Keeping with last week’s frantic pace, the second episode of Top Chef: New Orleans didn’t give the 18 remaining cheftestants a chance to slow down and have a Sazerac. Instead, Padma sprung a Quickfire Challenge on them: gumbo. After pulling all-nighters to make the classic New Orleans dish, the cheftestants offered their gumbos up to be judged by the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase. The NOLA food celebrities didn’t stop there.
F&W Best New Chef 1989 Susan Spicer dropped by to guest judge this week’s Elimination Challenge. Padma divided the chefs into four teams, and tasked them with running a food truck to feed Habitat for Humanity volunteers still working to repair damage from Hurricane Katrina. Team challenges can bring out the best and worst in chefs and this one was no exception. For some teams, egos clashed and chefs panicked; others ran their operations as smoothly as a well-tuned food truck. For those playing F&W’s Fantasy Top Chef, here are the points earned and lost by chefs last night.
Carrie Mashaney: +5 for her green Trinidadian-style gumbo winning the Quickfire Challenge. +1 for using a giant, chilled wine bottle to roll out empanada dough. +10 for winning the elimination challenge with her perfectly flaky empanada dough. Total points: 37.