The latest episode of “Top Chef: World All-Stars” featured three-time Olympic medalist Sunisa Lee.
Titled “Champions in Paris,” the episode featured the final four contestants taking part in the Wall Challenge. This task forced them to unknowingly team up with American Olympic and Paralympic athletes to create a dish using limited resources in the pantry, while being separated by a massive wall.
Chef Gabriel Rodriguez, winner of season 2 of “Top Chef Mexico”, had the unique task of guiding Lee to reproduce his dish without any eye contact. Initially, Rodriguez asked if Lee had any cooking experience, to which she replied “sort of.”
Throughout the cooking process, Lee struggled to hear and understand Rodriguez’s instructions.
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She mistakenly filled a cup with oil instead of a pan, unsure of the proper amount for heating. When asked about using a poblano pepper, Lee clarified by asking if it was a green pepper, only to find it was the wrong choice.
In another instance, Rodriguez mentioned cilantro, another word for cilantro, but Lee was unfamiliar with the term, leading to a comedic exchange where Rodriguez repeated and shouted the ingredient at him. As frustrations grew, Rodriguez considered giving up and allowed Lee to add whatever she wanted to the dish.
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When the wall was finally removed, revealing their partners, Rodriguez was shocked, exclaiming, “Oh my god, that girl won an Olympic medal and I just yelled at her. I feel so embarrassed.”
Their final dish was mini roasted corn with pine nuts and poblano sauce. Lee’s creation was visually quite similar to Rodriguez’s, except her sauce was darker when she burned it. Host Padma Lakshmi commented on the beautiful tackle, however, their dish landed in the bottom two during the quickfire challenge.
When Lakshmi asked Lee if the experience made her want to cook more or less, she humorously replied, “I think less.”
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