If you swore off watching the Top Chef franchise after a mind-numbingly tedious last season, let me assure you: Top Chef Just Desserts more than makes up for it.
You've got to trust me on this one simply because I never lie about my two favorite things: food and television. Seriously, you need to be watching this show!
It defies logic that so much action-packed drama can revolve around sugar and butter. But somehow this show manages to be one of the most intense Top Chefs yet. And I'm always craving something sweet by the end of the show. Last night's episode was no exception.
Wedding cake extraordinaire Slyvia Weinstock -- and probably my favorite Top Chef guest judge of all time after Eric Ripert -- stopped by for the Quickfire Challenge: The chefs had to decorate a wedding cake and here's the kicker -- in only 90 minutes. (That's practically a nano-second in wedding cake world.)
Most of the chefs managed to complete some sort of wedding-like confection (although there were plenty of hot messes in the bunch -- see photo above). Erika won immunity for her mocha cake.
And, two chefs emotionally caved to the pressure: Seth Caro, of course, and Malika Ameen, whose cake did absolutely everything a cake shouldn't: melted, crumbled, fell apart, imploded .... Her subsequent tears led the unsympathetic Weinstock to impart these wonderful words of wisdom (which I've decided to apply not only to my own baking projects but to my entire life):
"It's not death, it's only cake."
If only the chefs had enough sense to listen to this brilliant advice, perhaps disaster could have been averted in the second half. Alas.
For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs were divided into two groups, "Glee Club" and "Pep Squad," and had to each prepare an item to sell at a competitive bake sale at a local high school. The winning team got money to donate to their respective clubs -- to send the Glee Club to a competition in New York (sound familiar?) or the Pep Squad to cheer camp.
Minus a juvenile butter-stealing incident and some name-calling, the Pep Squad kept it together and pulled out a win for their team; Eric's Peanut Butter Krispy Bars (does anyone else call them Scotcheroos?) were the most popular of all the items, and he was declared the winner.
But the Glee Club dissolved into bickering, finger-pointing, and dysfunction -- not to mention some seriously inappropriate desserts. (Mocha Financiers? For kids?) Ultimately, Heather C. was sent home for her "ordinary" and "resentful" peanut butter cookie.
And, Seth continues to be universally hated.
Can't wait for next week!
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Image via BravoTV.com