Dinner a Mano and an Irreverent Instagram Chef Revealed—’Top Chef’ Episode 8 (UPDATED)

Amar Santana continues to do O.C. proud, but will he go all the way?
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“Top Chef” competition is tightening up for Amar Santana, representing for his Vaca and Broadway restaurants as well as the whole of O.C. In episode 8 tonight, the Quickfire challenge includes the unmasking of chef-satire Instagram sensation Chef Jacques La Merde, known for plating lowbrow ingredients in a meticulously haute way. Watch this preview–maybe you can suss out his or her true identity prior to the big reveal.

The elimination challenge takes place at an old-fashioned Beefsteak—a dining event where dressed-up guests eat everything with their hands, and the cheftestants have to make a suitable dish. Lamb chops, from one of the other competitors, are visible in this clip, and their convenient natural handles make them an obvious choice for consuming a mano. Amar’s dish is a bit more creative and challenging—will it have a bigger payoff as a result? Watch tonight and see.

UPDATE: Chef Jacques La Merde is revealed to be… a woman? Color the culinary world truly surprised. Strong performances from Amar in both the Quickfire and elimination challenges—even if his halibut-by-hand was beaten by fairly pedestrian lamb chops—mean we’ll see him again next week. Eliminatee Chad White was sent to “Last Chance Kitchen,” where he lost to Jason Stratton, who really seems to have hit his stride.

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