Team Top Chef's Editor gives her insider take on the episode and answers reader questions.

Apr 30, 2008

OK -- onto the Elimination. The chefs had to create healthy dishes for a family of four with a budget of $10. While the point that most families can't spend a lot of money at the grocery store every day was a good one, I've never spent that little at Whole Foods before in my life! According to his blog, it seems Ted agrees with me. So, this challenge was really a challenge. And then there were the kid sous-chefs, who were the cutest things ever. I love how the kids were matched up with the chefs -- some of the matches were so eerie because you could literally picture the chefs as they were probably 20 or so years ago. Of course, the minute the kids start cooking, one of them starts bleeding! Poor Spike! But it seemed his paternal instinct kicked in and he got that kid over to the sink right quick.

None of the chefs seemed bothered by having children help them, which is what I was a little afraid of, so it really was all about the dishes this week. First the top three: Antonia, who won with her stir-fry; Nikki, whose "one pot wonder" really impressed Chef Art. Although I personally felt hers was a little unrefined, I do enjoy a good one pot wonder. I create one pretty much every time I reheat up leftovers because I'm too lazy to put different items in separate bowls. And Andrew. Although he complained about the budget at first, he quickly embraced it, and I was shocked to hear he was overweight at one point. I think I'll have to ask him about that one (My weight's not going to lose itself people!) And on the bottom, we had Stephanie, whose flavor profiles didn't impress Chef Tom, but whose flavor combination Chef Smith said he enjoyed (so that explains her save); Lisa, whose dish lacked flavor; and Poor Mark whose dish didn't have enough protein, and apparently, just didn't taste very good.

So, I think this week's elimination was pretty fair, or at least more obvious than last week's. I will certainly miss who's recapper Vanessa Juarez (and pretty much everyone else) lovingly refers to as "Stoner Mark" and his adorable accent. But what did we think about his accusation that Tom didn't like him? Tom seemed totally shocked, and frankly I've never noticed it before. But you know what they say about pot and paranoia. I kid, of course.