Team Top Chef

... It's not healthy to be this obsessed with 'Top Chef.''s Editor breaks down the remaining six competitors.

Nov 10, 2009

Onto the bottom: let's start with Jennifer. Although Tom actually insulted her whole concept at the end, I thought her sword in the stone idea was pretty original, and although I enjoyed Tom's little lesson on medieval cooking, is that common knowledge? If her meat had been cooked correctly and her sauce not so thick, I think the concept was just fine. Tom, as well as the other judges, is recognizing that Jennifer is losing her heat. It'll be interesting to see if she can snap out of it. I don't think we've ever seen so intimately how this process takes its toll on the contestants until this season. Are you guys enjoying that or would you rather not know?

Eli's dish was a complete disaster. Peanut soup just kind of sounds gross to me, but I looove peanuts and peanut-flavored things (with the exception of some Thai dishes), so if it had been executed correctly I probably would've eaten it. It didn't sound like he was very inspired by Circus Circus. Even Michael V. called him out on not understanding the correct way to be inspired! Circus Circus doesn't actually have a circus, so it's more like a fair. Eli really could have gone home for this one, but Robin's crime was bigger.

She doesn't know how to make a panna cotta! Even Nigella referred to panna cottas as "child's play," and I think we've seen enough seasons of Top Chef to know that this custard-like dessert is known as something of a chef's dessert, in that most chefs know how to make it and have it on their menu and don't need a pastry chef to pull it off. What makes me always die a little inside for Robin is when she just doesn't really get what her weaknesses are. While everyone agrees that she went above her skill level, making a panna cotta isn't, well, impressive. The very fact that it was reaching for her was the real problem. Making a panna cotta shouldn't be "risky." And so, dear Robin, we bid you adieu.

And perhaps what I'm sure what many of you are thinking, is that the competition has now really begun. We have five strong competitors looking to make it to the finals. Who do you think will get the ax next week?