Top Chef Recap: Which Chef Wasn't Up to Speed?

Top Chef Episode 5: Tom Colicchio Cooks Plus Results and Winner
Tom Colicchio
Barbara Nitke/Bravo

01/06/2011 AT 08:30 AM EST

It's Top Chef's 100 episode – and even Tom Colicchio joined the party by rolling up his sleeves and cooking for the first time ever on the Bravo show. And it wasn't just in good fun.

Nope, Chef Tom laid down an imposing Quickfire challenge. The chefs would have to test their speed and ability and cook a dish in the time in took him to prep his own creation. In the end, it took Colicchio just eight minutes and 37 seconds to whip up black sea bass with clams, zucchini and tomatoes.

"This will be the first and last time I do this," he quipped after finishing the dish, while the contestants looked on with terror in their eyes.

Cue the clattering frantic cooking as the chefs set out to create something in under nine minutes – and they were warned to actually cook something. The challenge would be decided by degree of difficulty and a raw dish just wouldn't cut it.



In the top, Mike Isabella, whose bass had a delicious flavor, followed by Richard Blais, who impressed with his Foie gras, and Marcel, who cooked up Dashi in the short time. Ultimately, Isabella was victorious and earned a major prize: a Prius and immunity.



Angry Diners


Speed was the key ingredient in the Elimination challenge as well, which asked the chefs to work as a team, head to Chinatown and serve dim sum for local diners at the Grand Harmony restaurant.

Once the chefs settled on dishes they would each cook, they decided that Mike Isabella would expedite the food – a.k.a run the show in the kitchen – while Carla Hall and Casey Thompson would work the dining room.

And it was a hostile one.

For reasons unexplained, the chefs didn't seem to ever settle into a rhythm, nor cook with the urgency that was expected of them.

Diners were irate. Some walked out. Others just grabbed the dim sum off the carts. The judges were nonplussed.

Worse, some of the food earned pretty low marks. Casey went on a limb by cooking chicken feet, and her dish was left untouched by many diners. Jamie Lauren's long beans were deemed to greasy and flavorless. Tre Wilcox's orange dessert never gelled. And Carla's summer roll was dainty and overwrapped.

Better yet, Dale Talde redeemed himself after a poor showing in the Quickfire. He had the winning dish – some sticky rice that Colicchio especially loved.

In the end, though, despite Jamie's two poorly executed dishes, Casey was sent home this week for her chicken feet gamble.

Tell us: Did Casey deserve to go home? Who deserves to win at this point?

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