Top Chef S15:E04 Little Tools, Big Challenge Recap

Hi everyone and happy long holiday weekend, woo wooo! It's time for Top Chef the best way we know how! Rolling S15:E04 Little Tools, Big Challenge after the break!

We open back at the Top Chef crashpad, Joe Sasto III celebrating his chicken wing win, but Brother Luck's thoughts are with recently departed contestant Rogelio Garcia. Rogelio's story of struggle as an immigrant working his way up the food chain is inspiring to him in particular.

Cheftestant Bruce Kalman's mind is somewhere else, specifically with his brand new baby about to be born any day. He and his wife have been trying to have kids for a millionty years and now they have a woman about to pop with their little boy and Bruce is HERE. He's trying!

We're back at the Top Chef kitchens where host Padma Lakshmi is standing with the extremely handsome Curtis Stone. He looks like Mike Myers Very Handsome Man portrait from SNL, for reals!



Carrie Baird and I still need a moment, whew.

Okay where were we? Ah yes, Padma says the Quickfire Challenge is "child's play" and that means we're doing a Kids Menu! Curtis Stone tells us the Top Chef Jr. contestants knocked it out of the park, now just go beat those little kids, cheftestants!

A trio of kiddos wheel out a rack of tiny cookware; they are the children of well known (to Top Chef - it's a club!) chefs and will be helping judge the Chicken Teriyaki, Corndogs, Grilled Cheese, Pizza, Chicken Nuggets and Spaghetti and Meatballs our chefs are gonna put up.

Everyone struggles with the adorable cutting boards, they're tiny! My ten year old self is DROOLING right now. LOOKIT THE TINY DUTCH OVENS!!

Tyler Anderson has three kiddos! and he thinks dumbing down what they eat is dumb.

A montage of everyone cooking, Imma be mad if I don't see all the dishes again you guys! Brother Luck is making lemonade out of the tiny pot lemons: he can fit three saute pans in one hand!

Tanya Holland is struggling with rushing back and forth, pull it together, lady! Your mac and cheese sounds AMAZING!

Judging time!

Kids LOVE it
Too spicy and wouldn't order

These kids do not pull their punches

Good flavour
Better without the pineapple
Loved it
Doesn't look anything like spaghetti and meatballs
Crunchy crust was weird
Beautiful and props for the best deconstructed taco ever
Good flavour, clever pairing
Not good

The least favourites we kinda know: Carrie, Tyler and Bruce scored on the less-likely-to-eat scale and the tops are: Adrienne Cheatham (with cauliflower crust even!), Fatima and Tanya with Adrienne taking it, woot! Even when she TOLD them it was cauliflower!

Now it's time for the Elimination Challenge, this time the cheftestants will be creating a dish to represent their heritage.

Amish soulfood chef Chris Scott is excited about cooking who he is, as is Fatimi Ali, but what's Carrie gonna do? She already made cheeseburgers last week!

Oh man, Brother is making me cry already. He only has one to work with, he asked his dad for a recipe for school and got Creole Dirty Rice which he found embarrassing because chicken gizzards and the like. His dad died a few weeks later and that is it, all he has. Also, chicken gizzards aren't embarrassing, they're gross, but kids just don't know any better.

The chefs head to meet Slavica Park at Comal Heritage Food Incubator where women are given training on opening their own food businesses based on their own food heritage.

The women cooking today are Syrian refugees and when Tyler asks if women are allowed to cook in Syria, one retorts that women are better at cooking. Fatimi has gotten right in there behind the cooks and agrees wholeheartedly.

Tu David Phan is feeling everything these women went through, his family were refugees from Vietnam from sometime before his language was developed because he hasn't even one hint of an accent.

Tyler is having the same trouble Carrie was, what's his food heritage? Well.

He's gonna work in some Swedish and PLEASE MAKE MEATBALLS. Come on!!

Bruce is going Hungarian and Chris is making me all weepy too when he talks about not wanting to embrace his heritage when he was younger. It was all about French techniques and to cook foods traditionally prepared by black people felt embarrassing to him. He didn't move ahead until he embraced who he was, and now I have Moana in my head. It's who you arrrreee

Adrienne is marrying Irish/German with Southern, let's see how that shakes out. Joseph Flamm is as Italian as they come, he'll be making pasta. YUM!

Tanya is making her mom's Gumbo, woot, looking forward to it! Sasto III's mom passed away when he was young.

So he's making a hybrid of her French background and his dad's Italian heritage. Fatimi is making lentils, rice and kebab and I'm just getting hungrier by the minute.

The guests and judges and guest judges have all arrived, Padma and Tom Colicchio are joined by Slavica, Mlou Motamed from Food and Wine, Gail Simmons, Mourad Lahlou, Gregory Gourdet (originally from Haiti rated it's own line I guess, so sure!), Alon Shaya and Dana Rodruguez.

Tasting time in two by twos!

Almost no comment at all
Disjointed, all over the place
Bland and needed to be elevated
Extremely technical and nuanced

Tu cries when he presents his dish, he is grateful for the opportunity to share his heritage through food

Great story, lots of heart, not enough salt and acid
Nailed it flavour-wise but Mlou has has better
Exceptional flavour's not gnocchi? But the lamb was hella overcooked

They LOVE Chris's chicken and the biscuits are superb

The top three are: Chris, Tanya and Joe Sasto III, the dish and story that impressed the judges the most was...Chris's Lemonade Fried Chicken and Biscuits! Woot! I love how happy he looks, he's glowing.

Oh jeez, all three bears are up for elimination, with Joseph, Bruce and Tyler on the block.

The judges have decided that all three in the bottom just didn't go far enough, except Bruce who kilt his lamb dead then slapped it on a "chef-fy" plate.

Oh wow, it's Tyler who is sent home. I thought he was gonna be around for me to roll my eyes at for ages! Well, until next time, you guys! Happy New Year and cheers!