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Where different cultures meet in a dish

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Restaurant and Foodservice

SmartBrief’s Angela Giroux Scheide tuned in to this week’s episode of “Top Chef D.C.”

“Top Chef D.C.” left D.C. and headed to Singapore for the first part of the final.

Imagine flying halfway around the world, meeting internationally known food local expert KF Seetoh, experiencing a tour of hawker centers with ubiquitous street food and taking in the atmosphere. Just when you are ready to go to the hotel to get over your jet lag, you meet Padma Lakshmi and you know you’re in trouble.

In front of you are largely unfamiliar ingredients marked only with Chinese characters, and you are told to replicate local street food … in a wok. Spoiler alert!

During the quickfire challenge, chef Kevin Sbraga revealed that he has never cooked with a wok before and was heavily chastised by host Padma. The challenge was won by chef Ed Cotton with a not-so-surprising dish of two types of noodles, aka Singapore noodles. For the first time in “Top Chef ” history, a contestant in the final received immunity.

Lesson learned: Bring your wok skills when you are in Asia.

The main challenge was held at the Tanjong Beach Club. Chef Ed, despite his immunity, went all out and secretly planned on two dishes. The other contestants were blindsided when judge Tom Colicchio demanded the same, saying four dishes for eighty guests at a party hosted by Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin are not enough.

Not surprising, Ed won again and chef Kelly Liken was sent home for under-seasoned prawns in her second dish. Chef Angelo Sosa made it to the final regardless of his tears and chef Kevin delighted the judges with a tapioca version of a Cantonese porridge dish called congee.

Lesson learned: When in Singapore, cook spicy.

What is your favorite Southeast Asian food? Leave a comment.