Top Chef Houston Episode 4: Double Trouble

TOP CHEF -- "Doppelgӓngers" Episode 1904 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jackson Kalb, Buddah Lo -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "Doppelgӓngers" Episode 1904 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jackson Kalb, Buddah Lo -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo) /

Last week on Top Chef Houston we watched as Sam Kang was sent home after weeks of strong cooking. Which just goes to show how unpredictable this season has been and how there has been no real frontrunner among the chefs to win the $250,000 prize.

However, after this week that is beginning to slowly change. There are a couple chefs who are starting to take their place toward the top of the Leaderboard with some regularity and others who are heading toward an early trip home.

For the Quickfire Challenge it was all about biscuits. The chefs had to make a biscuit, from scratch of course, and then present it with some kind of additional component. The winner wouldn’t receive immunity this week but instead a sizable advantage in the Elimination Challenge.

The familiarity with making biscuits was all over the place with some chefs able to make them in their sleep to Jae mentioning “I don’t like baking, I just like to get baked.” It made for some very interesting dishes being served up to Padma Lakshmi and guest judge and Houston restaurateur Chris Williams.

Which cheftestant was sent home this week on Top Chef Houston?

Damarr and Evelyn both served biscuit dishes that the judges really enjoyed but it was Jackson who took the win with his Scallion Biscuit with a Fried Egg, Ostrich Sausage and Crispy Cheddar. It earned him an advantage that would be way more important than he might have thought.

Because the Elimination Challenge was a team challenge. The chefs would be paired up into duos and Jackson had first choice. He went with Buddha almost instantly leaving the rest of the chefs to pick their partner. Once everything settled down you had Damarr and Monique, Nick and Jae, Ashleigh and Luke, Sarah and Robert and finally Jo and Evelyn.

That was followed by the big shocker that this week would be a double elimination. Both members of the losing team would be told to pack their knives and get out of dodge. As for the challenge itself, it was a doozy. The teams just had to create two dishes that looked identical but tasted completely different.

Once the cooking was done, Jackson and Buddha went first and set the bar ridiculously high. Jackson prepared a Salmon Tartare with Capers, Shallots and a Cream Cheese Bavarois while Buddha made a White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly, Strawberry Bon Bons and Cream Cheese.

Not only did the dishes each taste amazing but they looked almost exactly the same. Ashleigh and Luke also had great success with their dishes that included scallops and mushrooms. But Jackson and Buddha got the win and the confidence boost that goes with it.

At the other end of the spectrum was Robert and Sarah and Evelyn and Jo. While the judges thought the dishes prepared by both teams succeeded in the area of looking similar, they failed when it came to taste and texture. Both teams made basic cooking mistakes, the kind that chefs at their level shouldn’t be making.

It was these factors that sent Robert and Sarah home. Sarah made a shrimp brioche despite the fact she’s allergic to shellfish and Robert’s panna cotta was a loose mess. Sarah being sent home wasn’t shocking but Robert’s departure after such a promising start in Week 1 was a shame.

That means the Top Chef Leaderboard has seen a serious shake-up as we have a new chef in the top spot.

  1. Jackson
  2. Buddha
  3. Demarr
  4. Ashleigh
  5. Luke
  6. Monique
  7. Jae
  8. Nick
  9. Jo
  10. Evelyn

Can Jackson keep up his winning streak even without his sense of taste? Can Monique or Jae break free from the middle of the pack? Is the end near for Jo? All of these questions and more will be answered next week on a new episode of Top Chef Houston.

Next. MasterChef Junior S8: Ep. 2 – There’s no I in Pizza. dark

What did you think of this week’s Top Chef Guilty Eaters? Did the right cheftestants go home? Do you have a favorite yet? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.