Top Chef Review: "Island Fever"
As much as I love and enjoy Top Chef, having this many contestants during the finals makes it... well, not really the finals. Just because they’ve switched locations to the Bahamas doesn’t change the direction of the episodes and "Island Fever" felt a bit like filler until the actual finale. Let’s break it down.
The Quickfire Challenge
The theme of the Quickfire is consistency. The chefs are instructed to pair up and make 100 dishes for diners. The whole point is to make a solid dish every time.
Mike, who’s strangely confident and yet completely not deserving of his place, picks Richard because Antonia is the “Black Hammer.” We all know it’s because Richard is the best chef ever! Richard is surprisingly accepting of the former dish thief and decides to make fun of the female chefs during the challenge.
Bad move, boys, because the girls win the challenge and the $5,000. Their beef tenderloin salad with lentils and celery leaves do look delicious and refreshing. The boys act like idiots over losing and I feel that Richard is getting surlier with every challenge, while Mike has always been an idiot.
The challenge is to use conch, a very difficult shellfish, for Nassau Yacht Club’s 80th anniversary. How very posh. Padma greets them at a pier, looking insanely hot in her bikini and not at all like she had a baby less than a year ago. We all know she just wants to show off her post-baby bod. Not that I can blame her.
The chefs are instructed to snorkel for their own conchs... as if it’s not difficult enough to just shell those darn things. No one looks graceful or happy to be doing this, as they desperately try not to flail in water. And somehow, as they manage to farm enough conchs, the fun of trying to hammer those suckers begins.
Richard does a cool trick where he makes sweet potato into a linguine that has the same color as the conch. Antonia makes some delicious looking lobster and conch ceviche. Tiffany makes chowder and ceviche, while Mike makes grouper wrapped in banana leaves.
The judges nitpick the heck out of the dishes: Antonia’s dish is too conventional, although that’s how Antonia envisioned it, while Tiffany’s chowder is too cold. They praise Mike’s dish for the most part, while Richard’s ingenuity is appreciated.
Although none of the dishes have glaring faults, Tiffany is asked to leave. I think her fate was mostly sealed by the fact that all the dishes were fairly strong and she hasn’t won any challenges to date. Now, hopefull,y Mike will go home next so Richard and Antonia can battle it out during an epic finale!