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Top Chef Recap: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam [SPOILER ALERT]

Canoe Crop

Canoe crop ahoy. © David Moir/ Bravo

In part one of the Top Chef finale, the cheftestants went from hot and humid New Orleans to equally hot and humid Maui. After getting leid at a beach party, Nick, Nina and Shirley were joined by the winner of Last Chance Kitchen: Louis, who won an unbelievable eight challenges in a row on the digital miniseries.

Legendary Hawaiian chef Sam Choy arrived and announced the Quickfire Challenge: Prepare a creative, out-of-the-box dish with Spam (a.k.a. “Hawaiian steak”). Even with a talkative and inquiring group of onlookers, the chefs all made quality dishes from the oft-maligned canned meat. No immunity was given this time, just a small token of appreciation in the form of $10,000.

The Elimination Challenge came with a startling announcement; there would be a double elimination, leaving just two chefs to move on to final challenge. Rattled, the chefs were told to prepare a dish using items from a “canoe crop,” which refers to the supplies that the ancient Polynesians first brought to Hawaii. There was rain, there was wind and there was talk of how breadfruit makes you gassy. In the end we were left with the final two, who will battle it out next week for the grand prize.

For those playing F&W’s Fantasy Top Chef, here are the points earned and lost by chefs last night.

Shirley Chung: +1 for falling face-first into the sand while running for the canoe crop but making a quick and clean recovery. +1 for saving her sweet potato puree after it was diluted by rain. -10 for being told to pack her knives and go (by a very sad Padma) for her braised pork, which was just a touch too sweet. Total points: 77

Nina Compton: -1 for breaking down Nick’s fish instead of her own. Oops. +3 for coming in second and making it to the final challenge. Total points: 73

Nicholas Elmi: +3 for winning the Quickfire Challenge (and $10,000) with his Spam bouillon. +10 for winning the Elimination Challenge (and a spot in the final challenge) with his tea leaf-steamed opakapaka topped with crispy chicken skin. Total points: 60

Louis Maldonado: +20 for winning Last Chance Kitchen. +1 for making a Spam mousse that Padma called “silky in my mouth,” providing Twitter fodder for many. -10 for being told to pack his knives and go for his inconsistent opah. Total points: 33

Keep up to date on the current standings with F&W’s Updated Roster.

Related: Hawaiian Food Hits the Mainland
King of the Food Trucks Hits Hawaii
Best Top Chef Restaurants

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    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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