Tag napa valley wine train

Top Chef in Napa Valley

We’re down to the last two episodes of Top Chef Las Vegas! The final four head to Napa for their quick-fire and elimination challenges. This week’s guest judge is Top Chef Master, Chef Michael Chiarello– a pioneer of fine dining in Napa Valley. For the quick-fire challenge the chefs must cook with Napa Valley’s signature crop: the grape. The chefs have a full pantry and 30 minutes to cook for Padma and Chef Chiarello. And for a classic Top Chef twist, they must cook and serve their dishes on the Napa Valley Wine Train. On the menu:

Kevin: honey and fromage blanc mousse, glazed grapes, olive oil and sea salt
Michael: grape leaf stuffed with couscous, vinegar glazed grape and scallop
Bryan: roasted hen, bacon, brussel sprouts, concord grapes, ruby quinoa and qrugula
Jennifer: sautéed chicken livers, clams, cabernet grapes, wild mushroom and tendrils

Michael wins the last high stakes quick fire and his prize: a new Toyota Prius. Padma announces the elimination challenge, which will determine who will be competing in the finale for the title of Top Chef. The elimination challenge: catering the Rutherford Hills Winery Crush Party. The cheftestants must each create two dishes, one vegetarian and one protein, using only local ingredients (other than salt and pepper). If the ingredient isn’t raised or grown in Napa, they will not be able to use it.

The final four head to a local market to select their ingredients. Back in the kitchen, head judge Tom Colicchio comes by to check in on the chefs. On the menu:

1)    grass-fed brisket with pumpkin polenta and marinated root vegetables
2)    roasted beets and carrots with carrot top puree and san andreas cheese

1)    turnip soup with foie gras terrine, poached pear and glazed turnip
2)    vegetable pistou, heirloom tomato coulis, 63 degree egg and fennel

1)    fig-glzed short ribs, celeriac puree, wax beans and wild arugula
2)    goat cheese ravioli, delicate squash puree and bronze fennel

1)    grilled duck breast, braised dug legs, squash puree and foie gras vinaigrette
2)    chevre mousse with honey mushrooms, braised radishes and basil

Guests arrive and it’s difficult to tell who will be eliminated. At this point in the competition, any tiny mistake can send someone packing. The judges convene at judge’s table and Tom appropriately praises the chefs for their great efforts all season long. Bryan wins the elimination challenge. However, one had to go and Jennifer is sent home. It really could have been anyone at this point. We are sad to see her leave, as she was one of our favorites. Next week is the season finale! Let us know who you are rooting for!