“Top Chef” Gets 5-Way Cheesy for Final Contestants at Oregon’s Iconic Tillamook Creamery

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“As a chef, it was such an honor to see our award-winning cheeses pay homage to a dish as significant as Chef Bottura’s,” said Chef Josh Archibald, Executive Chef, Tillamook Creamery®. “Shota’s dish was a true celebration of the craft and time-honored aging process we use in our cheeses.”

In their cheesiest challenge yet this season, the final four cheftestants competing on this season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in Portland were tasked with using Tillamook® award-winning cheese products in a

“Cheese Five Ways” challenge

To kick-off the Elimination Challenge at the Tillamook Creamery, host and judge Padma Lakshmi announced that the four remaining chefs would be asked to create an ode to internationally lauded Italian Chef Massimo Bottura, the owner of three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy.


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Bottura is renowned in culinary history for his decadent “Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in Different Textures and Temperatures” menu item.

Cheftestants were challenged to select from several Tillamook Cheese products for the challenge, including Fresh Yellow Curds, Medium and Sharp Yellow Cheddars, Smoked Medium Cheddar, Extra Sharp White Cheddar, Pepper Jack,

and the recently released 2011 Maker’s Reserve Aged Cheddar.

The full offering of Tillamook products sold at the Creamery were also made available to the cheftestants to plus-up their dishes.

Tillamook-Creamery-Executive-Chef-Josh-Archibald-Padma-Lakshmi-Tom-Colicchio-Gail-Simmons-Dale-Talde
Tillamook Creamery Executive Chef Josh Archibald joined judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and “Top Chef” alum Dale Talde at the judges’ table for the challenge.

Shota Nakajima was crowned the episode winner with the judges’ favorite dish of the night, Tofu Cheddar Manju with Cheddar Dashi, Smoked Cheddar Oil, Cheddar Tofu Miso and Cheddar Tuile.

His dish included the following Tillamook products: Cheddar Cheese Curds, Extra Sharp Aged Cheddar, Smoked Medium Cheddar, and Medium Cheddar. Tillamook Creamery Executive Chef Josh Archibald joined judges Padma LakshmiTom ColicchioGail Simmons and “Top Chef” alum Dale Talde at the judges’ table for the challenge. Jamie Tran was eliminated from the competition and was asked to pack her knives and go.

“As a chef, it was such an honor

to see our award-winning cheeses pay homage to a dish as significant as

Chef Bottura’s,”

said Chef Josh Archibald, Executive Chef, Tillamook Creamery®.

“Shota’s dish was a true celebration of the craft and time-honored aging process we use in our cheeses.”

In April, Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) announced it would be the Official Cheese and Butter brand for this season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in Portland, produced by Magical Elves.

Cheftestants have enjoyed cooking with award-winning Tillamook products all season long including cheese, butter, yogurt, sour cream and cream cheese spreads.

During the season, cheftestants have taken on challenges at some of Oregon’s most identifiable and picturesque locations with the Elimination Challenge at the Tillamook Creamery being no exception. Located in the coastal city and the brand’s headquarters of Tillamook, Ore., the Tillamook Creamery is the largest tourist attraction on the Oregon coast, attracting more than one million visitors each year to learn about the co-op’s 112 years of cheese making.

Prior to filming the Elimination Challenge at the Tillamook Creamery, the cheftestants and judges were treated to a tour of the factory, led by TCCA Cheese Technical Manager and Head Cheesemaker Liam Wustenberg, followed by a flight of cheddars to enjoy and a tour of their new kitchens at the Tillamook Creamery.

TCCA invites fans to follow @Tillamook on Instagram to join in the “Top Chef” fun as the season concludes. “Top Chef” airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on Bravo. “Top Chef” episodes are also available on Bravotv.com, the Bravo app and through video on-demand services with authentication.