method of laying the bacon flat with the fat facing the same direction and basting it with maple syrup and miso showing Chef Ming that she too can make east meet west. Second Bites " Tempers really flared from members of both the winning and the losing teams. Do you think those with the loudest voices (Dale, Lisa, Spike) will be done in by them? " The text poll listed Dale, with 56%, as the contestant who deserves a spanking for being the most difficult over Lisa and Antonia. I'm still stuck on Andrew's comment from two episodes ago about not leaving and having security drag him out. " What was the term used referring to the method of poaching by the Water team? And was this done in a pouch? " Considering the drama of this week's losing team, should the person with immunity be less involved in the decision-making during a team challenge? For more tasty treats about Top Chef, check out our Online Video Guide. show less
How do you account for taste Celebrity chef Ming Tsai was on hand for tonights episode that from start to finish had everyones palate cooking overtime My favorite challenge each season is Restaurant Wars but Antonia was doubly stoked when she won her favorite Quickfire Challenge to compare and identify 15 higher quality ingredients while blindfolded With the highest score of 12 out of 15 correct her immunity seemed to cause the most friction in the kitchenThe Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chefs Ball was the setting for the Elimination Challenge which used a theme of the four elements Accordingly each chef pulled a santoku knife and divided into four teams of three to create a first course that complimented water air earth or fire for 80 guests Ironically each team had a pair that worked together in last weeks EC Im a big fan of butternut squash soup but might not have wanted to serve it to a crowd of 80 people Keeping it hot enough rather than having the serve read more

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Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (309 ratings)
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Premise: A reality competition in which aspiring chefs compete for culinary stardom. Each episode features two challenges---a short test of basic cooking skills and an elimination challenge, in which one failing contestant is sent packing.

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