Top Chef recap: She's Back! And She's Pissed

Well, maybe she's not pissed. But she should be. Which "she" am I talking about?
Ep. 14 | Aired Feb 8, 2012

THE MENTORS brought out the fire (and the nerves) in the chefs this week.

Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Ever since Beverly got eliminated, I've been anticipating the look on Sarah's face if Beverly ever made it back to the competition. Predictably, Sarah the hater bet Ed a pack of cigarettes and a banana that Grayson would "kick Bev's ass" in Last Chance Kitchen. Sarah, never a fan of "Bev," said she wouldn't buy a ticket to go to Bevland. Well Sarah, I'll never make reservations to your sausage and undercooked risotto restaurant, whenever you decide to open it, so there. But to Sarah's dismay, in walked Beverly like a badass newly released from women's penitentiary, seeking retribution from those who wronged her. Kinda.

As much as I thought it'd be satisfying to see Sarah's face when Beverly's came back, her sourpuss mostly just annoyed me. Not satisfying at all. Well played, Sarah.

Beverly and the other four dove right into the Quickfire Challenge, which was really fun this week. The chefs had 30 minutes to choose ingredients from the pantry -- blindfolded -- and then cook a dish, blindfolds off, using all their chosen ingredients. The prize? A choice between a brand new Prius V or a guaranteed spot in the final.

Of course Beverly the spaz had a rough time with this challenge. The judges had to dodge her as she flailed her arms around the kitchen. Lindsay sniffed out the fish, and all the chefs had to take a leap of faith with the meats, which were packed in Cryovac bags that sealed off their aroma.

It came down to Ed and Sarah. Ed ended up grabbing a difficult ingredient he had no use for -- pork casings -- but he came up with a clever workaround by boiling the casings and using the water as broth for his noodle-less udon. He quite literally made hot dog-flavored water, and I got to make a timely Limp Bizkit reference. I loved the creativity of Ed's dish; I can't imagine udon without wheat-flour noodles, but the zucchini and mushroom ribbons would make a nice, chewy substitute. But the judges ended up ruling in favor of Sarah's corn soup with onion, red chili, roasted mushrooms, and peaches. The judges appreciated the way she incorporated an ingredient that typically didn't go with the others.

Paul and Ed might not have respected her choice, but Sarah went with the guaranteed spot in the top four rather than taking the fuel-efficient Prius. I'm not saying I would have done any differently, but as someone with Sarah's best interest at heart, I think she should have taken the car. Boooooo.

NEXT: There IS crying in cooking... Why am I crying too?


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