Quickfire – Battle the person that beat you the first time around, using a protein provided for each battle by Tom. Season 4 gets veal, Season 5 gets lamb, Season 6 gets duck and Season 7 gets pork. If the finalist wins the majority vote from Tom, Ripert and Padma, they get $10,000. If the past champion wins, they get the money. For Steph, she can win $20,000 if her dish beats Antonia and Blais.
Season 7 Battle
Kevin (formerly known here as Sbarro) – BBQ Pork with Cilantro, Celery, Shaved Onion and Citrus Salad vs.
Tiffany – Pork Stew with Potatoes, Peppers, Citrus and Allspice
Winner – In a split decision, with both dishes being very good, Tiffany wins.
Season 5 Battle
Hosea – Braised Leg of Lamb in Red Chili Broth with Olives and Mint, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Polenta vs.
Carla – Joll of Rice and Harissa Lamb with Peppers, Onions, Lime
Winner – Carla undercooked her rice, so Hosea gets a unanimous win. Take that haters!
Season 4 Battle
Steph – Veal Scaloppini with Tapenade and Poached Egg vs.
Antonia – Roasted Veal, Leek and Almonds Puree, with Sautéed Mushrooms and vs.
Blais – Seared Veal Loin and Braised Veal Cap with Raisins, Carrots, Potatoes and Mushrooms
Winners – Antonia’s veal is tough and Steph’s had a lot going on. Steph wins by default. Blais’ is good, so he easily wins.
Season 6 Battle
Michael (formerly known as Hawk) – Duck Breast with Duck Leg in Bacon Vinaigrette, Burnt Leek and Coffee Pesto vs.
Mike – Cashew-Dusted Spiced Duck Breast with Duck Leg and Mushroom Jus
Winner – Ripert and Tom surprisingly vote for Mike, who gives the first of two “oh wow” comments this week as he is visibly surprised to beat the champ. It is also noticed by Blais, who gives kudos to Mike, as he clearly knows that Mike Voltaggio may in fact be the best Top Chef winner.
Elimination Challenge – Make a meal for Bahamian royalty. Silly chefs, don’t fall for it! Actually, it was for a festival. The King, Padma, Gail, Ripert and Tom all judge. Chefs start a fire, and have to do the whole thing over again.
Carla – Fried Pork Medallion with Sweet Potato Puree, Apple Sauce and Apple Chips. Gail thought it looked beautiful, but Ripert found it too sweet. Gail’s pork was undercooked, Tom thought it was actually raw. Carla’s attempts at deep frying went awry. She actually tried to cook the medallion on the flat top stove to get it to work. It didn’t.
Antonia – Crispy Shrimp and Grits with Cilantro and Pickled Vegetables. Ripert’s was overcooked, and Gail thought it lacked distinct flavor. The King thought using conch would have worked better, and Tom thought the veggies were very Howard Johnson’s. Ouch. Gail questioned the pork infusion into the grits.
Mike – Sous Vide Chicken, Mushrooms, Yams, Lobster Sauce, and Lobster hash. Ripert found it to be pleasant, Padma loved the sauce. Tom found it full of surprises, although Gail found the white meat to be dry.
Blais – Roasted Lamb Loin and Malted Braised Leg with Pickled Turnip and Mustard. Gail thought it was different, and Padma is just amazed at what Blais can do. Ripert found it to be delicate, while Tom loved the turnip “cannelloni” while Ripert did not. Blais thought it was disgusting. Anyway…
Tiffany – Roasted Spiced Pork Tenderloin, Dirty Rice, Curried Slaw and Tomato Jam. Ripert thought it was tender, Gail enjoyed it, but didn’t love it, and Tom found it to be simple and nice. High praise.
Carla admits that the chip wasn’t what she wanted, and learns about how Gail’s meat was raw, but Ripert’s was ok. Too sweet, raw meat. Not good.
Antonia was not proud of hers, Ripert found the shrimp very overcooked, and Gail thought it was like beige mystery meat. Tom questioned the pork in the grits, and just found the whole dish to be odd.
Tiffany’s was too simple, Ripert expected more from her, and needed more sauce to make it less dry. Gail wanted more jam and more kick from the curry.
Mike’s flavors were nice, according to Tom, and the sauce was the star of the dish. Gail liked the richness, but it was a bit dry. Ripert said things that I didn’t understand, but he liked it.
Blais again said he hates what he does. Tom found the dish nicely cooked but could have used another element. Gail loved the turnip concoction, along with Tom.
Mike gets the win, and his second “oh wow” – he beat Voltaggio and Blais. Great job. Blais is instantly safe along with him. It comes down to Tiffany’s boring and forgettable dish, Antonia’s confused dish and Carla’s inedible dish. Inedible always will lose that battle. So, we lose Carla. I grew to love Carla over time, and more importantly, grew to respect her skills. Sad to see her go, but I am sure she will admit, she deserved to go this week.
Mike is on a roll, Blais is still the favorite. The question is whether or not Antonia can recover and if Tiffany can step it up.