Team Top Chef

Paul may have won the challenge, but Grayson really won.

Jan 25, 2012

On to the Elimination Challenge, where Padma reveals that the partners will become enemies -- you know, or something less ominous. The two chefs will have to select a dish and compete against each other. The dishes are prepped for a block party. Whenever I hear block party, I think of Top Chef: Chicago, even though I’m pretty sure we’ve done other similar challenges like it since. The pairs decided on the dishes they’d be creating. Not only did they have to make delicious block party dishes, they had to make them healthy.

It was fairly clear right away which chef of each pair did a better job. Paul’s turkey kalbi beat out Edward’s. Lindsay out-meatballed Sarah, and Grayson’s chicken salad, even with a little mayo -- albeit olive oil mayo -- was tops over Chris’. Although it was actually a little mean, Paul telling diners that his dish was a healthier version of Edward’s cracked me up. Lindsay and Sarah were pretty supportive of each other’s dishes. Grayson and Chris went two pretty different routes on their chicken salads. Chris had a pretty genius idea of using tofu as his binding agent, but he also chose to pre-make his sammies. Grayson chose to serve her sandwiches on the spot, which proved to be the better decision.



I just want to take a moment to talk about Paul and Sarah’s turkey dishes. Although it may have seemed like a no-brainer to swap the red meat for turkey to make it healther, I actually think it was more of a risk than portrayed. Turkey can dry out really easily, especially if it’s sitting out. Paul’s deicion to use eggplant to keep that sort of unctuous quality of chicken salad was really, really smart. And ultimately led to his win.