Following Thursday night’s Top Chef, David Viana had a chance to redeem himself on Last Chance Kitchen, one that he was certainly eager to take on. His dish wasn’t up to snuff in Nashville, at least in the eyes of the judges, as they had a really hard time determining precisely what some of it was.
That, as it turns out, was the inspiration for the showdown between David and Brandon Rosen. They had to choose a number of “mystery ingredients” in order to make a proper dish with them. This was easier said than done — they had to rely on their palette in order to figure out what things tasted like and how to incorporate them into a larger dish.
For David, he looked at this as an opportunity to do something Spanish/Portuguese to make up for what he did in Nashville. He couldn’t quite figure out precisely what the nuts were precisely but he understood the flavor profile. He used them as a part of a dish that also included scallops. (As it turns out, the “nuts’ were actually ground up pieces of sugar cookies.)
For Brandon, he wanted to rely on his wife’s Colombian roots in order to make an elevated empanada — something that he could incorporate alongside mysterious ground meat that he couldn’t quite figure out. He knew that it was seasoned in advance, so he just had to figure out the right way in order to incorporate it. (The mystery meat, as it turns out, was actually Spam — he was actually happy that he didn’t know about it in advance.)
Both chefs actually created some good dishes — Tom was impressed with what the two were able to come up with. Both dishes had a lot of really good flavor to them, and he decided to eventually give the win to David just because he felt like he did more with the mystery ingredients. This was basically the only way to break the tie — while it must stink royally for Brandon to lose, we imagine that he’s at least happy about the fact that if he was to go home, that happened on the back of a really excellent dish that Tom really liked. That’s something that he can hang his hat on for the rest of the season moving forward.
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