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  • Omelets! Food trucks! Social media star Logan Paul....? Breaking down Episode 3 of Top Chef in Colorado.
By Luis Miguel Echegaray
December 22, 2017

Welcome to Talking Top Chef, a weekly blog where we review the latest episode from the best reality show on TV. I’m going to fill you in on a little secret: Shortly after the season premiere earlier this month, I discovered Top Chef is extremely popular at Sports Illustrated. From Crossover writers to our very own managing editor, this show is loved by so many over here. (Even Rob Gronkowski's been on it!) 

And why shouldn’t it be? It has everything: Amazing food, intense competition, plus the chefs are insanely talented but more often than not they can also be erratic and unpredictable, which makes for great entertainment.

As for me? I’m obsessed. As a result, we decided the logical move would to be start reviewing the show here at SI Eats. So let’s get down to business.

Season 15, Episode Three; Colorado

The episode started with Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (no, he’s not a character from The Crown) in the kitchen with Padma. He’s the head chef and owner of Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, CO.  Of course, Bruce knows him (yaaawn).

The Quick-fire challenge was all about deconstructing the Denver omelet. Easy enough, right? Well, here’s the kicker: IT’S A SUDDEN DEATH QUICKFIRE. At the end of the challenge, the bottom three chefs have to fight for their place in the competition.

30 minutes and people are freaking out.

One of my favorites, Tanya, worked on cornmeal crepes with Virginia ham, Gruyere cheese and red pepper sauce (she worked in France, she’s got this) while Laura from Alaska was basically having a panic attack.

It’s already so good.

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By the time the half-hour was up, it really didn’t seem as if anyone had done a good job. I mean, I don’t blame them; the fact that they have to give you a Top Chef-worthy meal in 30 minutes is ridiculous but hey, what else would you expect from this show.

My favorite part was when Bruce described his dish with so much pride (a ricotta gnocchi with duck egg yolk, sharp white cheddar and applewood smoked ham) and Padma, with zero chill, was like: “Gnocchi again?”

Bruce looked like he was about to cry.

Lachlan picked Brother’s smoked duck egg with red pepper gastrique, cheddar and ham tempura and pepper salad as the winner. Disclaimer: I’m picking Brother to go to the final just because his actual name is Brother. He now has immunity.

So, I was wrong about my favorite Tanya, as she joined Rogelio and Laura in the bottom three.  All of them were fighting to stay in the competition, and because this is such a big decision, Tom Colicchio comes in to judge.

[CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT ON CHEFS FREAKING OUT]

The task? Make a French omelet in 15 minutes, and the key to this is timing. You can’t cook the eggs too early or too late, it’s got to be just right.

Well, they all messed up and made it too complicated. Unfortunately for Laura, she did the worst and was gone. I feel for her, she’s a talented chef with a lot of heart and originality. Hopefully, she kills it in Last Chance Kitchen.

MAIN CHALLENGE

The main challenge included Hosea Rosenberg, who won Top Chef ten years ago, and it was all about running a food truck: YES! I support all of this. Four teams of three have to create a concept for a restaurant/food truck geared toward college kids.

Game on.

Second disclaimer: I’m rooting for the Blue Team—Adrienne, Chris (my favorite contestant) and Tu because TEAM MINORITIES. They’re creating a sandwich truck.

Flashback to Bruce’s college days as he announces he used to be in a band called Phoenix. Okay, he might have just jumped a few notches with that one (though, no, we're pretty sure it's not that Phoenix). And he was in a chef cover band called Foi Grock, too. Do your thing, Bruce. He’s also making a roast pork cheese sandwich, which sounds amazing. We’ll see what happens.

As the college kids arrived, so did social media star Logan Paul. His 14+ million subscribers can’t shake off the fact that he makes some pretty sexist content. Not sure why they couldn’t have found someone better.

The mayhem was everywhere as kids lined up in the hundreds and the judges were getting antsy. Y’all better serve Queen Gail Simmons right now.

Chris’s crispy fried fish sandwich with jalapeño ham and southern red pickle sounded amazing but Padma felt it was over battered (noooooooo!)

The food truck that gathered the most college kids was Down the Chin (amazing name) with Carrie, Tanya and Joe Flamm. Carrie made a juicy cheeseburger, Tanya did chicken and waffles and Joe went with Maxwell street-style ribs...no surprise that a bunch of 20-year-olds loved it. But the judges’ winning team was the Hangover Cure with Joe, Tyler and Fatima. Their chicken wings, smoked tomato soup and waffles with strawberries and cream killed it.  

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The overall winner was Joe’s moustache. Kidding, it was Joe. I’m conflicted about this one because clearly he is a talented, great chef but there is such an air of arrogance about him. But, I can’t hate. A win is a win and he deserved it. He made chicken wings that were both crispy and moist, that’s not easy.

Unfortunately for me, my choices were not good as Chris, Adrienne and Tu were at the bottom, but the chef who was knocked out was Rogelio—his salad was just not good enough.

Man, this is not good. Last week was Claudette, now Rogelio? That is two Latinos in two weeks. **screams** Again, we’ll see how he does in Last Chance Kitchen.

All in all, it was a great episode and I thoroughly enjoyed the food truck concept, as it was a nice dress rehearsal for Restaurant Wars. I’m just hoping Chris returns to form next week.

My top three favorites after episode three:

  • Chris
  • Carrie
  • Fatima

I’m not here next week so I’ll see you back in 2018. In the meantime, feel free to email me (luis.echegaray@simail.com) or tweet (@lmechegaray) and tell me who your favorites are!

Here’s to food.

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