Team Top Chef

Episode 4: Tears are shed (on the part of's Senior Editor) as the chefs meet the cast of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Sep 15, 2011

After the screening, a few audience members emerged, and Gail introduced them as the original cast members of the film. Orlando's reaction was probably the funniest, not knowing he was sitting next to the Veruca Salt. She obliged Rebecca and the other chefs by uttering her famous line, "I want it, and I want it now." What great sports these guys were.

So, for the Eliminated Challenge, the chefs had to create their own world of Pure Imagination -- a pastry chefs' dream come true. I honestly would've loved to have seen what Johnny Iuzzini would have come up with! Johnny was right in saying the chefs' real hindrance was their own imaginations. Even though they don't usually have to build such an elaborate environment, one would think that they try to concoct desserts stretching their own imaginations every day. Chris suggested the group split up into two teams -- a creative team and a food-producing team. As all of the chefs worked on their own items, it became clear the creative team might not be able to hold up their end of the bargain. I'm starting to wonder to what extent Chris is playing the game -- is he sabotaging his competitors? I'd prefer not to think so because I like Chris. The reason Chris couldn't help out as much as he may have liked was due to the time spent (and others' time spent) creating the classic chocolate waterfall from the film. I actually agreed with him that that piece was maybe the most recognizable element from the film. But then again, Hubert suggests in his blog this week that a chocolate lake could have been equally effective and taken less time, and even Charlie Bucket himself suggests that the chefs could focus more on new ideas, rather than simply recreating ideas from the film. Chris lands in the middle. 

Megan, a member of Chris' team, was all over the place, certainly trying to hold up her team's part of the deal, and her desserts suffered because of it. I love love loved that Carlos stood up for Megan at Judges' Table. He's good peeps, and super-talented. He killed it with his edible wallpaper. 

Megan was safe, but Sally, Craig, and Melissa were in trouble. Sally was spared, although Gail reveals just how close she was to going home. Craig goes home for his poorly-executed gummy bears and Melissa's green donuts sent her home. I'm sure many of you are happy to see Craig go home, and honestly, I'm excited to see what Sally can do without worrying about her former student.