When we next see the chefs (15.6 seconds later) they are entering the Top Chef kitchen to find Padma, grinning wildly, standing behind a table large enough to hide three grown men underneath, maybe even four. She then introduces the guest judges for this episode - Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Telly. Muppets! Awww! Cuteness!
Carla has been both Beaker and Big Bird (on meth) during her time on Top Chef, so I think it would be appropriate if she sat out this challenge and joined the fuzzy guests at their big table.
The Quickfire Challenge, naturally, involves creating cookies. Elmo wants to see cookies with zucchini and carrots. Cookie Monster wants chocolate chips.
The judges are then packed into suitcases and carried away. Padma announces that the Elimination Challenge will be held at Target, where the chefs have three hours to shop and cook for 100 Tar-jay employees. Everything - from cooking implements to food - will be found within the store. The winner of this contest will get an additional $25K, the biggest single-challenge prize offered so far.
At Midnight, the chefs are let loose in an empty Target and they race around to collect folding tables, tools, plates, and appliances on which to prep and serve, plus food. If the challenge were held in our local Baltimore, completely nutrient-free Tar-jay, the recheftestants would be forced to make do with Chee-tos, Dentyne Ice, and Choxie.
Angelo feels like Carl Lewis running through the aisles, only whiter and slower. And a whole lot nerdier. Gone are the tight "cameltoe" pants from last week and in their place are baggy shorts worn with dark knee highs and white shoes.
They taste everything. Blais' non-soup dish of two kinds of pork with corn pancakes is praised for flavor, but called "butt-ugly" otherwise. And then we get the very lame answer to the question, "why Ming?" When he learns that Dale used an iron to crisp up his grilled cheese sandwiches, Ming quips, "Maybe he wants to be an Iron Chef?"
After feeding the employees, the tired gang is then herded to the Stew Room. Padma comes in and calls for Blais, Antonia, and Dale - if you notice, all are chefs from Season 4, my personal favorite. Their dishes are praised but ultimately Dale is given the win. I think the irons clinched it for him. And now he's $30,000 richer, if you consider he won $5K in the Quickfire.
Tiffany, Carla, and Angelo are brought out next. Tiffany made jambalaya with too much creole seasoning (it looked like Tony Chachere's, which is extremely salty to my tastebuds). Angelo's soup was too salty and too dense - even without the salt, nobody would have been able to eat a bowlful. And the flavors in Carla's soup just weren't developed enough.
Angelo's errors, both culinary and sartorial, were the most egregious, and he was asked to pack his knives and his avocados and go.
(Honestly, he posted that on Facebook this week.)
Next week: Wigs, false teeth, and butter, AKA Paula Deen! Plus, old recheftestants are recycled again.