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On the April 22 episode of Bravo's Top Chef, the cheftestants were tasked with a Quickfire challenge to create a dish that invoked a food memory. To put a sophisticated twist on those dishes, they were given access to a notable pantry staple.
"We want you to elevate [your food memory] and we want you to do it using Campbell's® soup," host Padma Lakshmi explained as she showed a pantry stocked with Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell’s® Cream of Chicken Soup, and Campbell’s® Tomato Soup. "Whether it's a family dinner or even last season's holiday meal, take us back to that special place."
However, Padma warned, "We don't want to see just classic casseroles and pot pies."
While many of the dishes impressed the judges, three in particular especially stood out. Gabe Erales' charred cabbage-wrapped cod braised in spicy tomato sauce with charred fennel salad had "a depth of flavor that made this dish feel longer than a 30 minute cook time," guest judge Dale Talde declared. After tasting Sara Hauman's smoked mushroom stroganoff and Spaetzle, Padma raved, "I really love that you made your own Spaetzle with 30 minutes."
Chris Viaud created a grilled cheese panzanella, tomato soup vinaigrette, and pickled shallot that ultimately won the challenge. "Your use of the tomato soup in the vinaigrette, I thought, was a really fun twist and play on grilled cheese and tomato soup," Dale explained after calling the dish "imaginative [and] modern."
In an interview during the episode, Chris declared with a grin, "I won with making a grilled cheese!"
To get behind-the-scenes information about the Quickfire challenge and more, check out the video below and keep scrolling for a step-by-step guide to making Chris, Sara, and Gabe's recipes!
Chris' Grilled Cheese Panzanella, Tomato Soup Vinaigrette, Pickled Shallot
- 2 slices multigrain bread
- 2 slices pepper jack cheese
- 2 slices cheddar
- 2 slices Swiss
- 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1 fresno, sliced
- 1/4 stick butter
Tomato Soup Vinaigrette
- 1/4 can Campbell’s® Tomato Soup
- 2 tsp Dijon
- 1/4 cup red wine vinaigrette
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 shallot
- 1.5 cups canola oil
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup basil, torn
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup celery sliced on bias
- Grilled Cheese
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Add the cheese, tomato, and Fresno’s between the two slices of bread. In a small sauté pan melt the butter then add the sandwich. Toast on medium heat on the burner for one minute and then place the grilled cheese in the oven. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip. Cool
- Tomato Soup Vinaigrette
- 1. Place all ingredients except the canola oil in a blender and spin on high. Slowly stream in the oil until emulsified, taste and adjust seasoning
- Pickled Shallots
- 1. Add all ingredients to a small stance pot and bring to a boil taste the seasoning and pour the pickling liquid over the sliced shallots
- 1. Dress all the ingredients with the vinaigrette
Gabe's Charred, Cabbage-Wrapped Cod Braised in Spicy Tomato Sauce With Charred Fennel Salad
Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 2 10.75oz cans Campbell’s® Tomato Soup
- 1/4 onion
- 3 garlic cloves each
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 can chipotle in adobo
- 1/2 head cone cabbage
- 2 x 4 oz. portions cod
- ⅓ cup Campbell’s® Cream of Chicken Soup
- 2 tbsp white miso
Charred Fennel Salad
- 1 head fennel
- 1 habanero
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 orange, supremed
- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 1. Char the garlic, onion, and roma tomatoes on the grill and place in pressure cooker with the remaining ingredients. Add 1 quart of chicken stock and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Depressurize and puree to a smooth sauce consistency. Season with salt and lime juice.
- 1. Peel off large leaves of the cabbage so that they are big enough to wrap the cod. Mix the Campbell’s® Cream of Chicken Soup with the miso and marinate the fish portions. Lightly dress the cabbage leaves with salt and oil then char overheat heat on the grill until pliable. Wrap the cod with the cabbage and place in a deep saucepan with enough tomato sauce to come up 3/4 of the way of the fish. Bring up to a simmer, cover, and turn off the heat.
- Fennel Salad
- 1. Cut the head of fennel in half and char on the grill until cooked through but not falling apart. Allow to cool then cut into large bite-size pieces. Char the habanero until blistered all over. Allow to cool then mince. Shave the red onion into very rings. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Dress and season.
- In a shallow bowl place one piece of the wrapped cod and some of the spicy tomato sauce. Garnish with the fennel salad.
Sara's Smoked Mushroom Stroganoff and Spaetzle
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 1 10.5 oz can Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup leek, diced small
- 1/4 cup celery, diced small
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups maitake mushrooms, fried
- 1 cup mushroom broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Smoking gun with wood pellets
- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- 2. Whisk the eggs, milk, and oil together
- 3. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredient together and make a well in the center
- 4. Add the wet ingredients and combine with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined
- 5. Place a perforated pan over the pot of boiling water
- 6. Add the spaetzle dough to the perforated pan and using a bench scraper start moving the dough through the holes in the pan and directly into the boiling water
- 7.Once all the dough has been pressed through the pan, strain the noodles from the boiling water and reserve
- Mushroom Stroganoff
- 1. Smoke the fried mushrooms with a smoking gun for 5-10 minutes
- 2. Add the oil to a large saucepot or sauté pan
- 3. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, celery, and leek and reduce the heat to medium
- 4. Cook the vegetables until they are soft and translucent
- 5. Add the Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom Soup and broth
- 6. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes on medium heat and season with salt as desired
- 7. Add the smoked and fried mushrooms to the mixture and continue to cook until your desired consistency
- 8. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream, parsley, and lemon juice
- Spoon the stroganoff over the spaetzle
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