Top Chef


Season 4, Ep 7, Aired 4/23/08
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  • Episode Description
  • Tonight's challenges juxtapose the organization and preparation required for pastries with the flair and innovation that improvisation can bring to a dish. First, a dessert for a premier pastry chef, and then an improvised menu when the contestants get to visit the historic Second City. But seat-of-pants will involve more than the menu as the chefs encounter a couple nasty surprises back in the kitchen. Guest Judge: Johnny Iuzzini Top Chef: The Cookbook Quickfire Challenge: Create a Delicious Dessert Elimination Challenge: Prepare Five-course Meal Using Inspirations from the Second City Round Sevenmoreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Padma Lakshmi


  • Tom Colicchio

    Lead Judge/Co-Host

  • Ted Allen


  • Andrew D'Ambrosi

    Season 4 Contestant

  • Antonia Lofaso

    Season 4 Contestant

  • Fan Reviews (3)
  • the chefs pair up to improv a dish according to the guidelines given at improv theater the prior night

    By Collegebound06, May 25, 2008

  • Good show.

    By namibia574, Apr 24, 2008

  • The quickfire and the elimination challenges were very interesting and not a rehash from years prior.

    By QuakertownBob, Apr 24, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (6)

    • Lisa: I'm not gonna dumb down my food because of what some drunken schmuck screamed out in the audience.

    • Ted Allen: (of the orange, turned-on, asparagus) This is not a ménage à trois, this is more of an orgy.

    • Nicky Margolis: (referring to the "purple, depressed bacon") Maybe they could have, like, made the sauce with their tears.

    • Robert Janas: (referring to the "drunk, magenta, polish sausage") And I was excited about this one, 'cause I love polish sausage. Don't take this the wrong way– . Ted Allen: (interrupting) He said, pointing to the gay guy. No problem, man, I'm not Polish!

    • Tom Colicchio: (referring to Richard and Dale's "perplexed green tofu") If I were doing this Challenge and had to cook tofu I'd be bummed out completely. And these guys just went for it and made the tofu center stage, and I think they did a great job with it.

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    Notes (4)

    • Also Featured: > Nicky Margolis – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Mark Swaner – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Robert Janas – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Alex Fendrich – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Niki Lindgren – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Andy St. Clair – Actor, Second City Ensemble > Amanda Blake Davis – Actor, Second City Ensemble

    • Those who bought a copy of the Top Chef Cookbook knew the outcome of the QuickFire beforehand, since Richard's dessert was the only recipe from the fourth season to be included in it.

    • Lee Anne, whose usual production vehicle is a minivan, was distressed when the auto was requisitioned to film B-roll on the day she was supposed to shop for all the many pastries for the QuickFire's "reveal". She had called Whole Foods the day before to warn them that they were going to be emptying their entire pastry case, and ended up using a substitute vehicle the size of an Escalade, packed floor to ceiling, to transport all the sweets.

    • According to Lee Anne, they knew they wanted to throw some curve balls at the competitors during this Challenge, but they weren't sure what they should do. Someone suggested that they have a random power outage, but for safety reasons that was nixed. Lee Anne came up with the "no powered equipment" twist instead.

    Trivia (8)

    • QuickFire Dishes Shown: * Spike - Pineapple Rum Raisin Souffle with Toasted Coconut * Richard - Banana Scallops with Banana Guacamole & Chocolate Ice Cream * Jennifer - Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-dipped Banana Bites * Andrew - Banana & Chocolate Ravioli with Pudding * Nikki - Buttermilk Cake with Berry Sauce * Stephanie - Chocolate Cake with Salted Basil Ganache * Dale - "Halo-Halo" with Shaved Ice, Avocado, Mango, Kiwi & Nuts * Lisa - Yogurt with Fruit Puree, Fried Wontons & Strawberries * Mark - Pavlovas Made with Wattleseed * Antonia - Bruleed Lemon Curd with Lemon Cake

    • Elimination Dishes: * Spike & Andrew Inspiration: Yellow, Love, Vanilla Squash Soup with Vanilla Creme Fraiche * Stephanie & Jennifer Inspiration: Orange, Turned-on, Asparagus Menage a Trois of Orange with Goat Cheese, Asparagus, Salad & Olive Tapenade * Dale & Richard Inspiration: Green, Perplexed, Tofu Tofu Steak Marinated in Beef Fat with Green Curry * Antonia & Lisa Inspiration: Magenta, Drunk, Polish Sausage Sea Bass with Purple Potato Puree, Chorizo & Tequila Sauce * Mark & Nikki Inspiration: Purple, Depressed, Bacon Roasted Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes, Grape Sauce, Jus, and Brussels Sprouts

    • Goof: Stephanie's dessert was mis-labeled as Jennifer's during the QuickFire.

    • While it is unclear in the episode itself, Ted Allen says in his blog that there was indeed Polish sausage as well as chorizo in Lisa and Antonia's dish, it was just hidden by the sea bass. If you watch closely at the ingredients at their station while they are working, you can see the two different types of sausage.

    • In spite of getting their Elimination Challenge assignment at the Second City performance, this was the first time the contestants got to have a night out on the town during any season of the show.

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