‘Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen’ recap: Smelly Limburger cheese is the star of the show in ‘The Big Stink’ [WATCH]

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“Just because I got eliminated doesn’t mean I’m beaten down or defeated,” says Kenny Nguyen upon entering “Last Chance Kitchen” upon his ouster from “Top Chef” in the episode “Take it Cheesy.” “I’m going to show my grandma, who gave me this necklace, that she’s the reason why I’m a little bit of a hard-ass … I’m walking into ‘Last Chance Kitchen’ with the full intention of bodying every single person that I see in that room.” But when he sees surprise 16th contestant Soo Ahn standing there waiting for him, he’s like, “Who the f*ck is this guy?” Watch episode two of “LCK,” titled “The Big Stink,” above.

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Kenny was eliminated from the main competition for an ill-conceived gorgonzola crab rangoon that was too watery and buried the flavor of the cheese that was supposed to be the highlight of the dish. But “LCK” host and judge Tom Colicchio doesn’t make it any easier on him in this second-chance cookoff. He instructs Kenny and Soo to make another cheese-forward dish, this time using the infamously smelly Limburger cheese. And they only have 20 minutes to do it. Kenny’s strategy is to lean into his Vietnamese heritage; Soo also mixes up something familiar to highlight the cheese. After some frying, some roasting and a little blowtorch action, they serve Tom the following:

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Kenny: Vietnamese Rice Paper Pizza with Egg Base, Chili Crisp, Grilled Cantaloupe and Limburger Cheese Sauce

Soo: Eggplant Parm with Ponzu Pomodoro Sauce and Bruleed Limburger Cheese

Tom deliberates between the two tasty dishes before rendering his verdict: Soo continues to advance through “LCK,” while Kenny is eliminated for good. The reason: Kenny used egg to bind together the ingredients on his pizza, but he ran out of time and the egg didn’t fully set, leaving the dish with a wet texture.

“I genuinely don’t feel disappointed. I feel like I did my shit. I just got outcooked today,” says Kenny in his final exit interview. “I hope my grandmother and my family are proud of what I’ve done here, how I’ve cooked our food on ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Last Chance Kitchen.’ I’m very grateful for it and very proud of myself.”

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