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It's been a great season of Top Chef so far, but Wednesday got even better with the return of the restaurant war.
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck presented the Quickfire Challenge: 15 minutes to create a dish highlighting ginger. In the ensuing chaos, Josie slams into Josh and nearly takes him out. During the judging, Stefan chatted it up with Wolfgang Puck in German. His blatant attempt to curry favor didn't do much good for him. Brooke won the challenge and immunity with her ginger caramel squid with fresh lime and chili powder. Talking about a surprising combination! Sheldon's ginger beef stir fry and Josh's ginger soup were the least favorite dishes.
James Beard Award winner Danny Meyer was then brought in for the elimination challenge. Instead of the usual restaurant wars challenge from the past seasons that pitted teams against each other from the start, this season's challenge required each cook to create a single dish representative of their complete restaurant concept. The dishes will be served at Bite of Seattle. The two winners in Part One will advance to compete in Part Two.
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After shopping for their ingredients, the chefs find their sous chefs waiting for them in the kitchen. The sous chefs are a mix of eliminated contestants. Josie tags Kuniko right away for a Miami-themed experience. Sheldon partners up with Chrissy for a Southeast Asian style restaurant. Elizabeth teams up with Eliza for a Northern Italian concept. Josh announces he is dedicating his concept to his late father. Brooke tells Tom she's going with a "Jewish food gone awry" approach. Kristen is going with a French Contemporary concept. Micah goes with a raw food approach.
At Bite of Seattle, Sheldon's sour tamarind was a hit with the judges. Josh's rib eye and mushroom sauce was garnered rave reviews. The judges also liked Kristen's onsen egg with a Camembert-mustard sauce and buttered radishes, as well as her formal dining concept. Sheldon, Josh and Kristen were the top three chefs. Sheldon and Kristen won the challenge; they both advanced to the Restaurant Wars and each received $10,000.
Stefan's German-Thai fusion is a hit though Danny Meyer didn't care for the Bavarian Cream Mango lollipop. Micah's "clean and healthy" dish didn't win over the judges. Elizabeth's dish blends a lot of European influences but her dumplings don't hold up well and the cheese sauce is too thick. Josie plays up her pork dish but the act is inflated and the wait irks the judges. It doesn't help her any none of them liked her dish. Micah, Elizabeth and Josie were the bottom three chefs. Micah was sent packing.
Don't forget to vote to save your favorite chef on Twitter. Simply use the hashtag #savechefmicah or #savechefkuniko. Your vote will keep one chef alive for another week. In the end, the last chef standing will compete in the Last Chance Kitchen finale.