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Scary Good

Episode 4: Tears are shed (on the part of's Senior Editor) as the chefs meet the cast of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Hello my little Augustus Gloops! (I saw some of your tweets requesting his presence.) I can't express how much I loved this episode. It's one of those that gave me the chills, had me tearing up, and just had me lovin' life. So, let's get right into it!

How to Watch

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

The chefs were brought to a screening room of some sort, with a concession stand outside. Matthew continues to impress me, as he was the only chef that commented that he chose his confections based on what he would want to cook in a Quickfire. Absolutely brilliant. This just showed that he knows how to play a game -- that anything, even a seemingly harmless invitation to a "relaxing night out" from Gail -- could become a challenge. (That Gail is a wily one, after all!)

Fortunately for Matt and the other chefs, he could just enjoy his candy and a screening of the classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I have to admit I've never seen the Johnny Depp remake because, well, it just looked frightening to me, and the original actually scares me sometimes too, but it also delights. I saw it more times growing up than i care to comment (not more than Newsies, don't worry.) After the screening, a few audience members emerged, and Gail introduced them as the original cast members of the film. Orlando's reaction was probably the funniest, not knowing he was sitting next to the Veruca Salt. She obliged Rebecca and the other chefs by uttering her famous line, "I want it, and I want it now." What great sports these guys were.

So, for the Eliminated Challenge, the chefs had to create their own world of Pure Imagination -- a pastry chefs' dream come true. I honestly would've loved to have seen what Johnny Iuzzini would have come up with! Johnny was right in saying the chefs' real hindrance was their own imaginations. Even though they don't usually have to build such an elaborate environment, one would think that they try to concoct desserts stretching their own imaginations every day. Chris suggested the group split up into two teams -- a creative team and a food-producing team. As all of the chefs worked on their own items, it became clear the creative team might not be able to hold up their end of the bargain. I'm starting to wonder to what extent Chris is playing the game -- is he sabotaging his competitors? I'd prefer not to think so because I like Chris. The reason Chris couldn't help out as much as he may have liked was due to the time spent (and others' time spent) creating the classic chocolate waterfall from the film. I actually agreed with him that that piece was maybe the most recognizable element from the film. But then again, Hubert suggests in his blog this week that a chocolate lake could have been equally effective and taken less time, and even Charlie Bucket himself suggests that the chefs could focus more on new ideas, rather than simply recreating ideas from the film. Chris lands in the middle. 

Megan, a member of Chris' team, was all over the place, certainly trying to hold up her team's part of the deal, and her desserts suffered because of it. I love love loved that Carlos stood up for Megan at Judges' Table. He's good peeps, and super-talented. He killed it with his edible wallpaper. 

Megan was safe, but Sally, Craig, and Melissa were in trouble. Sally was spared, although Gail reveals just how close she was to going home. Craig goes home for his poorly-executed gummy bears and Melissa's green donuts sent her home. I'm sure many of you are happy to see Craig go home, and honestly, I'm excited to see what Sally can do without worrying about her former student. Katzie pulled out the win with her amazing carrot cake patch and beehive. She deserved this win -- I thought her ideas were new and very clever. And, well, i love carrot cake!

Before I go for this week, I promised a pic of my friend's Ron Ben-Israel original wedding cake. Here it is!

It was a Brown Butter Cake with Hazelnut Praline Crunch and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling. It was ridiculously delicious. I always make a point to try the cake of whatever wedding I'm attending, but I made a special point to sit down and really taste this one. It was exceptional. 

Anyone else have any fabulous wedding cakes lately? And, tell me if you cried during this episode, so I don't feel like a crazy person!

Until next week, Have a Nosh!


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