Top Chef: Colorado episode 4 review: Rediscovering roots

Top Chef: Colorado premiereTop Chef: Colorado episode 4 promised to be from the start a real showdown between great chefs — only for it to be all about kids mere minutes later.

The first Quickfire Challenge of the night was all about seeing how the chefs could recreate classic kids’ dishes in a way that was far healthier than the original version. Not only that, but they had to figure out a way to make it using only cooking equipment for kids. It forced some of the contestants to be creative and think outside of the box — we had everything from fish sticks to chicken nuggets to pizza to macaroni and cheese. Basically, all food that we love even though we’re a grown man.

By the time we got around to the judging it was very much clear that the kids brought in by the judges — the sons and daughters of chefs — we far tougher to the impress than the average judge. If they didn’t love it, they would come out and tell you right away.

Adrienne Cheatham was the winner with her modified pizza, which is all the more impressive when you consider that she did this using a crust made entirely of cauliflower. She managed to do the ultimate bait-and-switch here! It was enough to give her immunity moving into the second part of the episode.

A celebration of roots

This was an emotional challenge for many of the chefs since it relied so heavily on their past. They had to cook food that was connected in some way to their past. Through this we learned more about chefs like Brother Luck, and we also got a chance to visit an incubator where new Americans studied and worked to make a new life for themselves in the culinary industry.

What we saw in terms of food with this challenge was all sorts of beautiful stuff. Chris Scott reminded us of why he’s a great chef after some food-truck troubles last week. Meanwhile, Tu got so emotional that he may have gotten his eyes off the prize here and there. Joe Sasto, Chris, and Tanya had the top three dishes of the day — and we definitely were not surprised by this. They all did something different and by the end of the challenge, we felt that Joe is probably the best technical chef of the season. However, we’d say that Chris and Tanya were the two that cooked with the most spirit. It was Chris who ended up celebrating at the end of the challenge. In this case, spirit won out!

Who was in danger?

We had the other Joe in danger, and joining him was Tyler and also Bruce. It seemed as though Tyler produced good food, but just threw so much of it out there that there wasn’t any common thread. Meanwhile, Joe struggled with doing more that he could in the allotted time; meanwhile, Bruce’s food had plating issues and suffered from some questionable technique.

This was not an elimination we had a strong take on going into it given that all three chefs ended up being in danger for very different things. Losing Tyler here was tough since it didn’t seem to be a taste thing so much as him failing at the challenge. He was so strong earlier this season! That’s what makes losing him now so shocking.

CarterMatt Verdict

Hey, if Top Chef wanted to shock us so early, losing an early favorite at this point is a good way in which to do that. We’ll see how Tyler fares from here.

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