Thursday night on Bravo, the Final 3 “Top Chef” contestants — Adrienne Cheatham, Joe Sasto, and Joseph Flamm — were surprised to learn that they had catch their meals before cooking them. Later, the trio was tasked with preparing 200 plates for the chefs and food connoisseurs visiting Colorado’s Food & Wine Classic. With the season finale just around the corner, which chef-testant was told to pack up their knives in third place?
Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Top Chef” recap of Season 15, Episode 13, titled “A Little Place Called Aspen,” to find out what happened Thursday, March 1. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite chefs, which dishes from the episode looked the tastiest and who you think can go the distance to join the “Top Chef” winners list.
8:59 p.m. – In last week’s 12th episode one of the strongest chefs in the competition, Carrie Baird, was sent home after preparing what turned out to be her final dish: beef stroganoff raviolo with buffalo sausage, mushroom duxelle, herbed creme fraiche and caramelized onions. Whose dreams will go up in flames tonight, just one week before the Season 15 finale?
9:03 p.m. – With only the top three left, the chefs head to Aspen to prepare for the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and the final phase of the competition. They’re greeted by Padma Lakshmi and Chris Cosentino (a Top Chef Masters winner) to learn about their last Quickfire Challenge. They’ll have 40 minutes to create their best trout dish, but as a catch they’ll have to actually catch their own trout in a nearby creek all within the 40 minute time frame. The winner of the challenge earns an advantage in the next elimination challenge.
9:06 p.m. – Three minutes in, Joseph gets a bite and reels it in, followed by Joe who catches one of his own eight minutes in. Unfortunately for Adrienne she was unable to catch a fish until the 22 minute mark, but that catch kept her from having to use canned fish instead.
9:14 p.m. – Adrienne manages to complete a dish, a pan-seared trout with crispy skin and ponzu vinaigrette. Before the judges taste her dish though, Chris points out that in the mountains, fresh fish can’t be served raw because other animals poop in the water and it taints the water that the fish are in. Lucky for both Joseph and Joe that they fully cooked their fish so their dishes were actually edible. In the end, though Adrienne’s fish skin (the edible part) was great, Joseph still won with his because the rest of this dish embraced the specialness of the fresh trout.
9:17 p.m. – To present the Elimination Challenge, Padma leads the chef to a clearing where there are three barrels of fresh produce and huge cauldrons. These will be used for each of the chefs to create dishes to present in their own event at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic! For this challenge, the chefs have to show their skills by cooking on a cauldron without a protein–that’s right, they’re making vegetarian dishes! With the stakes raised, Padma brings in three eliminated chefs, Bruce Kalman, Carrie Baird and Christopher Scott, to help the finalists out. Joseph picks Carrie for himself, Bruce for Adrienne and Christopher for Joe.
9:31 p.m. – Tom Colicchio arrives during prep time with guest Nilou Motamed to check on the chefs. Adrienne introduces her corn pudding in a Swiss chard leaf, but she’s worried that the check-in is wasting too much of her time. Joe talks to Tom and Nilou about his beet carpaccio and Joseph tells them about his grilled zucchini and pesto dish.
9:40 p.m. – Joe’s beet dish has great components, but the judges find it a little dry despite their respect for his process with the cauldron. Adrienne’s dish is smart and delicate, but some feel she didn’t go far enough with the char and missed an opportunity to go bolder. Joseph impresses the guests by masking that his dish was vegetarian because the non-vegetable aspects of his dish took center stage and grounded the dish.
9:48 p.m. – At Judges’ Table, the panel agreed that all the chefs served good food, but each of them missed the mark in one aspect of their dish. Both Adrienne and Joe missed on the charred element while Joseph made the bad decision of using baby zucchini and missing on the proportion because of it.
9:56 p.m. – The final decision of the judges is that Joseph is the challenge winner and joining him in the finale is Adrienne! That means that Joe just misses the mark and is eliminated in third place. Next week is the season finale where we find out whether Joseph or Adrienne is the new Top Chef!
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