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Last week's nerves have settled down and the Top Chef kitchen is back to business as usual. Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard is the in the house and it's a Reynolds Wrap quickfire challenge. The cheftestants can use any ingredient from the pantry - but wait - they're all covered in aluminum foil. Whatever they open they have to use and they have to cook it in Reynolds Wrap. (Banana boat, anyone?) Stephanie picks her top six dishes. Kristen wins with her "f*-ing ballsy" almond and chocolate sponge cake and the five runner-ups get to pick their opponents for the elimination challenge from the bottom five.
For this elimination challenge, they'll be battling head to head at the Remlinger Farms Berry Festival. Each pair will create a dish to highlight a specific berry and the 150 festival-goers will vote on the battles. Kristen has immunity so she'll cook alone but still has a chance to win. The battles aren't exactly close...
Danyele vs. Handlebar Josh: Blueberries. Danyele's a little frazzled in the kitchen and makes a chicken pine nut terrine with blueberry mostarda. The judges hate everything about it. The crostada it's on is too thick, the terrine is rubbery and has no flavor. Josh makes a savory goat cheese mousse with blueberry compote with Serrano ham and cracker crust. Josh's dish looks way better and it is. Tom likes his spiced blueberries and just wishes there were more.
Winner: Handlebar Josh
Josie vs. Lizzie: Raspberries. Josie makes a Rock 'n' Raspberry Roll with sockeye salmon, crab and raspberry aioli BUT she didn't finish her prep in time so she has to make them to order and she's taking forever. As an attempt to distract the judges, she's all like Rock 'n' Raspberry! Fun at the berry festival! Gail thinks she's high. Tom is not amused. Once they finally get the roll, the judges can't taste the raspberry and it's too heavy. Little delightful Lizzie makes a steamed cabbage roll with heritage pork and bacon stuffing, steamed with fresh raspeberries and raspberry liquor. Padma and the festival goers LOVE the raspberry pork.
Sheldon vs. Micah: Strawberries. Sheldon makes an ahi summer roll with ahi poke, strawberries and sweet chili sauce and Micah makes a strawberry marinated fried chicken with strawberry and bacon biscuit. The judges think Micah's fried chicken is pretty good but the biscuit is too dense and they prefer Sheldon's summer roll which does a great job of highlighting the strawberry.
Stefan vs. John: Gooseberries John's been giving Stefan a hard time because he bought frozen tuna but the judges think his cali crudo with with radishes, gooseberries and spiced vinaigrette is beautiful. John make white gazpacho with Spanish chorizo, gooseberries and sweet grapes. The chorizo is overpowering. A festival goer calls it "cheeseburger soup," which sounds kinda good but he meant it negatively.
Bart vs. Brooke: Blackberries. Brooke makes a spicy smoked chocolate pudding with blackberry tapioca, salty graham cracker and marshmellow that looks like s'mores deliciousness. The judges agree. Everyone loves s'mores. Bart makes a Blackberry soup with salmon and rhubarb yogurt. This was probably the closest battle because they actually like his soup, but they didn't like the salmon.
Kristen vs. Kristen: Tayberries. Kristen relaxes into her immunity and makes a matcha goat milk custard with macerated tayberries. They love it.
The voters chose the exact same winners as the judges. Kristen wins the whole thing! "No sh*t"
Of the bottom five, it's really only Josie and Danyele and John at risk. We think it's going to be Josie but - surprise! - it's Danyele. Tom says she has good concepts but can't execute. So the cheftestants will have to continue to suffer Josie's laugh. She goes back and immediately starts fighting with Stefan. Potentially seems like they kept her around for the drama. Next week: rollerblades!