Welcome back to Top Chef (Just Desserts) . I hope you took your insulin this morning, because you know we are in for a diabetic's nightmare in tonight's episode. This show should just go ahead and book Wilfred Brimley as a guest judge and get the American Diabetic Society to sponsor the show, because talk about gravy train! Get people hooked on this show and just wait ten years and the sugar fiends will be paying for your corporate retreat to Canyon Ranch AND your clean syringes and insulin shots. Anyway last week we bid farewell to whom? I don't know I wasn't here. Let's all go read the recap! Oh right. It was that one guy whose name I didn't bother learning, because, duh, it's so early in the competition and I don't want to get attached, because it is too hard to let them go once you learn their names. But let's all pour a little out for old what's his name. So he went home and goofy doofy Craig once again managed to bake another week. Let's see how he fares this time around, eh?
Gail Simmons, ever grateful to be out of Padma's beauteous shadow, waltzes into the kitchen on the arm of Hugh Acheson, Top Chef Masters alum, restaurant owner, and unibrow enthusiast. Hugh bids hello to his fellow chefs and then introduces the Quickfire Challenge. But extra! extra! this isn't just any old Quickfire Challenge, it is a Product Placed Quickfire Challenge where Extra Gum pays Bravo a whole bunch of money to somehow incorporate their unique dessert flavored chewing gum, which, if chewing gum memory serves me correctly, gum is meant to be given the old swish-and-spit treatment and not actually eaten. This does not stop Extra Gum from thinking this would be just the greatest bit of advertising their Willy Wonka-inspired gum needs (what with Violet Beauregard being otherwise occupied [Note: Until next week, apparently! -- RS.]) and all Bravo has to do is figure out how to incorporate GUM into a cooking challenge for chefs. The cheftestants all stare blankly at Hugh as they make the whole IT'S GUM argument in their heads. Hugh explains that they don't actually have to make gum, but instead a flavor-packed dessert that can be transformed through Miracles and Magic and Chemicals at the Extra Gum Laboratories into chewing gum. Then Hugh tells them to suck it up because they get $25,000 (to be paid entirely in Chiclets) if they win PLUS their winning flavor combination will be immortalized in a pack of gum. The only catch is that the dessert must be tiny enough to fit on a teeny tiny plate. The chefs resume their blank stares, because WHAT? TINY DESSERTS? Who thought of this? SATAN? Well, everyone stares blankly except Carlos who has apparently been very busy getting busy because he has SIX CHILDREN and really really needs that $25,000 to pay for one of his SIX KIDS to go to college. Although realistically and accounting for inflation, by the time his kids are in college $25 K will probably only cover a single semester's books and half a meal card. Anyway, he's gonna win it! The chefs all run to the Extra Gum-strewn Top Chef kitchen and start cooking. One girl (Amanda?) tells us that she is making pina colada gum, because that is so wacky and original that undoubtedly no one has ever thought of it before. I mean, PINA COLADA who would dare? But if you're feeling really wacky, consider Craig. He is making amaretto-strawberry-mascarpone pancakes because WHO DOESN'T LIKE THAT? He asks the question rhetorically, but I answer anyway: I don't. I don't like amaretto-strawberry-mascarpone-pancake chewing gum. Someone else is making Oatmeal Raisin cookie and another is crafting dulce de leche brownies. Next to some strategically placed packs of Extra Gum, Melissa whines and everyone cringes, but it's not her fault she burnt her browned butter three times! Oh wait, yeah, it is. Anyway, time is up.