Top Chef

Season 4 Episode 7

Improv

0
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 23, 2008 on Bravo
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
20 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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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

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • the chefs pair up to improv a dish according to the guidelines given at improv theater the prior night

    5.0
    this was not one of my fave eps b/c there was just a lot of failure in this ep and i just didnt think the rules were very clear for the audience as well as the contestants but at the same time i didnt think that should be an excuse for almost everyone but two groups really failing..i know there are people in the middle but they didnt do so well either..i think they just got really full of themselves and were fighting it out..i agree with the judges on who got sent home but i wont spoil it lol..not the best ep of the competition so farmoreless
  • Good show.

    9.5
    Tonight Top Chef, the chefs quickfire required them to make desserts which we've seen in the past usually doesn't go too well, but we're pleasantly surprise now. Spike didn't do so hot at the quickfire @ least from my opinion but I think his effort was applauded. Nikki's looked the best but in the end, Richard's odd ingredients won. For the elimination challenge, the team has to create a dish using improv as the inspiration. On this particular challenge, my top picks are back in the top including Andrew. And Dale takes the win along with Richard and they win a bunch of high class silverware. Jennifer is the one who goes home unfortunately and she tries to plea her case to stay but the judges actually laugh which makes the situation look that much worse. Good show, and my top picks are still moving alone.moreless
  • The quickfire and the elimination challenges were very interesting and not a rehash from years prior.

    9.2
    The chefs here are a light year ahead of the other cooking show Hell's Kitchen, where no one can cook, or almost no one.

    While some of the dishes they come up with are too off the wall for me, to see the way they do it is impressive.

    The quickfire had some interesting dishes, and even one of the least favorite ones got points from the guest chef for creativity and courage.

    The elimination challenge was way off the wall. The way they came up with the dishes was also quite good. When you can impress Chef Tom with a tofu dish and all with a soup, you are doing something right. The food overall is great as evidenced by the comments by all.

    Did the right person go home, it was a close call, but the level here is heavenly, and I guess that is why the other show is called Hell's Kitchen, on a much lower level.moreless

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  • 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.

    • First-Run Fan Poll:

      How was Jennifer and Stephanie's Presentation?

      A. Sexylicious 23%
      B. Funny 40%
      C. Leave it to the pros 37%

    • Dale and Richard are named the winners of this challenge, and they are each given $2,500 worth of Caphalon cookware as a reward. Jen is told to pack her knives and go.

    • Richard is declared the winner of the QuickFire Challenge and receives immunity from elimination. His recipe can be found on page 235 of Top Chef: the Cookbook.

  • 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.

    • Andrew: This is improvisation! (starts tossing food into the air) Oh my God! (he misses several items) I can't juggle! Bacon on the floor!

  • 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.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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