Bravo’s Season 14 of “Top Chef” started off as a rookies vs. veterans match up.
But in the end, it’s been a tale of redemption for past contestants who came close to the coveted prize. The rookies never stood chance. As expected, most were axed early on. The three chefs left standing Thursday night — Brooke Williamson, Sheldon Simeon and Shirley Chung — have been the most motivated of the returning chefs.
Chung, who moved to Orange County after her first tour of duty on Top Chef, calls herself the “underdog” because Williamson and Simeon bonded after competing together in Season 10. Going into Thursday night’s penultimate episode, Williamson is on a hot streak. She won Last Chance Kitchen, and handily beat everyone last week.
Will she stay on a roll?
Let’s find out.
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs travel to the Yucatan Peninsula and go snorkeling at a posh resort. Later, they learn this week’s Quickfire prize is a stay at the Riviera Maya hotel. To win, you have to dazzle local chef Roberto Muñoz Zurita with a dish featuring the region’s most famous ingredient: habanero.
They have one hour to shop and cook. No more Whole Foods Market. They shop at a local outdoor market where their Spanish skills are put to the test. Williamson and Chung fare well. Chung worked for China Poblano, by Jose Andres, so she’s very comfortable working with Latin flavors.
She grabs masa and eggs, while Williamson settles for pork and fresh fruits and…