Top Chef: Dawn finally grabs the spotlight

TOP CHEF -- "Feeding the Frontlines" Episode 1807 -- Pictured: Dawn Burrell -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "Feeding the Frontlines" Episode 1807 -- Pictured: Dawn Burrell -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo) /

Much like we saw during the last episode of Top Chef, this week a couple of the cheftestants finally grabbed the attention of the judges. For one it was the positive feedback she had been craving for weeks while for the other it marked her return to the competition after winning Last Chance Kitchen.

And for the first time, one of the favorites to win it all showed that he is human and if not for immunity, could have been sent home in what would have been the upset of the season.

This week Top Chef was all about helping others, specifically the front line workers who have given so much during the COVID-19 pandemic. After Shota once again impressed everyone in the Quickfire Challenge by making a braised fish head dish, he won the final immunity of the season.

For the Elimination Challenge, the cheftestants teamed up with the fine folks at World Central Kitchen to prepare meals for front line workers at three Portland area hospitals. The meals had to be prepared in to-go containers and should be able to be reheated.

Dawn and Jamie shine in the Top Chef Elimination Challenge.

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The nature of the challenge really affected the chefs and it showed when they all pulled together to help each other get the meals done in the time allotted. The pandemic has been rough for everyone and this was a chance to give back to the people who may have been affected the most.

By the time all was said and done, a lot of worthy people got to eat some great food. But this is still a competition so when Judges’ Tables rolled around it was frontrunner Sara along with Dawn and fresh from Last Chance Kitchen Jamie who were named the top three.

Jamie ended up getting the win thanks to her kimchi tofu soup with bulgogi-braised pork, eggplant and steamed rice. Dawn also got some nice compliments on her tamarind-braised top sirloin and coconut rice grits, which was great to see after spending so much time in the middle of the pack.

As for the bottom, it was Maria, Chris and Avishar who failed to impress anyone with bland flavors and undercooked tortillas. In a shocking twist, Shota, who until now had been thought to be untouchable, was told in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t have immunity, he would have been in the bottom as well.

After much debate, Avishar was told to pack his knives and head to Last Chance Kitchen. As a result we now we have eight remaining cheftestants and a leaderboard that looks as follows:

  1. Sara
  2. Jamie
  3. Shota
  4. Gabe
  5. Dawn
  6. Byron
  7. Maria
  8. Chris

It would seem that Top Chef is Sara’s to lose, with her continuing to pile up win after win no matter what the judges ask for. Shota falls a spot due to his lack of inspiration in the Elimination Challenge and sees Jamie return to the competition and move all the way up to No. 2. Maria and Chris both seem to be on borrowed time and it wouldn’t come as any shock to see either be the next to be sent packing.

Can Shota regain his confidence and rejoin Sara at the top? Can Dawn use the momentum of her top three appearance to move up and overtake Gabe? Will Chris finally remember to use salt? We’ll all find out next week.

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What do you think Guilty Eaters? Can anyone beat Sara and pull off a Top Chef upset? Can Shota regain his form? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.