Team Top Chef's Senior Editor's heart sank when the judges figured out what was wrong with Ed's dish.

Feb 8, 2012

Onto the Elimination! Into the kitchen, come the chefs' mentors! And suddenly, the cheftestants burst into tears! Even Paul, which only made him more adorable. The chefs' task was to make a dish to make their mentors proud. So, they got to cookin', except Sarah, who got to go out and enjoy her night with her mentor, Tony Montuano. A common sentiment in the kitchen was the desire to not disappoint one's mentors. Not only are the chefs putting their names on the line, they're putting their mentors' names on the line. I think that's honestly true of all chefs competing on Top Chef. I really think that the realization that not being able to cook in the Top Chef environment doesn't necessarily mean you're a bad chef is a hard one to come by. These chefs just put so much pressure on themselves. Fortunately, in this scenario, it really raised their dishes to a new level.

Lindsay made a seafood stew that looked pretty delicious, with the main complaints being about the use of cream, which she knew was a mistake, and dried herbs. Beverly made eight wok dishes essentially to-order, and although she wasn't happy with the plating, she knew her flavors were good. And although I couldn't taste it, Bev's dish just looked like a hearty one I would've loved to try. Then there's Paul. His dish was so delicate and -- as Tom lauded -- restrained. I thought Tom gave Paul one of the nicest compliments at Judges' Table by mentioning that it takes a truly mature chef to know when too much is too much. This characteristic of restraint is something that reminded me a lot of one of my other favorites, Bryan Voltaggio.