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A Chocolate Lake?

Hubert Keller makes a case for a better use of Chris' time and chocolate.

By Hubert Keller

What an astonishing production! Having Gail announce the original cast from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and watching them interact as a part of this episode on TCJD2 was unbelievable! This definitely was one of the highlights of Season 2, but I promise you, there is more to come! Didn’t you love when Veruca Salt said: “I want it and I want it now!” It took you straight to the original movie!

How to Watch

Catch up on Top Chef: Just Desserts on the Bravo App.

What was different this time? No Quickfire -- we are going straight into the Elimination Challenge, creating an edible wonderland inspired by Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, reproducing the scene of the movie when the children enter the chocolate factory, a room filled with pure edible imagination. It was a serious undertaking that could only be achieved through teamwork!

I did like the way that they broke down the entire challenge into two teams: the creative team and the production team. In my opinion, that was the only way to do it and be successful.

There were two benchmarks in the challenge: One, when the chefs discovered the landscape where all the magic would happen, and two, finding out that Ron Ben-Israel would be the guest judge. Both exciting and nerve-wracking moments of this episode!Then, when Johnny announced that two chefs would go home, you could see the shockwaves across the kitchen! More pressure started building up….

My favorite part of the episode was seeing all the kids’ facial expressions when they entered the room and discovered the sweet wonderland that was created; at that moment, I knew our chefs had embraced the challenge.

Unfortunately, not all of them showed their craftsmanship and creativity. Chris’ chocolate fountain was a cool idea, but I don’t think it was the most amazing item on the set, and I was not that impressed that he used 250 pounds of chocolate to build the fountain. With that he could have created an entire lake where the kids could have jumped in, and I bet you, they would have loved it (not sure about their parents, though!) Also, Melissa’s donuts were a disaster, and I think I saw Julie Dawn Cole spitting it out, but on the other hand, she created some amazing and colorful flowers. Craig’s feeble attempt at preparing gummy bears undersigned his elimination: pack your tools and go and take the remaining gummy bears with you! Megan showed us creativity in the past, but including alcohol in one of the desserts just wasn’t acceptable in regard to the challenge. As judges, we probably didn’t mind after a long day of testing. I absolutely loved Carlos’s edible wall paper, and Matthew’s caramelized profiteroles brought me straight back home to my father’s patisserie!

But the most imaginative chef in that challenge was Katzie! That carrot patch was quite unique in presentation and in the way of eating the dessert. Congratulations, Katzie. You were the winner in my book, and you channeled the spirit of Willy Wonka!


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