Top Chef Colorado episode 10: Desserts are the ultimate nightmare


Savory chefs tend to shudder at the concept of making dessert. Top Chef Colorado episode 10 opens with the chefs’ worst nightmare, a dessert Quickfire.

Various Colorado locales have served as inspiration for Top Chef Season 15. From the pristine mountains to local craft beer, the inspirations have propelled some chefs to great dishes. In Top Chef Colorado episode 10, the Stanley Hotel scary setting wasn’t as scary as these desserts.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

Luckily, this week’s Quickfire wasn’t an elimination quickfire. The five remaining chefs needed to draw inspiration from their worst nightmares. The haunted hotel seemed to play tricks on the chefs. This Quickfire definitely wasn’t the best showing for two of the favorites.

Bruce and Carrie struggled badly in this Quickfire. Carrie didn’t finish plating her dessert. The majority of the dessert’s components never made the plate. It was obvious that she would be on the bottom.

Unfortunately, Bruce’s dessert was a mis-step as well. While he wanted to do a panna cotta, his dessert never quite came together. Both technical mistakes and lack of clarity made this dessert a muddled mess.

Chris’ dessert was the most creative. His presentation hit the mark on the visual nightmare. While it can be a little disturbing to eat a dessert with a reference to a splattered biker, the story worked for the challenge. More importantly, his cake and the dessert’s flavors were spot on. Chris won the Quickfire challenge.

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Over the past couple of challenges, Chris has been on a roll. As he focuses on his flavors, techniques and strengths, the success keeps coming. But, nothing is a given on Top Chef.

One thing was off during the Quickfire. Did anyone notice that the chefs walked in with two plates and mentioned judges, but the only judge featured was Padma? Was there a ghost judge or was this the episode that edited out John Besh?

Something was definitely edited out of the Quickfire. The chefs didn’t bring in a plate of food for a ghost. The edit didn’t really make this part of Top Chef Colorado episode 10 hard to watch. In a way, it went with the frightening dessert theme. It’s the ghost judge.

This week’s elimination challenge focused on a common Top Chef theme, the chefs journey on this Top Chef Season 15. While the theme seems straightforward, this episode always seems extremely challenging for the chefs. This season was no different.

The chefs who stayed true to themselves excelled in this challenge. This Elimination challenge needed a plate with precision and focus. The top three dishes had that clear vision. Even with a multitude of ingredients, these three dishes were inspired.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

The dish that I would want to eat is Carrie’s elk. The earthiness from the game meat was a bold contrast to the blueberry and candied lemon. Blueberry can be such a beautiful ingredient. Seeing this fruit used in a savory dish takes a deft hand. Her dish highlighted the local ingredients while still be true to her cooking style.

Carrie has come a long way from the first couple of episodes. Looking back, it would have been a good bet that she would have been eliminated by week 4. But, each week she has gotten stronger. She will definitely be a force in the finale.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

Another surprise to be in the top was Adrienne. Several times, Adrienne has been perilously close to elimination. She excelled this week by cooking her food, not a recreation of a dish she cooked at someone else’s restaurant. The plate was composed, balanced and seasoned beautifully.

Cooking monkfish with a game sauce was a nice nod to Colorado. Monkfish can stand up to the richness of a game meat. She has definitely learned from her previous mistakes.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

Joe, aka Mustache Joe, has faltered recently. This week, he rose to the top. While I personally didn’t think his dish was the best, the judges found it inspired. The ravioli had a wonderful texture and the flavors all worked well together.

After being on the bottom several times, Joe won the Elimination challenge. His win is more attributed to restraint in his cooking. Instead of using all his bag of tricks, he focused in on key elements. Cooking from his heart earned him the victory.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

Unfortunately, Bruce and Chris were in the bottom. Both chefs faltered due to technical issues. Each plate was over complicated and not executed well. These type of mistakes cannot happen so close to a finale.

With Chris winning the Quickfire Challenge it was a big blow to fall to the bottom. It is commendable that Chris owned his mistakes. He tried a dish that he had never made before. While he was inspired by his fellow competitors, no Top Chef contestant should try out a dish for the first time on the show.

His crispy trout didn’t need the ravioli on top of it. Just the fish alone would have probably kept him out of the bottom. What Chris lacked in this challenge was a connection to his true cooking. While his story was compelling, the food lacked soul. It was a huge departure for the soul food chef.

Top Chef Colorado episode 10, photo from Bravo

Bruce has been struggling in some challenges. While he is the pasta king, the judges have criticized him for always cooking pasta. With his heart being with his newborn son, Bruce seems to have lost the spark in his cooking.

Knowing that he couldn’t cook pasta, again, Bruce made a risotto style barley with duck. Anyone who watches food competition shows, don’t cook risotto. It’s like the red shirt guy that always dies in Star Trek. Just don’t cook risotto.

Unfortunately, Bruce didn’t listen and his barley was terribly under cooked. Add in too much seasoning and the barley was a mess. Also, his duck was over-rested.

Next: Best aphrodisiac foods for Valentine's Day

Bruce was eliminated in Top Chef Colorado episode 10. He will head to Last Chance Kitchen for possible redemption. Next week, during the two part finale, fans will find out which chef returns to the competition.

Only one of these chefs will earn the title Top Chef. Who do you think will rise to the occasion?