Top Chef recap: One Mistake

The final three update dishes that inspired them to become chefs. Josh misses the birth of his daughter
Ep. 15 | Aired Feb 13, 2013

ROCK CHOI Guest judge Roy Choi dazzled us with bizarre stories and killer braised short ribs.

David Moir/Bravo

Josh made the type of food the sledders were most used to, but he might have done better to venture off the beaten, bacon-smelling path. His cornmeal cakes were well received, but Tom was unimpressed with his "straight-up scrambled" eggs. Sheldon made a pan-roasted halibut with tomato sauce finished off with sesame bok choy (how did he find that on top of a snowy mountain). His dish really impressed a local named Jeremiah, who kept saying, "It's GREAT" through an enormous grin. Sheldon, now you know where to get your "good reefer."

But the win went to Brooke, whose pan-roasted halibut with panzanella salad and crunchy croutons most impressed Tom. She's the definite front-runner — but the last time I thought that about someone, she got sent straight to Last Chance Kitchen.

Afterwards, Padma picked up the chefs in a sedan to take them to a surprise location. It was hilarious how the chefs piled into the backseat like little kids. I was half-expecting Padma to hand them Capri Sun and string cheese. Sheldon understandably expressed concern that Padma probably was used to being chauffeured around. I hope he said a quick prayer.

They arrived at a lovely, cozy home where Emeril and Roy Choi, co-founder of Kogi and A-Frame, were preparing a meal for them. Roy made kalbi jjim, which is a delicious sweet Korean braised beef dish. (I know Roy is a great chef and everything, but I'm sure it's not better than my mom's kalbi jjim). In the kitchen, Roy explained his philosophy on washing rice to Emeril: "I try to transfer all of the ancestors and spirits and energy that surround my whole existence and put that into every kernel of rice." Emeril pretended to understand.

Over kalbi jjim and cornbread, Roy shared with the chefs the moment he knew he wanted to become a chef. He was 25 years old, a total scumbag, and one night he was watching Emeril cooking braised short ribs on TV. "Emeril popped out of the TV and slapped me," Roy said. "I got up, wiped the snot from my eyes, and I just looked in the mirror, just like washing my face, and I was like, that was it. I started researching culinary schools ..." Okay, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be a cynical b-hole, but that story sounded made up, and the chefs looked totally awkward about it. And why does snot come out of your eyes? But really, I like Roy. He seems like a character.

NEXT: Things get very real for Josh ...

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