When Johnny Iuzzini showed up for the doughnut-centric challenge, the contestants regarded him like the quickfire angel of death that he was. He came to announce their worst fears: the loser of the quickfire will be eliminated. In other words, whoever makes the driest donut is going home. After only a few minutes, guest judge Mark Isreal from NYC’s Doughnut Plant, pronounced Megan Ketover’s doughnut a sticky failure and suddenly there were only six contestants left with another elimination to go.
For the actual Elimination Challenge, the theme was “chocolate” — which is basically any pastry chef’s dream challenge. The contestants were split into two groups of three and each group was responsible for one chocolate showpiece and three plated desserts. On the blue team, Orlando could barely stop patting himself on the back for his sculpting skills to complete his personal dessert while on the red team Katzie was fretting about feeling like a third wheel. In yet another twist, each team got to sit down with the judges’ and critique the other team’s work, which they were only too happy to do. Ultimately, no one liked Katzie’s enormous, messy chocolate square and the judges’ sent her packing.
Megan Ketover tells us about her donut fiasco:
How are you feeling now that the show has aired?
I’m feeling OK. It certainly was not my favorite moment in life. Everyone who goes on to Top Chef Just Desserts wants to win and anything less than that is disappointing, but I do feel that I stayed true to myself.
Did you think a quickfire elimination was fair?
I think it was tough, but having watched the other seasons I know that nothing is guaranteed. I tried to walk into the kitchen every day with no expectations.
Do you like donuts?
Yes, I used to be a pastry arts instructor and I’ve taught many students how to make donuts. I am certain that I know how to make good donuts. I just made the worst donut of my life that day — it was really bad timing.
What would you say to Gail and the other judges?
I would say thank you. With this season there were a lot of group and showpiece challenges and I’m not sure we were ready for that. The challenges didn’t leave a lot of room for creative freedom and I wish I could have shown them more of my style.
Katzie Guy-Hamilton on knowing she would be eliminated:
How did you feel at Judges’ Table?
I remember feeling that I already knew what was going to happen. It was my time and I was fine with that. Judges’ Table is really terrifying if you don’t think you’re going to go home or if you don’t think you deserve to, but I knew it would be me.
What would you have done differently if you could do the challenge over again?
I would have made a chocolate soufflé or just the boca negra by itself, which is how I normally serve it. My brain was confused.
Would you do another reality cooking show?
I’m not chasing reality TV, but it was an awesome experience and it refocused me.
I’m still working at the Hyatt [in New York] and I’m involved in starting an after school cooking program in East Harlem.