This week on Top Chef, the chefs were all suddenly ready to really step up their competition as they realized people were getting cut from the competition - no way!
Antonia was ready to go and decided after some blunders, she needed to stay true to her own style and instincts to make great food she could win with.
And so she did! She took on the quickfire around Uncle Ben's rice and made a dish she used to eat as a kid which took the win for her, just giving her the sign she needed that staying true to her style was the way to go.
With this confidence for her and disappointment for other contestants like Stephanie who started out strong and are now suffering, it was time for the elimination challenge. The chefs were challenged to make a healthy, nutritious dinner for a family of four... with only $10.
Oh, the madness! However would these top chefs manage with such a ridiculously low budget with no room for lobster, as funny-man Andrew said semi-seriously?
This family-style competition brought out the personal sides of these chefs with Antonia talking about how she's a single mom, so this is real life for her, and Nikki talking about how she was raised by a single parent so learned to cook when she was very young and had plenty up her sleeve.
Andrew talked about how he used to be over 200 pounds in high school, so he's learned quite a bit about nutrition since then, and Mark chose his dish, a veggie curry, because it's what he makes for him and "his lady" when they're trying to keep it cheap.
Dale also got back to whatever Chicago roots he has by going for brauts, which was impressive as he still made it a delicious and sophisticated dish, but simple - something that his cocky chef personality didn't seem to be capable of.
Once in the kitchen to get going, the chefs got another surprise as they found out they would have assistant chefs for the day - kids from Common Threads!
And surprisingly to us, all the chefs showed to not be as cut-throat in the kitchen with the kids around (well, I guess that means they're sensible, really), and all enjoyed having the kids around to help and learn.
In fact, it led to a couple tears for Antonia who was missing her daughter at home, which caused Richard to say after the competition that this all made him want to go home and make some babies! Yet another unexpected personal detail from our chefs this week. Hopefully he can stay focused on the mad game he has going with this adorable desire in the back of his head.
As for the dishes from the chef and kid teams, they all turned out pretty well except for those bottom three including Stephanie for her weird combo of peanut butter and tomatoes, Mark for his lack of protein and general awesomeness in his veggie curry, and Lisa for making a dish that just plain had no flavor.
On the other side of the coin, Antonia, Andrew, and Nikki made it to the top three for their excellent dishes that were indeed delicious and nutritious.
While it seemed Nikki could be up for this win with her "one pot wonder," Antonia's yummy pasta dish took the cake and gave her a double win for the night, while Mark's curry sent him home.
It seemed time for Mark to go with his lack of really attacking the challenges the way most of these contestants do. Antonia struggled for a bit there, but now she's proving to be a front-runner, while previous front-runners like Dale and Richard may be back to needing to dress, or dish, to impress a whole lot more.
Photo courtesy of TVGuide.com