“Top Chef: California” recap (13.4): Desert Hearts

Previously on Top Chef, we bid adieu to our sweet, queer cinnamon roll, Frances. I don’t really fuck with Last Chance Kitchen, but, damn, I hope she knocks out Floppy Hair. After the elimination, the chefs pack their bags and head to Palm Springs for the next set of challenges. According to white guy with glasses, Palm Springs is known for the gays, their white wine spritzers, and also lots of old people.


The chefs arrive at the desert and go on a drive that reminds of the beginning of Jurassic Park a little bit. Hopefully our chefs fare better than Goldblum and co. They make it to their destination and find Padma hanging out right on top of the San Andreas Fault with José Andrés. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate Padma’s outfit:

img1Literal goddess.

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs must create a dish using equipment powered by clean energy, which Palm Springs is (allegedly) well known for. There are two options for equipment: a solar stove or a solar oven, and let me tell you, they both look exactly like the future. The chefs draw knives to decide which solar thing they have to use and then get to cooking.

Giselle blows up her solar oven by putting water in it. Man, I don’t even want to think about how much something like that costs. Yikes. Bunhead is doing some dumb shit as per usual. This time, he’s plating a raw oyster on a fucking rock he pulled from the desert. JFC, man. I don’t even know what to say about you anymore.

Anyway, the chefs finish cooking and Padma and José come around to taste. It seems like most chefs handle the challenge pretty well, but Padma calls Bunhead’s dish “snot on a rock.” I know I say this in almost every recap, but every time I think I couldn’t possibly love Padma more, she goes and does something like this. We should all bow down to Padma is what I’m saying.

The judges least favorite dishes were Grayson, Giselle, and Bunhead, while the best dishes belonged to Baldy 1, Wesley, and Cajun. The winner is Wesley! He will have immunity and José Andrés decides to also give him a solar stove because he is a wonderful man.

Elimination Challenge: Padma splits the chefs up based on which solar equipment they used in the Quickfire, and these will be the teams for the next challenge. Cajun thinks the other team looks pretty stacked, so he’s nervous. Padma explains that the chefs have to create a four-course progressive menu that follows the judges as they play a round of golf. The chefs will have to serve from refreshment carts right on the golf course.

The teams do some menu planning, one team choosing to be really vegetable-centric and the other going with a Latin themed menu. Angelina and Giselle refuse to work with each other because they had to cook head to head twice last week, so Angelina ends up with Grayson and Giselle will be cooking with Amar.

At Whole Foods, Bunhead tells us he’s going to make a dessert just like his wife made for Coachella. Of course you guys opened a restaurant in the VIP area of Coachella. I bet you also love to tell people about how you opened a restaurant in the VIP area of Coachella, emphasis on the VIP. Cajun’s dessert will be going up against Bunhead’s and I hope he crushes it.