Fans of Chrissy Camba held their breath as the chef faced a 50/50 chance at elimination on a national competition.
Camba, who lives in Lincoln Square and works at Lake View’s Bar Pastoral, was a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef Seattle. Before her elimination on Wednesday, she was the lone Chicago chef on the show.
After defeating competitors from around the nation, Camba stayed in the middle of the pack for the first three elimination challenges.
But for her last meal, the chef that's well-known for her charcuterie plates faced another type of challenge: the salad. Not just any salad, Camba was asked to recreate the Canlis Special Salad.
Canlis is one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in the Northwest, and contestants were asked to re-create dishes from its original 1950 menu. The Special Salad is the only item that's remained on the menu since the restaurant’s opening.
"I took a risk by taking the Special Salad, sometimes you fail at risks, it's very, very depressing," Camba said on the show.
Camba’s salad got poor reviews; judge Emeril Lagasse said it was overdressed with soggy croutons. Representatives from Canlis said the salad fell flat, but it was the most challenging mission to take on.
The chef ended up in the bottom four, with two chefs slated for elimination.
"Not knowing what the dressing was supposed to taste like, I did it to what I thought it should taste like and my interpretation wasn't how they saw it," Camba said in her last appeal to the judges.
Camba was sent home along with fellow chef Carla Pellegrino.
But, there was still a glimmer of hope for the Lincoln Square chef. The Last Chance Kitchen is a place where eliminated chefs can face off for one spot in the finale.
Camba competed against four other eliminated chefs. The challenge? To create a dish from the ingredients of the same dish that sent the chefs packing. Chefs could either remake the concept, or go with something completely different.
Camba opted to recreate the Special Salad—this time with the right amount of dressing and lemon.
Judge Tom Colicchio said Camba’s second attempt was much better.
“If you'd cooked like this, you'd probably still be on Top Chef," he said.
Only one chef could win and despite her rave reviews, Camba was not selected to move forward.
“But America now knows that I can make a salad," she joked after the show.
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