“Top Chef” Recap: “Last Chance Kitchen” Winners Cause Chaos but Ultimately, the 'Best Dish So Far' Is Served

Buddha Lo, former 'Top Chef' champ, is "not sure" he agrees with the judges on the winner of episode 6

<p> David Moir/Bravo</p> Christina Tosi, Kristen Kish

David Moir/Bravo

Christina Tosi, Kristen Kish

Buddha Lo is a two-time Top Chef winner, executive chef at Hūso in New York City, and a Saratoga Spring Water brand ambassador. He is sharing his thoughts after each episode of Top Chef season 21, set in Wisconsin, offering a unique perspective as a former cheftestant.

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

The episode starts off with the excitement of two chefs entering into the competition from Last Chance Kitchen. Kaleena had a solid performance and Soo Ahn (the 16th contestant) has been tearing it up from the beginning, so both of them making it back on the show was the exact shake up we needed mid-season.


The cheftestants had to make a dairy-based dessert with Christina Tosi, the chef-owner of Milk Bar, as the guest judge. Everyone should know a dessert challenge is gonna come at some point so they should be prepared.

Although Manny had practiced already, he made a churro with melted whipped cream that put him in the bottom along with Dan who made a “peanut butter texture” pudding that was too gummy, and Danny who made pastry that was undercooked.

<p>David Moir/Bravo</p> Top Chef episode 6

David Moir/Bravo

Top Chef episode 6

Related: Top Chef: The Contestants Food Shop Blind — and a Winner Goes Home

Michelle’s lemon corn cake stuffed with strawberry mascarpone cheese and topped with basil cream landed her in the top spot. Although Michelle won the challenge, a lot of the chefs, including Michelle, didn’t really lean into the dairy aspect.

Related: Top Chef's Dan Jacobs Opens Up About His Rare Disease: 'It Was the Best of the Worst Possibilities' (Exclusive)

<p>David Moir/Bravo</p> Soo Ahn enters the competition from Last Chance Kitchen

David Moir/Bravo

Soo Ahn enters the competition from Last Chance Kitchen


The Elimination Challenge was to embrace chaos and break culinary convention. Chefs got $150 to shop at a specialty store of their choice. Savannah, Dan, Danny and Soo landed in the top.

Savannah’s dish was a potato soufflé with golden milk, tropical fruit and mustard greens described by Tom as a dessert or first course that "defied logic in a very good way." Dan, whose dish really intrigued me, presented something the judges deemed a chaotic masterpiece, turning a dessert—funnel cake into a Japanese savory dish.

<p>David Moir/Bravo</p> Kaleena Bliss, Savannah Miller, Danny Garcia

David Moir/Bravo

Kaleena Bliss, Savannah Miller, Danny Garcia

Danny made a scallop Chou Farci with a yuzu kosho sauce. His technique gave the scallop mousse the texture of silken tofu. According to the judges’ feedback, I believe this was the best dish served in the season so far.

Soo did a twist on General Tso’s chicken. He made the dish with shrimp covered and fried in vermicelli noodles and chicken skin and served with salsa verde and salsa roja.


Danny won the Elimination Challenge. However, I’m not sure if I agree with the judges in this challenge because his dish, which merged French technique with Japanese flavors, has been a thing for decades and it was all very clean and refined.

I think Savannah and Soo met the challenge better and personally I think Soo should have won because he really embraced the chaos theme in every way possible from shopping to plating.

If I were in the competition, he would be someone to look out for moving forward. He continues to show he is technically great and very inventive with his dishes, while making flavor-forward showstoppers.

<p>David Moir/Bravo</p> Dan Jacobs, Rasika Venkatesa

David Moir/Bravo

Dan Jacobs, Rasika Venkatesa


Although Amanda said this was her kind of challenge, she served pasta that the judges said was dry and not chaotic. Michelle on the other hand was concerned about the possibility of making mistakes, and she did, executing her Vietnamese-inspired dish that didn’t meet the chaos part of the challenge. Plus, her pita had a raw filling.

<p>David Moir/Bravo</p> Michelle Wallace

David Moir/Bravo

Michelle Wallace

Rasika made a crab-stuffed eggplant with mushroom conserva, dukkah and garlic tahini. She received harsh criticism from the judges who all agreed that her dish lacked flavor and was described as “slimy” and “slug-like.” The bottom dishes were Michelle’s stuffed pita and Raisika’s eggplant dish.

Rasika was eliminated, and considering that the other chefs saw her as the frontrunner, I think this created a shock ending to a chaotic episode. And yet still, the episode was filled with probably the best collection of food the chefs have served this season. Perhaps some chefs cook better in chaos.

Top Chef airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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