Top Chefs Learn Math the Hard Way
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Professional chefs are accustomed to working with the best equipment and super-fresh ingredients, right? So what would happen if they had to make a meal using only that processed stuff that comes in cans? They would freak out, of course!

TOP CHEF contestants began the quick fire challenge this week in a frenzied mob, grabbing condensed soup, artichoke hearts, and canned fish. There was pushing, shoving, and flying elbows as they fought to grab a coveted item: the shiny tin of Spam. Wolfgang Puck protégé Hosea was lighting fast and snagged the product first, as other chefs grimaced with envy. After Hosea sliced what he needed of the water-packed meat clump, evil Stefan came begging for leftovers. Hosea and Stefan have been battling head-to-head all season, so they do NOT want to help each other out. But, feeling guilty for hogging it, Hosea finally caved. He is a nice guy, after all.

The result: Stefan won the challenge and immunity from elimination for the week.

The lesson: Nice guy + Top Chef = roadkill. Smarten up, Hosea!

In other stupid moves by Hosea this week, the disappointed chef turned to his best buddy, Leah, for consolation. The two have been seen cuddling and cooing at the loft, but what’s the real story? Both have significant others waiting back home. And this is on television. Where everyone can see it. Including his girlfriend.

The main challenge of the day had chefs shopping far from a grocery store for their ingredients. Contestants were swept away to a picturesque farm, where they got to select the freshest ingredients Mother Earth has to offer. They picked tomatoes, plucked corn, and snapped off beans. They even got to play with the farm animals.

Then chefs were split into three teams for the challenge. Though knives were drawn at random, cuddlers Leah and Hosea ended up together. “Great. I get stuck with the lovebirds,” said Ariane, knowing she was the odd man out. Just as she thought, Leah and Hosea kept to themselves, leaving Ariane to de-bone and cook a lamb leg by herself. Leah stepped in to tie it with twine before roasting, but it was quick and messy, and it showed in the final product. Ariane just couldn’t get any real help with from her teammates.

Continuing the Top Chef lovefest theme, Stefan and Jamie were also paired up (with Carla, too, but she was nearly invisible in the Stefan vs. Jamie battle for control). Cocky Stefan didn’t mind being his usual bully self—even to the chef on whom he has a huge crush. In fact, the angrier he made Jamie, the more infatuated he became. Big-eyed Carla could hardly get in a word of her own as she tried to referee. Stefan loved every moment of it, but his tattooed muse, Jamie, wasn’t impressed.

Despite the tension, anger, and hormones on full display, Stefan, Jamie, and Carla came out as the top team of the day, praised for their succulent chicken dishes. In an unusual twist, all three chefs were named as winners for the day, giving Carla her first turn at the top all season.

The other lovebird team went straight to the bottom. Ariane’s butchering skills were called a hack job, while Hosea and Leah were accused of not doing enough.

The result: Ariane, the bad butcher, got the axe.

The lesson: Two against one = a quick way to thin the competition. Very clever. I’m guessing they’ll try it again.

Next week is the big one—RESTAURANT WARS! Yes, the most anticipated competition of the season is finally here, and I can’t wait. Oh, and someone’s flirting crosses the line—how delicious!

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