March 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM ET
By Liane Bonin of HitFix.com
It’s down to the final three, and that means Wednesday night’s challenges are likely to be tough. Really tough. And, given the rest of this season thus far, weird. Really weird. I’m fully expecting the chefs will have to cook while trained carrier pigeons dive bomb them with frozen cilantro and little people attack their shins with crème brulee blow torches. The stunt cooking Mike, Richard and Antonia have suffered through has bordered on the ridiculous lately, so I won’t be surprised by anything.
Wolfgang Puck is on deck to oversee the Quickfire, which Padma promises will be different than anything the chefs have tackled before. Oh, joy. I’m on the lookout for pigeons. Wait, no. The chefs must pick classic Quickfires from previous seasons and assign them to their competition. Tricky!
Mike gets first pick. He picks the canned goods competition for Antonia, because it’s the toughest and most disgusting. So much for chivalry. Antonia picks hot dogs for Richard. Richard picks the one pot challenge for Mike. Richard thinks this will be challenging, and Antonia thinks he’s stupid. Mike will get to cook with any ingredient he wants in the kitchen, as long as he only uses one pot. Does Richard not realize Mike can wash out the pot and reuse it?
Mike is braising pork for his dish, which should take 3 hours but which he must complete in 45 minutes, while Richard is making bread from scratch. WTF? These guys don’t seem to understand that a Quickfire is supposed to be, um, quick.
Padma walks into the kitchen and reveals that the chefs can also assign a classic “Top Chef” twist to one of their competitors as well. They can choose among three options: cooking with one hand, finishing the dish without knives or hand tools or the double apron twist with Carla. Richard picks no utensils for Mike. Antonia chooses one handed cooking for Richard and she takes Carla for the double apron twist, which seems like a bonus to me. Mike is also thrilled that Richard stupidly picked the wrong twist for him. Since he’d already sliced his cabbage salad, he didn’t need to use utensils for anything anyway. Richard, come on, pay attention!