Top Chef recap: Hot-Headed Ice Queens

Tonight is the night when three become two
Ep. 16 | Aired Feb 22, 2012

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF Paul is destined to be our winner, but he needs to get out of his own way.

Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Even though Beverly's brief re-entry into the competition stirred things up a bit, this season has been hurtling toward this final three for a few episodes now, whether we like it or not. Sarah, having recently knocked Beverly out of the running, decreed that this final three is "how it was supposed to be the whole time."

The three best friends that anybody could have teleported to Vancouver's Chinatown, where greasy-sausage-Sarah of course loudly proclaimed herself a fish out of water. All those bottles of Hoisin sauce, sensing an enemy, should have sprung to life and thrown themselves at her.

The chefs met Padma and Emeril in Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie where masters of Asian cuisine Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, and Takashi Yagihashi were waiting for them. The chefs were each paired with one of the masters for a tag-team Quickfire Challenge in which the chef and master had to take turns cooking a dish one at a time in 10-minute intervals. The winner stood to win a whopping $20,000. Sarah crossed her fingers for Takashi, who does seem crazy awesome, but Paul drew his name instead. Lindsay drew Anita and Sarah got Floyd. Best name ever for a grown man, not a great name for a baby.

The veterans took to the kitchen first to start the dishes. I'd like to thank Takashi for whipping out the geoduck (gooey duck)! It wouldn't be Top Chef without these enormously phallic bivalves making at least once appearance. Anita laid ingredients out very clearly for Lindsay to prepare scallops three ways, and Floyd — whose Quickfire record wasn't great on his season of Top Chef Masters — felt huge pressure competing for someone else. That's awful nice of you, Floyd, but I wouldn't be mad if you phoned this one in. Always up for flexing her range as a chef, Sarah hoped to God Floyd didn't make her do any wok cooking. Sarah admitted to / joked about doing "nothing" in her first 10-minute session and claimed a "zero comfort level" with curry because, you know, curry isn't mealy risotto.

NEXT: Oof, if Sarah wins the Asian themed challenge, who knows how big her head will get?


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