This post was written by SmartBrief’s Doris Nhan.

On this week’s episode of “Top Chef D.C.,” the stakes were high as the five remaining cheftestants were tasked with making food that sent the judges out of this world. The reward: a ticket out of the country (the final four will compete in Singapore, a “Top Chef” first). Chefs were to create a dish that could be freeze-dried as a space meal and followed NASA guidelines. Meals needed to be compact, low in sugar, and packed with flavor and spice. Chefs served dinner to the judges along with Buzz Aldrin and other NASA notables at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.

In the end, each of the cheftestants made a satisfying dish. Every component had to excel on its own, yet come together in a cohesive dish that met NASA’s demands.

  • Though Tom Colicchio first balked at Angelo Sosa of Xie Xie’s protein choice, judges liked the Ginger-Lacquered Short Rib with Horseradish Crème Fraiche because it had strong, memorable flavors. Sosa was applauded for taking a risk and executing it well.
  • Guest judge Anthony Bourdain questioned whether Kevin Sbraga of Rat’s Restaurant “played it safe” with a steak. But the New York Strip Steak with Bacon-Jalapeno Marmalade was a hit because he kept the astronauts in mind while proving that simple was OK as long as the dish was delicious.

Before a launch, astronauts get to request foods they’d most like on the trip. If you were blasted off to space, what would you request? Leave a comment.

Image credit, inhauscreative, iStockPhoto

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